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Festivals in the Algarve

by Sun’s Dragon         

Algarve Carnival Festival

Whether you live in the Algarve, or just come to visit, this southern region of Portugal bursts with colourful local festivals, throughout the year, often featuring traditional dance and music. The larger towns have festivals which have become famous across the country, like the Loulé Carnival in February or the Portimão Sardine Festival in August. 

As well as the well-known festivals there are many more fairs and festivals held in the villages throughout the Algarve and all through the year. It is a good idea to keep your eye out for posters advertising when and where the next festival is to be held. You can also check with your local Junta de Freguesia (Parish council) for local festival information. Sometimes these smaller ones can be more fun simply because local villagers are more likely to encourage you to participate and join the fun!

In addition to traditional festivals celebrating local food, drink and folklore, the Algarve hosts many events and sporting competitions, some of which are huge international affairs, like the Powerboat Grand Prix in Portimão or the Formula 1 Windsurfing competition at Alvor.

Below is a selection of the larger festivals and events for this year, as well as a few of the key annual events next year. Precise dates for Algarve festivals and annual events usually vary from year to year.

January Festival / Event Location Description
TBA Choriça Festival Quarença Making, cooking and eating the famous local sausage. Music and dancing and entertainment
1-24 Charola Everywhere Local singers perform traditional songs and chants all thru the Algarve in pubs, bars, restaurants, streets and malls
25th Burns Night Everywhere Traditional dinner with Haggis and Scottish pipes and dancing
February Festival / Event Location Description
TBA Chocolate Fair Loulé 3 Day event featuring chocolate in all forms
14th Valentine's Day Everywhere Romantic celebration for couples
TBA Mountain Bike Ride Messines 20 or 40 or 60km ride through the mountains.
March Festival / Event Location Description
  Hot Bread & Cheese Festival Vaqueiros Traditionally baked bread in traditional ovens on the street with Fresh cheese stalls - music and dancing 
  Carnival Loulé The big Brazilian-style carnival
  Carnival Everywhere Throughout the Algarve in towns and villages - check your local Junta for details
  Traditional Sausage Fair Monchique Made from Black Pig
8th International Women's Day Everywhere Various events each year
17th St. Patrick's Day Everywhere Various events each year
  Gastronomy Festival de Serra Tavira Many restaurants taking part.
  Algarve Cup - Women's International Football Different venues for each match Women footballers from all over the world compete for the Algarve Cup each year
  Flamenco Festival Faro 2 day event in Theatres
30th Mother's Day Everywhere Various events
April Festival / Event Location Description
  Palm Sunday Tavira Triumphal Procession
  Good Friday Silves Evening Procession
  Easter Sunday São Brãs Procession of Flower Torches to celebrate Christ's Resurrection
  Easter Sunday Loulé Procession to honor the Patron Saint of the City
  Folar Fairs Everywhere Featuring the Easter Folar traditional cake topped with a hard boiled egg in its shell
  Clams Festival Olhão  
  Cultural Week Alte Different cultural aspects daily including children's entertainment, theatre, local food and music, exhibitions and a dance show plus an annual mountain bike ride. On the last day, another public holiday in Portugal, the grand finale features a folklore festival and a Traditional Wedding at Fonte Grande.
25th Portugal's Liberation Day Everywhere Parties and Fireworks
Apr/May Vodafone Rally of Portugal Algarve Stadium, Faro Special stages at the beginning and close of the rally (sometimes takes place in May)
May Festival / Event Location Description
1st May Day Celebrations Everywhere Traditionally people go on a picnic for this day
2nd Festa da Pinha (Pine Cone Festival) Estoi Horses and palm decorated wagons ride from Estoi to Ludo and back celebrating the Pine Cone.
  Day of the City Vila Real San Antonio Historic parade and Medieval Fair
May - Oct International Sand Sculpture Festival Péra Annual summer event with gigantic sand sculptures
TBA Snail Festival Castro Marim  Restaurants will be taking part
All Month International Music Festival Faro Classical performance from Portuguese Orchestras
June Festival / Event Location Description
  Algarve International Fair Lagoa Trade and entertainment
  Popular Saints Festival (St. Anthony, St. John & St. Peter) Quarteira Held over 3 weeks for 1 day per week. Music, dancing and more. Often through to the early hours of the morning
  Popular Saints Festival (St. Anthony, St. John & St. Peter) Everywhere Check the local Juntas for details
  World Super Bike Championship Motor Park, Portimão Check local press
All month Cataplana Festival Almancil Many restaurants participating
  Festival Prazeres do Mar (Pleasures of the Sea Festival) Aljezur Including music and dancing
  Caldeirada (fish stew) festival Armacão de Péra Including music and dancing
  Med Fest Loulé Two week long music festival
  Portuguese Gastronomy week Lagoa Including music and dancing


