A trip to Guia is not complete without sampling some of its world famous piri piri chicken. Traditionally here the chickens are smaller and the sauce is said to be unlike any other. Unfortunately the restaurants will not reveal their secret. We do know, however, that the spatchcocked chicken is marinated with garlic, salt, piri piri oil, a bit of olive oil and lemon juice before going to the grill. Then come the secret ingredients, whatever they might be. It is then served with a mountain of homemade chips and a tomato salad ready to be washed down with a house wine from the restaurant owner’s vineyards.
It is no coincidence that Guia is known affectionately as the chicken capital of Portugal. This is the place where piri piri chicken was invented in 1964. For the past 25 years, it’s held a giant annual celebration ‘The Festa do Frango da Guia’ or Guia Chicken Festival when thousands of visitors come to sample the dish, and local Portuguese bands add to the carnival atmosphere.
If your stay in the region does not coincide with the festival fear not, there is still plenty to explore. Around the village you will find lots of old-school, authentic, family-run restaurants that have been serving the dish since the Sixties, and you’ll see why they keep their red-hot marinades a close secret.
On the west side of the old town is the new luxury marina, boasting amazing sea excursions and activities along with its own run of restaurants and bars. Here you can take a boat trip, fishing expedition or book a diving excursion. Or why not hire a Segway to take you along the marina’s long promenade.
Just around the corner you will also discover the traditional fishing port giving stunning views of Albufeira across the bay. With its dolphin statues painted in bright candy colours, it’s difficult to miss Albufeira’s marina.
GPS: 37.084688, -8.265938
3PMM+VJ Albufeira, Portugal
Tel: +351 289 514 282