Algarve is a long-time favorite tourist destination for travelers from the UK, Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands. The weather in the region is warm and sunny and rarely gets unseasonably warm or cold. The time of year to expect intermittent shows is between November and February, but even the short rainy season doesn’t interfere with all the fun. Here are the best yearly Algarve events.
One of the reasons that travelers love southern Portugal is for the vibrant festivals featuring colorful costumes, music, and dance. Festivals in the large cities are famous throughout the country, but celebrations held in the small villages can be a lot of fun since the locals encourage visitors to participate. The festivals are a fun way to experience the food, drink, and folklore of Portugal.
One of the best yearly Algarve events that you wouldn’t expect to be celebrated in Portugal is Robert Burns Night. On January 25th, Scotland’s National Poet Robert Burns is celebrated with traditional Scottish dishes, dancers, and bagpipe music. Burns, known as “the people’s poet,” is celebrated throughout Portugal, where many Scottish people immigrated after his death. Burns Night features neaps (turnips), haggis, and plenty of Scottish whisky.Sharing traditions from other countries and celebrating many cultures is part of life in Algarve.
The Loule Festival in March is a big carnival like those celebrated in Brazil before Lent, that lasts for several days and features parades, elaborate floats and costumes, parties and street fairs, and other events. The Loule Carnival is the oldest celebration of its kind in Portugal and may be the oldest. Thousands of people arrive in Loule to party before the 40 days of Lent. The party begins on Avenida Jose da Costa Meahla with a carnival for the children. The celebrations continue until Shrove Tuesday with Brazilan dance groups, spectacular floats, and thousands of people who come to celebrate, drink, and dance. You can get cheap flights to Faro airport to celebrate.
If you can’t make it to the Loule Carnival but will be in the area at the end of the summer, you won’t want to miss the Festival of White Night or Noite Branca. Loule locals and tourists arrive in town all dressed in white, representing princesses and princes, fantasy creatures, and demons. The festival is a night of music and dance to celebrate the end of summer.
Holy Week and Easter
In March and April, Holy Week and Easter are celebrated. The date differs each year, depending on when Ash Wednesday falls. Holy Week is commemorated throughout Portugal. Most of the activities are centered around prayer. However, there are some activities for children. Religious celebrations are important in the lives of the people of Algarve, and Easter is one of the most prominent religious holidays of the year. The Triumphal Procession which was started in the 18th-century by the Carmelites is held in Tavira on Palm Sunday, and on Good Friday, an Evening Procession takes place in Silves. On Easter Sunday, processions to celebrate the Resurrection are commemorations in various cities.
Although the urban centers of Portugal feature festivals and events all year, some of the most colorful celebrations take place in the smaller towns and villages. In April, Cultural Week is celebrated in Alte. The festivities include a mountain bike ride, a dance show, exhibits, regional food, entertainment for children, and theater. On the final night, the Folklore Festival and Traditional Portuguese Wedding at Fonte Grande are the highlights. Make sure to extend your holiday through the 25th for the celebration of Portugal Liberation Day, complete with spectacular fireworks.
International Sand Sculpture Festival
Between May and October, Pera hosts the Sand Sculpture Festival, an annual event with amazing sand sculptures. Every year, sand sculptors from all over the world come to Pera to create Sand City, the largest city sculpted of sand in the world. Family activities at the festival include:
– Video Presentations
You can even watch sculptors at work to see the techniques they use.
Portimão Sardine Festival
The Sardine Festival is one of the biggest in Portugal, celebrating the country’s favorite fish. Every day a parade leads the way to the festival. Other types of fish along with traditional Portuguese foods are available. Famous chefs offer demonstrations, and festival goers can samples wines form some of the best Portuguese wineries. A children’s playground is available, and vendors sell local handcrafts. Each night there’s a party atmosphere with live entertainment and a brilliant fireworks display on the final night.
Silves Medieval Fair
The Silves Medieval Fair in August is an opportunity to step back in time and live the life of a Medieval lady or knight. Rent a costume to get into the spirit of the festival. Foods and drinks of the era are available. Attend an exciting jousting tournament and watch knights compete. Vendor stalls feature Middle Eastern handcrafts and goods. Come for an afternoon or evening and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Bring the children along because they enjoy the summer evenings and activities as much as adults. The fair runs for nine days.
Fatacil Fair in Lagoa
The Fatacil Fair in Lagoa began as a country fair and is one of the biggest events in the area. Besides the livestock and horse shows, the event hosts a wine fair to sample vintages from local vineyards. Purchase wines and liqueurs from local distilleries as gifts for Christmas. Carnival-style food is available, and local craftsmen sell traditional crafts including lace, jewelry, and wood products. Each night, musical groups provide live entertainment. The Fatacil Fair is in August.
International Literature Festival
In September, lit.ALGARVE is held in towns and cities from Aljezur to Tavira. Visitors have the opportunity to participate by sharing their poetry and being judged by the audience. Events include debates, workshops and meetups with authors. Film showings, recitals, and concerts are part of the festivities. Many of the restaurants and hotels hold culinary events and author read some of their works and sign copies of their books. When you plan a trip to Portugal, hotels in Algarve offer ideal accommodations for families, groups, and couples. The hotels feature traditional style and the finest hospitality. Wander through villages with cobblestone streets, explore secluded coves, and experience a subdued nightlife in the evenings. The region offers an abundance of outdoor activities for families with children. Make our reservations early, especially if you plan to travel to Portugal for Carnival. Thank you for visiting Faro Airport Transfers and for reading the Faro Airport Transfers Blog.