Faro annual Motorbike Festival Algarve
Medieval Festival Algarve

July Festival / Event Location Description
18 - 21 Noites de Moura Encatada (Enchanted Nights) Cacela Velha, V.R. de Santo Antonio Medieval festival brings to life the colourful market stalls, gastronomy, music and entertainment of Moorish times.
18 - 21 International Bikers Rally Faro The largest Biker meet outside of the USA, four days of bikes, riding, competitions, rock concerts and more!
19 - 21 Feira do Presunto (cured ham) & Festival do Medronho (Firewater) Monchique Big celebration of local produce and other traditional products, along with music and dancing.
27 - 28 International Jazz festival Loulé Featuring two days and nights of jazz with local and international musicians.
26 - 28 Feira Arte Doce  Lagos Festival of Portuguese sweets and much more
July/Aug Festa de Ria Formosa Faro 10 day Shellfish festival
August Festival / Event Location Description
2 - 11 Silves Medieval Fair Silves Medieval extravaganza with medieval costumes, belly dancers, jugglers, food, 100's of stalls, shows and more.
15 - 25 Fatacil Fair Lagoa Different theme each year. With Agriculture, Horse Show, Entertainment, Home furnishings etc.
20 Municipal Day Albufeira Local Public holiday with sports events, entertainment & fireworks.
22 - 25 Medieval Fair Castro Marim Kings and Queens, Jousting & Jesters, Banquets & Entertainment.
2 - 4 Annual Chicken Fair Guia 3 days of BBQ chicken Portuguese style as well as local food, drinks and sweets.
Last Saturday in August Bi-Annual White Night Festival (2015) Loule Big street party with a white dress code. Everything is white, street entertainers, music and partying - all in white. Bi-annual event on the last Saturday in August.
1 - 11 Festa da Sardinhas Portimao 8 restaurants, 2,500 seats, 3 stages with music, possibly the best sardine festival in the world.  Fireworks to finish.
17 - 25 Faro Folk Festival Faro Opening in Municipal Theatre with gala folk singing & dancing. Daily shows by the docks in Faro.
10 - 15 Shellfish Festival Olhao The biggest & best shellfish festival in the Algarve. Every kind of shellfish and more. Nightly Music. Firework finale.
14 Our Lady of the Oracle Festival Albufeira Mass at the Igrja Matriz followed by a procession to Fisherman's Beach and back, followed by fireworks.
9 - 11 Traditional Arts Fair Parque Urbano, Bensafrim, Lagos Annual traditional arts and handicraft fair with food, drink and music.
8 - 10 Sardine Festival Olhos de Agua, Albufeira Sardines and other local food, drinks and entertainment.
23 Music of the Movies Ocean Course, Vale de Lobo Sounds of the Silver Screen in an open air concert on the 18th hole at sunset.
10 Odiáxere Folklore Festival Odiáxere, Lagos Music, dance & Folklore
29 Festa de Banho  Batata Beach, Lagos Party time where the music is thumping and everyone is dancing. Swimming in the sea at midnight!
August Sounds of the Atlantic Music Festival Senhora da Rocha - Lagoa Concerts, street theatre, handicrafts and gastronomy
September Festival / Event Location Description
6 - 8 Fisherman's Festival Fisherman's Beach, Albufeira Fish galore, traditional & popular music, folklore.  Family time
6 - 7 Festival Adentro Faro Old Town Music from around the world
Sept Formula 1 Windsurfing Alvor Check local press
Sept Grand Prix P1 Powerboat Championship Portimao Check local press
6 - 11 Festa Al Coutim (Festival of Al Coutim Al Coutim Street entertainment, crafts, sports, concert, ball & Fireworks
11 - 15 Agro Expo (Agriculture Fair) Vila do Bispo Economic activities, food, crafts and livestock.
TBC Golden Pigeon Race Monte Gordo International pigeon race from Bragança in the North of Portugal to Monte Gordo in the Algarve. 
Sept Annual Flamenco Festival Lagos Check local press
