The Algarve events programme is packed throughout the year, with traditional weekly markets, exhibitions, theatre shows, dance and concerts to a whole host of fantastic annual events! There are huge parties and fireworks at New Year, colourful carnivals at Mardi Gras, world renowned sports events like the Portugal Masters golf tournament and a sizzling summer of beach parties, music events and famous food festivals and medieval fairs. So watch this space for not-to-be-missed Algarve events!
Algarve Events December 2016
Well here we go folks, the festive season is upon us and we’ve got some fantastic December Algarve events to get us in the spirit and the grand finale of New Year’s Eve will be sure to go off with a bang!
Here are just a few calendar highlights, but rest assured, there’s a whole load of festive cheer to enjoy, with Christmas markets, fairs and concerts as well as lights, decorations and merriment across the Algarve!
For more information about Christmas and New Year in the Algarve check out the Visit Algarve December 2016 Events Guide and pop into any tourist information office to make sure you don’t miss out on something!
- Algarve Christmas Markets: There’s nothing that brings festive cheer better than our Algarve Christmas markets and they are the best places for buying decorations, presents and traditional produce!
- Faro Christmas Special Handicraft Fair (3, 4 11, 17 and 18th December)
- Vila Vita, Lagoa (3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18th December)
- Lagos Artesanato handicraft market (1-31st December)
- São Brás de Alportel handicraft showcase (3, 4, 10, 17, 24 and 31st December)
- São Bartolomeu de Messines 1st Christmas Fair (10-11th December)
- “Aldeia Natal” - Christmas Villages in Monte Gordo and Vila Real de Santo António: Enjoy the magic of Christmas in Monte Gordo (in front of the casino) from 1st to 31st December and Vila Real in the square “Praça Marquês de Pombal” until 8th January ’17. As well as decorations, stalls, food and entertainment, Father Christmas will be there and Vila Real will have a skating rink too!
- Giant Nativity Scene of Vila Real de Santo António: This is one of eastern Algarve’s not-to-be-missed Christmas exhibitions with over 4,000 figurines making up the fantastic nativity scene in the António Aleixo Cultural Centre. It is open every day between 3rd December to 8th January 2017 (except New Year’s Day) from 10am-1pm and 2-7pm and costs just 0.50€ to get in.
- Disney in Concert – Magical Music From Movies at Portimão Arena 10th December ’16: Lisbon Film Orchestra once again promises a fabulous night for the whole family to enjoy, with performances of the most famous of the Disney songs by 55 musicians and 4 singers. There will songs from the Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and many more! Tickets cost from 12.50€ for the Stalls and up to 27.50€ for the Seats and can be purchased from the Arena, Teatro Municipal de Portimão (Portimão Theatre) or from participating shops such as FNAC and Worten.
- Natalândia at Zoo Lagos: Christmas in the Algarve isn’t complete without a trip to “Christmas Land” at Zoo Lagos! From the 10th to 31st December ’16 the zoo will be decked out in full festive glory and there will be reindeer, elves and of course, the man himself, Father Christmas! The kids will absolute love it and us big kids too! For more information check out the Zoo Lagos Facebook page
- New Year’s Eve! Without a doubt the biggest event in the Algarve events calendar with DJ’s, parties, special menus and midnight fireworks across the region. Monte Gordo hosts the longest of the parties, spanning 3-4 days along the seafront and Albufeira is notably the most famous! There will be parties and entertainment across the Albufeira municipality with the hotspot being Fishermen’s Beach “Praia dos Pescadores” with performances from AUREA and D.A.M.A! There’s also the “Star Parade” at Praia da Oura (Avenida Sá Carneiro) and the Paderne Medieval Festival 29th December to 1st January 2017. Western Algarve’s Lagos will be welcoming in the New Year with music from “Xutos e Pontapés”, one of Portugal’s best bands! The concert starts at 10.30am in Praça Infante Dom Henrique (Dom Henrique Square) and entry is free.
- 365 Algarve cultural programme – October 2016 to May 2017: For more music, dance, theatre, exhibitions and cultural events check out 365 Algarve - Every Day Counts - Facebook, organised by Turismo de Portugal.
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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