Albir is one of Spain’s most popular summer and winter tourist destinations. Full of British, Norwegian and German tourists as well as lots of locals, Albir has just established a new Sunday market that’s one of the best in the Costa Blanca area. If you enjoy authentic local Spanish markets and love to shop, here’s what you should look for and buy, to get the best deals.
Where is Albir’s Sunday Market? – Only in operation for a month, Albir’s new Sunday market is located on a large parking lot right across the street from the big Consum supermarket on Albir’s main shopping street. Less than 10 minutes walk from many of Albir’s beach side hotels, and just a few minutes from most of the town’s apartments and town houses, Albir’s Sunday market is a wonderful place to shop, take photos and eat.
What to Buy at Albir’s Sunday Market – When you first arrive at Albir’s Sunday market, at the entrance from the main street, you’ll see a large van set up selling roasted chicken. You’ll recognize it by the many chickens roasting on skewers and by the boxes of wine being sold, as well as the roast potatoes and fresh bread. Grab a quarter of a chicken, some bread and a cafe con leche (coffee with milk) and enjoy a quick breakfast before heading off to shop.
Once breakfast is over, head into the open-air market itself. Here, you’ll find stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, several stalls selling homemade fresh bread (pick up a couple of crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside french baguettes), a large stall with cheap prices on a huge variety of nuts and dried fruit and, if you like fresh flowers, you’ll love the flower and plant van. Don’t miss the cake and pastries stall too – delicious.
Further into the market, there are some lovely stalls selling handmade jewelry and manned by the artists themselves. There are also stalls that have an amazing selection of leather handbags, purses and wallets (some knock-off designer bags, some leather bags made in Spain) The knock-off bags here are superb quality and at only 20 euros ($28) are very cheap. The made in Spain bags too are perfect bags to pick up for gifts, as you can buy a lovely handbag for only 5 euros ($7) and they’re made completely of soft Spanish leather.
Don’t miss the stalls selling 1 euro jewelry. At only $1.40 per piece, I picked up several heavy bangles, a couple of large rings and my mother even bought some beautiful necklaces and beads for only 1 euro that, even in Thailand where I live would have been at least $7.
If you’re looking for children’s clothing, the Albir Sunday market has some of the cutest little outfits I’ve ever seen. Look for hand-embroidered cardigans (just gorgeous). Your little guy or girl will look so cute in them and, at only 10 euros, $14, they’re the cheapest thick sweaters you’ll ever find.
I also recommend buying one of the pieces of Spanish pottery (there were at least two stalls selling it when we were there) and, if you don’t mind second-hand clothing, you’ll get some incredible deals at this market. I picked up a thick sweater for 1 euro ($1.44) and a fake-suede jacket for 2 euros ($2.88). They may be second-hand, but they look as good as new and, with a quick wash, they will be.
Eating and Drinking – After you’ve wandered around the market for a while, stop again for a snack and a drink. There’s a fresh churros van (Spanish donuts) on the left-hand side of the market, and you can get a cafe con leche or hot chocolate here too. Or, if you want something more savory, a couple of market aisles back, you’ll find a little cafe set up, selling sandwiches, pasties and desserts.
On the outskirts of the market, there are two or three restaurants that have sidewalk tables and chairs. These are a fun place to sit, as you can enjoy a coffee, a beer or a snack, and watch all the market shoppers walk in front of you.
The Albir Sunday market begins around 9:30am and closes early in the afternoon. In its fifth week this coming Sunday, the market sellers I spoke to said expect it to get even bigger as it’s already proving to be one of the most popular weekly markets in the area. Just make sure you hold onto your bag and know where your money is as, just like any country, markets are a favorite place of pickpockets.
Photo – Roast chicken at Albir’s Sunday market