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Festivals in the Algarve

09/03/2013

Food & Drink Festivals

The Algarve life involves celebrating not just the religious holidays but also the fine food and drink of the region. As the exact date can vary a little, double check with local tourist offices, or the local paper. This is a time to eat the real Portuguese cuisineamongthe locals! Festivals of the Smoked Sausage A mix of pagan ritual and religious celebration where an auction of smoked sausage takes place in homage to Sao Luis, the patron saint of animals with proceeds going to charity. Largo do Igreja (Church Square), Querenca. last weekend in January, Best to check local paper for exact date. Seafood Festival Folk music and dancing add further flavour to the unimaginable collection of seafood delicacy including octopus, squid, clams, prawns, mussels and grilled sardines. Not to be missed by seafood fans! Jardim Patrao Joaquim Lopes, Olhao, by the Spanish bank.
August 10-15. Sardines Festival Grilled sardines takecenterstage with a massive set-up on the beach. Quarteira. August, Portimo late July Silves Beer Festival A ten-day drinking spree offering a large and often exotic collection. Fabrica do Ingles showground, Silves. 1st week in July Sweet Fair Sculpted egg, almond and fig sweets are sold along with other local produce. Lagos. July. Presunto Festival The place to try cured hams, in the town famous for them in Monchique. 

Music & Cultural Festivals

For a small area the sound is big! Many Portuguese with are very interested in music, traditional dance and traditional bands. If you have a chance catch one of these festivals.

Festivals in the Algarve

Algarve International Music Festival A prestigious arts festival with music, song and dance performances ranging including jazz, ballet, choral ensembles and melancholic Fado. Various regional venues. June and July. National Folklore Festival Lively troops of dancers and musicians from across Portugal descend on the region for two weeks of spirited performances. Various regional venues. Mid September. Loule International Jazz Festival Local and international jazz performers play on weekends to many interested fans. Loule. Throughout July. Feira do Carmo Faro town fair with handicrafts, live entertainment and a boat parade. Faro. July. Alte Week of Arts and Culture Live shows, brass bands and folk dancing are accompanied by a grand picnic. May. Algarve International Cinema Festival Both international and Portuguese films shown. Cinemas.. Throughout May.

City & Street Festivals

Loulé Carnival One of the biggest, brightest and boldest street parties in Portugal, a three-day event of float processionals with costumes, masks and dance.Most small towns have a parade but the big party is in Loul town centre. Last week before Lent. Timing various with Easter. City Festival Tavira's municipal holiday which includes a riot of coloured paper flowers, evergreen myrtle, sizzling sardines, dancing andrevelrywell into the night.Tavira town centre. June 24-25. Festa de Santos Populares Street parties celebrating the popular saints of Antonio, Joao an Pedro. Tavira town centre. June 12-13, 24-25 and 28-29. Feira de Santa Iria, Largo de So Francisco A week of craft stalls, bumper cars, music and daily festivities. Faro. October.

Religious & Historical Festivals

Festivals in the Algarve

Mae Soberena The Algarve's most important religious festival, where on Easter Sunday, a 16th century statue of Mae Soberena is carried into town from her hill top shrine where she rests for two weeks. The return processional is much more joyous than the former subdued event and flowers and cries of "Viva Mae Soberena" fill the air. Loule town centre. Easter Sunday. Atacar o Maio Literally means "attacking May" when May 1st is celebrated with dried figs and brandy accompanied by folk music. Some areas also have evening torchlight processionals and fireworks. Throughout the Algarve. May 1st. Medieval Fair A spectacular pageant in the grounds of a 13th century castle with food, jousting, music and banter. At night, actors in period costumes recreate medieval plays to a hushed audience. Castro Marim. August 31-September 2.

Agricultural Fairs

Fatacil The premier showcase for all things Algarve, this nine-day festival is part agricultural show, part handicrafts fair, with music, trade exhibition and gastronomy festival thrown in for good measure. Fatacil showground. EN 125 Lagoa. Last 10 days of August.

Seasonal Events

Almond Blossoms Thespectacularblossoming of the almond trees is know as the 'snow' of the Algarve. Vila Real, Guadiana.All along the country roads of the Algarve, especially the road to Monchique. January and February. With all these festivals, fairs and cultural events, it would be fun to pack one or two into your busy schedule.