Mercado dos Lavradores is an authentic farmer’s market. Every day crowds of tourists visit this place. It has a great choice of local flowers, fruits, and vegetables as well as freshly caught sea fish. So, if you are interested in finding exotic ripe tropical fruits and fresh veggies, let’s see what hides inside!

In November 2020 the market will celebrate its 80th anniversary. It was designed by Edmundo Tavares. Large panels of tiles are painted with regional themes.

The space inside is organized into big open “patio” in the middle and small squares and streets closer to the perimeter. This type of construction protects from the summer midday sun.

Mercado dos Lavradores
Busy morning in Farmers Market

At the market entrance, you’ll find different flowers for sale. All flowers are seasonal.

Mercado dos Lavradores facade
Old lady sales flowers at the Market’s entrance, Funchal, Madeira

Fruit section

We go inside and on the right, we see exotic fruits with the price of an old car.

Tour to tropical fruits
Fresh ripe exotic tropical fruits at Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal, Madeira

If you see very organized shelves with some unknown fruits for you, that is the place I am talking about. I would not recommend buying there. If you are offered to try, please do. Usually, it is free of charge. Locals buy everything inside the patio. And you will notice a difference in prices for sure!

Virtual tour to market
Passion fruits and banana-passion fruits on shelves at Farmers’ Market in Funchal, Madeira

While farmers’ markets are booming in cities, actual rural market towns are in decline.”

– Jasmine Guinness

Tropical fruits in baskets
The tour to fresh ripe exotic tropical fruits at Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal, Madeira

All kind of vegetables is also presented here. Because of its mild climate, in Madeira we have fresh locally produced vegetables all year round.

Vegetables in farmers market
Big variety of vegetables in Mercado dos Lavradores

We continue exploring Mercado dos Lavradores and go to the next premise.

Fish section

It looks the way it should. Piles of freshly caught fish, blood, fish guts. The Witches’ market in La Paz (Bolivia) looks scarier.

Fish guts
Cut heads of the black scabbardfish at fish section of Mercado dos Lavradores

Here, in front of you, some sellers clean just caught tuna fish. Some sellers cut Espada preto fish (black scabbardfish).

Espada preto at Mercado dos Lavradores
Cleaning of the black scabbard fish at fish section of Mercado dos Lavradores

Let food be the medicine and medicine be the food.”

– Hippocrates

If you prefer not to know how the real fish section in a market looks like, it is better not to enter this side. Some scenes are only for brave people. I met one of the fish cleaners from Camara de Lobos there, who was able to hold ten 1 meter tall black scabbard fishes on his hands!

10 espada pretos fishes
A fish cleaner holds 10 black scabbardfishes on his hands at fish section of Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal, Madeira

Just look at the teeth of the fish!

5 espada preto fishes
A fish cleaner holds 5 black scabbardfishes on his hand at fish section of Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal, Madeira

Imagine some of their teeth inside your arm. And the weight! One fish is about several kilos. He cleaned thousands of black scabbardfishes. He is a pro at his trade.

Fish market Funchal
Cutting tuna fish in Mercado dos Lavradores, Funchal, Madeira

If you stand and watch attentively over the fish side of the market for a minute or two, you’ll notice that some sellers have more local customers that the others. So, it’s better to get your fish there. It is going to be fresh for sure.

fish at Mercado dos Lavradores
Espada preto fish on ice waiting for the buyers at Farmers’ Market in Funchal