The Algarve has a great programme of events throughout the year, from traditional weekly markets to famous annual events. There are fireworks and parties for New Year, carnivals at Mardi Gras and during the summer months the list of Algarve events is endless!
Algarve sports events attract spectators and competitors from all over the world and include golf, powerboat racing, kitesurfing, surfing, sailing, cycling, tennis and, with the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve race track near Portimão, there are various motorsport events on the calendar.
The Algarve has plenty on offer for art and music lovers too with cultural events throughout the year - there are art galleries in nearly every town with constantly changing exhibitions from both international and local artists as well as concerts, theatre productions and dance shows.
There are also local festivals and fairs - gastronomy festivals to sample the local delicacies; craftwork fairs demonstrating the skills of local artisans like lace-makers, ceramic artists and basket makers and then historical festivals recreating medieval times and celebrating the Voyages of the Discoveries for which the western Algarve is famous.
Algarve Events May 2016
The May 2016 Algarve events calendar is packed with taste bud tickling food festivals and wine tasting, nature, amazing markets, sand sculptures, sport, theatre and much more!
- 13th Seafood Festival in Tavira: This is definitely a not-to-be-missed Algarve event, with selected restaurants in Tavira laying on traditional Algarvian dishes for most of May (6th to 29th) and what could be better than soaking up the sunshine in a beautiful town with plate of damn fine local cuisine!
- Rota do Petisco - “Tidbits Route”: May sees the start of another great Algarve food festival, taking us on a 5 month journey through the delights of Portuguese “Petiscos”; savoury bites (like the Spanish have Tapas) and they slip down so easily, especially with a glass or two of wine. The route starts in Lagos throughout May and it’s just 3€ for a Petisco dish and a drink and 2€ for a traditional dessert.
- 8th Portuguese Wine Show: Now this is right up our street! For 4 days wine lovers will be given the chance to sample some of the best Portuguese wines, from regions across the country! Not only that, there’s cooking shows dedicated to the Mediterranean diet, workshops, commentated tasting sessions and more! This highly quaffable event is held at the “Espaço Multiusos” in Albufeira, 6-9th May.
- Lota Cool Market: With the perfect setting at the Portimão riverfront and old fish market (Antiga Lota de Pesca) the market is all about the coolest trends of Portugal’s contemporary handicrafts, design and food. With exhibitors from across the country and many up and coming youngsters, without a doubt there’s going to be some super cool stuff to buy! The market runs from 4pm to midnight 28th May and 12pm to 6pm 29th May.
- Algarve Nature Week: An event to uncover the secrets of the Natural Algarve, with exhibitions and outdoor activities such as walking, bird watching, donkey rides, cycling and boat trips. Great fun for all the family and it takes place in Quarteira 13th to 15th May and entry is free!
To see more about what’s going on check out the Visit Algarve May Events 2016 brochure; also don't forget to pop into your local tourist information office when you arrive to make sure you don’t miss out on anything!
Algarve markets are always popular and they are a great place to soak up the local culture. The biggest and best known are the Saturday morning gypsy market in Loulé and the Wednesday morning market in Quarteira, where you can buy everything from lace to pots and pans! Most towns and villages have their own local daily markets for really fresh (and cheap) local produce as well as a monthly gypsy market, so there is nearly always somewhere close by if you can't resist a bargain!
- Gipsy / Flea Market on the street 'Rua da Escolas' (near the municipal canteen) on the 3rd Saturday of every month
- Market twice a month in Caliços on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month
- Monthly market in Pereiro: In front of the church, on the 4th Sunday of every month
- Monthly market in Vaqueiros: (Exit to Bentos), on the 2nd Thursday of every month
- Monthly market near 'Igreja Nova' (the "new" church) on the 3rd Monday of every month.
