It's hard to beat a good wander around the shops. The Algarve has a great range of stores, from global brands and large shopping malls to small local stores packed with hand-made items, from gypsy markets to designer outlets.
Traditionally linens, pottery and leather items were the best bargains. That's still true today, but keep an eye out for hand made jewellery, furniture (it can be shipped!), perfumes and gadgets. And don't forget cigarettes and alcohol - the prices are very competitive.