Sept/Oct Bird Watching Festival Sagres Check local press
October Festival / Event Location Description
Sept/Oct Bird Watching Festival Sagres  
12 - 13 Feira da Perdiz (Partridge Fair) Martin Longo, Alcoutim Games & events, food & music - local fair celebrating the Partiridge
10 -13 Portugal Golf Masters Vilamoura Portugal Masters Golf Tournament - European Tour.
5 - 6 BLiP (Better living in Portugal) Exhibition Portimao The latest news in business, the newest lines in outdoor living, Clinics, Wines & Food.
15 - 26 Feira de Santa Iria Faro Old Town Huge fun fair, including food, drinks, craft stalls and more.
26 - 27 Annual Fair Monchique Town Centre. Last Sunday in October.
5 Republic Day (Public Holiday) Algarve Celebrations in all towns and villages.  Check out Albufeira and Faro
8 Feira de Guia Guia Annual fair with stalls selling handicrafts, porcelain, jewellery, food and drink.  Family time
  Festival Nossa Senorha de Alva Aljezur Check local press
  AgroExpo Vila do Bispo Livestock farming, agriculture, handicrafts, food, toruism - 4 day event
TBC Gastronomy Fortnight Almancil Many restaurants take part 
  Obrigado Portugal Festival Sitio das Fontes, Estomba, Lagoa Where all communities come together to thank the Portuguese for sharing their way of life
  Extreme Mountain Bike Race - MIBA National Championships Sao Bartolomeu de Messines, Silves 3 marathons, 25km, 50km, 85km for amateurs 
November Festival / Event Location Description
1st All Saints Day - Annual Fair Silves Fairground, food entertainment for 4 days.
1st All Saints Day Everywhere Celebrations held throughout the Algarve - check with local Juntas de Freguesia
  St. Martin's Fair Portimao 350 year old Fair!  Roast chestnuts and more traditional foods, crafts and entertainment.
  Gastronomy week Messines Check local press
  Casinos do Algarve Rally Portimao & Monchique Check clube automovel algarve for info
Each Sat. Organ Festival Faro Church organs concerts held one day per week throughout the month
  Chestnut Fairs  Monchique 1 day each for two weeks 
28 - 30 Festival da Batata Doce Aljezur Sweet Potato Festival with a variety of Sweet Potato dishses, handicrafts and entertainment.
December Festival / Event Location Description
14 - 15 Artesanato Fair (Handicraft Fair) Parque de Estacionamento, Lagos Local handicrafts, local food and drink, local entertainment.
28 - 1 Jan Medieval Festival Paderne Archery, Sword fighting, Belly dancing, food, drink and fun.
31 New Years Eve Party Fisherman's Beach, Albufeira Huge party and fireworks at midnight
  The Great Father Christmas Walk Armacão de Péra Organised by the Holiday Inn, wear a Christmas outfit and walk for charity
  Mountain Fair Loule Featuring food and crafts from the whole of the Loulé county. Good for Christmas shopping.
  Christmas Village Tavira Until January - Big Kiddies party as well as fun, games and food
  A Week of Food & Drink São Bartolomeu de Messines, Silves Many restaurants taking part for traditional Algarvean fare.
  Christmas Bike Ride Faro Moto Clube de Faro - charity bike ride giving gifts to the orphans and handing out Bolo Rei and Port in Faro old town.
  Christmas Grand Prix  Albufeira 4km & 8km walk or run in a Christmas outfit
  Swim for Shoes Armacão de Péra Holiday Inn sponsored dip in the sea, in your Christmas outfit, on Christmas Morning.  Raising money for shoes for children in need.
NY Day Swim for Shoes Armacão de Péra Same as Christmas Day, same goal, this time in Pyjamas!

Living in the Algarve brings amazing opportunities to enjoy local culture and a laid-back lifestyle, not to mention over 300 days of glorious sunshine a year. If you’re considering a move, why not check out Algarve property for sale?

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