- Market twice a month near the school in Almancil on the 1st and 4th Sunday of every month
Castro Marim market:
- Monthly market at the town marketplace on the 2nd Saturday of every month
- Monthly market in Estói: Near the food market ("Mercado Abastecedor") on the 2nd Sunday of every month
- Gipsy Market in front of Fatacil in Lagoa on the 4th Sunday of every month
- Monthly market in front of Fatacil in Lagoa on the 2nd Sunday of every month
- Monthly market in Ferragudo on the 2nd Sunday of the month
- Monthly market in Estombar at the Fairs and Exhibitions Park on the last Saturday of every month
- Weekly Saturday Farmers Market next to the bus station, 9-1pm.
- Gipsy Market at the municipal stadium (Estádio Municipal) on the 1st Saturday every month
- Cultural Centre (on the street 'Rua da Mata') on the 4th Sunday of every month
- Weekly market on the street called 'Rua da Nossa Senhora da Piedade' every Saturday
- Gipsy / flea market in the square 'Largo dos Chorões' on the 4th Sunday of every month
- Monthly market in the market square 'Largo do Mercado' on the 2nd Friday of every month
- Gipsy / Flea market at Fuzeta (near the camping site) on the 1st Sunday of every month
- Monthly market in Moncarapacho on the street called 'Rua das Olarias' on the 1st Sunday every month
- Gipsy / Flea market at the 'Fairs and Exhibition Park' in Portimão on the 1st Monday and 3rd Sunday every month
- Weekly market in 'Jardim Filipe Jonas' every Wednesday
- Monthly market, in front of the market hall on the 1st Friday of every month
São Brás de Alportel markets:
- Gipsy / Flea Market on the street 'Rua 1.º de Junho' (near the school 'Poeta Bernardo Passos') on the 3rd Sunday of every month
- Weekly Market on the street 'Rua Boaventura Passos' every Saturday
- Gipsy / Flea Market, next to the Cemetery on the 3rd Monday of every month
- Antiques / Gipsy Market on 'Avenida D. Manuel I' (near to the new market hall) on the 1st Saturday every month
- Monthly market on the street 'Rua Vale Caranguejo' on the 3rd Saturday of every month
Vila do Bispo markets:
- Monthly market (in front of the market hall in Vila do Bispo) on the 1st Thursday of every month
- Market in Barão de São Miguel on the 1st Monday of every month
Vila Real de Santo António markets:
- Monthly market in Vila Real in the square 'Praça Marques do Pombal' on the 2nd Saturday of every month
- Monthly market in Monte Gordo (next to Turismo - tourist information office) on the 4th Saturday of every month
- Monthly market in Vila Nova de Cacela, near to the market building on the 3rd Sunday of every month
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Algarve Annual Events
January Events in the Algarve
- Festival of “Chouriças” (Sausages), which is also known as the Festival of S. Luís, the patron saint of animals in Querença .
- Janeiras Festival in Silves. The tradition of the Janeiras (seasonal songs) dates back to ancient times when, at the beginning of each year, the Romans would greet each other to evoke the god Janus who represented the guardian of the gateway to heaven.
February Events in the Algarve
- Carnivals take place across the Algarve on Shrove Tuesday and the preceding weekend. (If Easter is late, this can be in March)
- Cycling Tour of the Algarve (Volta ao Algarve)
March Events in the Algarve
- Festival of Hot bread and fresh cheese (Feira do Pão Quente e Queijo Fresco) in Vaqueiros.
- Traditional Sausage Fair in Monchique
- Gastronomy Festival of the Serra in Tavira (March/April)
April Events in the Algarve
- 'Liberation Day' on April 25th is always a reason for fireworks, music and entertainment in towns across the region.
- Vodafone Rally of Portugal - Algarve Stadium is the base for the event with superspecial stages at the beginning and close of the rally (sometimes takes place in May)
- Baja Terras d’El Rei ( off road championships) - various locations
Easter Events in the Algarve
- Folar Fairs across the Algarve with music and entertainment and a chance to try the traditional 'folar' cakes - Easter cakes with hard boiled eggs (complete with shells) on top!
- Flower Torches Festival in São Brás de Alportel on Easter Sunday
- Feast of The Sovereign Mother ('Festa Pequena') in Loulé - a tradition dating from the 16th century.
