Planning a trip in Portugal or already arrived in Portugal? No doubt you are on course to voraciously devour as many exciting memories and experiences as you can while you unravel the pretty Porto, the lovely Lisbon, sensational Sintra and the amazing Algarve region down south. While in Portugal, along with capturing the beautiful memories in your camera, do capture one or may be a few more pieces of authentic straw basket bags unique to the Portuguese craftsmanship.
Where to shop?
If you are still planning the trip in the comfort of your home or want to arrive in Portugal with one of straw bags, you can always opt to buy online and in store here, here, here and here. In my case, I got my hands around some lovely piece of straw and basket bags from some of these brands, however during my memorable exploration of Porto – the 2nd largest city in Portugal and when in Algarve region down south.
Coincidentally, I bumped into a random woman who was carrying one of these basket bags. I could not but stop her on her way to pass on a compliment about her bag and I asked her where she got it from. Word of mouth and word of mouse both are equally powerful. Not only one could get these bags in Porto in a shop called Claudia Castanheira in the Rua de 31 de Janeiro but also these are found in the handicraft and souvenir shops around The Cube near the Ribeira – the main promenade along the river Douro. I bagged another piece later in Albufeira in Algarve region from a shop called Indigo Bazaar at Estr. de Santa Eulália 11, right next to the hotel where we stayed in at Muthu Oura Praia Hotel.
Why shop these bags?
These straw basket bags had been around for a while in the vogue vision of the fashionistas and it seems this trend will only become even more popular. These bags are all hand-made by rural artisans in Portugal, some doing the same trade for generations. Not all the designs are same, which indicates that the bag you may get yourself could be the only piece with a certain design and there may not be another one – how special does that make you feel? The raw material of the bag is sourced entirely from the natural resources in Portugal and you will be amazed with the quality of the finished product. The bags are strong, sturdy with a fine finishing radiating an artisan’s personal touch all over it!
A word on price
Price range in the shops in Porto are in the range of 15 euros to 35 euros depending on the design and size. When you buy them from the country of its origin, it is guaranteed that you got a good deal as I discovered a designer from Portugal selling them through Instagram shop at 69-79 euros per bag. Unbelievable, right!? So, naturally at the local cost only, you have the chance to jump into the bag-wagon of your Portuguese escapade like I did by getting not only 1 or 2 but 3 in total. It is perfectly fine when you will brag about this bag in your next status update on Instagram or Facebook.
No. 1 Handmade straw shopping basket with brown leather handles and crochet & lace details.
Price: 25 Euro
Where to shop? Claudia Castanheira in the Rua de 31 de Janeiro, Porto, Portugal
No. 2 Handmade woven raffia tote with leather hold-on
Price: 15 Euro
Where to shop?Indigo Bazaar at Estr. de Santa Eulália 11, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
No. 3 Hand-woven reed with willow handle
Price: 16.50 Euro.
Where to shop? A handicraft and souvenir shop (can’t remember the name) around The Cube near the Ribeira – the main promenade along the river Douro in Porto, Portugal