- Triumphal Procession on Palm Sunday (Sunday before Easter Sunday) in Tavira - This is a religious event that was started in the 18th century by the Carmelite Order of the City of Tavira. The procession consists of decorated litters with gilt woodwork and images depicting the life of Christ from the Mount of Olives to his death.
May Events in the Algarve
- May Day is a day for celebrations and traditionally the festivities include dancing and music as well as heading into the countryside for a picnic lunch.
- May Fair in Azinhal- A chance to see the traditional skills that are typical of the area - bobbin lace, basketwork, embroidery, tapestry and weaving of esparto grass.
- Festa da Pinha (Festival of the Pine Cone) in Estoi - a traditional festival to celebrate spring
- "The Gastronomy of the Sea" - Festival in Tavira
- Snail Festival in Castro Marim
- International sand sculpture festival at Pêra from May to October
June Events in the Algarve
- 'Feira da Terra' (local produce market) in Aljezur on 1st Saturday of each month from June to October
- Handicrafts Fair in Alcoutim
- Popular Saints Festivals across the Algarve celebrating St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter. The warm nights are filled with the aromas of barbecues and grilled sardines as the towns and villages celebrate, often partying until the small hours!
- Portuguese Gastronomy week in Lagoa
- Caldeirada (Fish stew) Festival in Armação de Pêra
- "Pleasures of the Sea" Festival in Aljezur - gastronomy, music, entertainment
- "Festival Med" in Loulé- mediterranean music, gastronomy and handicrafts
July Events in the Algarve
- "Arte Doce" Competition and Fair in Lagos - a wide range of traditional sweets as an art form! Also musical entertainment in the evenings
- Loulé Handicraft Fair
- Fair of the Serra in São Brás de Alportel
- Fair of Traditional Smoked Ham in Monchique
- Algarve International Motorbike meeting in Faro
August Events in the Algarve
- The festival of 'Our Lady of the Oracle' (the patron saint of Albufeira fishermen)
- Municipal Day in Albufeira with lots of entertainment and fireworks
- Vaqueiros Festival (near Alcoutim)
- Burgau Festival
- Barão de S. Miguel festivals
- FATACIL in Lagoa - It is the major fair of handicrafts, tourism, agriculture, business and industry in the Algarve and also includes horse shows, evening entertainment and gastronomy
- Medieval Fair in Silves
- Medieval Fair in Castro Marim
- Sardine Festival in Portimão - live music and entertainment, plus, of course, barbecued sardines!
- Shellfish Festival in Olhão - a major event with live music every night
September Events in the Algarve
- Fishermen's festival at Praia dos Pescadores in Albufeira including a gastronomy festival
- Festival in Alcoutim
- Festival in Martinlongo
October Events in the Algarve
- Santa Iria Fair in Faro - lots of entertainment, fairground rides and stalls at this 400 year old fair.
- Festival in honour of Nossa Senhora da Alva in Aljezur
- Festival and fair in Raposeira
- AgroExpo in Vila do Bispo – A fair of economic activities, tourism, gastronomy, handicrafts and livestock farming. Another essential ingredient is evening entertainment, with plenty of music on four consecutive days
- Partridge Fair in Martim Longo
- Sweet Potato Festival in Aljezur
- Gastronomy fortnight in Almancil
- Portugal Masters in Vilamoura for the golf enthusiasts
- Annual Fair in Monchique
November Events in the Algarve
- St. Martin's Fair in Portimão
- Gastronomy week in Messines
- Casinos do Algarve Rally with stages in Portimão and Monchique
December Events in the Algarve
- Loulé Mountain Fair - The aim of this festival is to enable people to find out more about the diversity and popular culture of the parishes of the “Serra do Caldeirão”. Visitors will be able to get a close up view of handicrafts, a variety of products, gastronomy, ethnography and the traditions of the upland regions.
- Albufeira Christmas Grand Prix - a 9km run and a 3km Father Christmas Walk
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