What’s on in the Algarve? 70+ Algarve Events Happening This Year

organiser calendar

Although it might seem quiet sometimes (particularly in the winter), there’s almost always something going on in the Algarve. Whether it’s a food festival, a sporting event, or a religious holiday, you’d be surprised at how many things there are to see and do here.

The month-by-month guide below highlights some of the most popular and most interesting events in the Algarve. If you’re interested in visiting some of the Algarve’s fresh produce, handicraft, and flea markets, be sure to read the separate article on markets in the Algarve, which lists the days and times that they are open.

It’s recommended that you double-check any dates, times, or event locations in this article. It is often difficult to get accurate information about events happening on the Algarve, particularly dates and times, but this article will hopefully serve as a starting point. 

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January events on the Algarve

Like anywhere, January can be a quiet month on the Algarve as everyone recovers from the Christmas break. That doesn’t mean the Algarve is completely dead, though: there are a few festivals and celebrations like the Festa das Chouriças in Querença or Encontro de Janeiras in Silves happening across the region.

Festa das Chouriças

  • Food & Religious Festival | Takes place in: Querença

Querença, a small town near Loulé in the Eastern Algarve, comes to life to celebrate St Luis, the protector of animals. To honour him, the town cooks chouriço sausages, holds a parade, and hosts live music acts.

Festa das Chouriças usually takes place in the second half of the month in Querença.

Encontro de Janeiras, Silves

  • Cultural | Takes place in: Silves

Local music groups (Charolas) gather in Silves to sing traditional songs (Janeiras) that celebrate the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the three kings and to wish everyone a Happy New Year. It’s traditional to give the group something when they finish their songs, usually chocolate, cured meats, nuts, fruit, or cake. It’s a little like Christmas caroling but, rather than taking place in December before Christmas, it takes place in January.

This custom happens throughout the Algarve during January, but Silves on January 5th is one of the best places to see this tradition in action.

Encontro de Janeiras usually takes place on January 5th in Silves town centre. For more information, visit the Municipio Silves Facebook page

Al Mutamid Music Festival

  • Musical & Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Across the Algarve

The Al Mutamid Music Festival celebrates the Moorish period on the Algarve and Spain, and that music that existed during that time. If you’re interested in history or world music, this is a great opportunity to hear music from that period. Concerts usually take place in several locations across the Algarve, so have a look to see what’s nearby.

The Al Mutamid Music Festival normally takes place in the second half of January, but has also taken place in February before. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page

Public holidays in January

  • January 1st: New Year’s Day

February events on the Algarve

Like January, February is a quiet month on the Algarve although, depending on when Easter falls, it can be the month when one of the Algarve’s best festivals takes place. Carnival in Loulé may not have the glitz and glamour of Carnival in Loulé, but don’t let that stop you. This is a great little festival, and absolutely worth attending to see the Carnival that most people have never heard of.

Semana do Chocolate

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Loulé

Every year, Loulé hosts its annual Feira do Chocolate (chocolate Festival) or Semana do Chocolate (week of chocolate). The event normally takes place at Loulé market in Praça da República, and usually runs for around a week. Expect plenty of stalling selling gourmet chocolates, as well as chocolate fountains, bonbons and truffles, and just about everything else chocolate related.

Semana do Chocolate normally takes place in the second half of February. For more information, check the events section of Mercado de Loulé’s Facebook page.

Volta ao Algarve

  • Sporting Event | Takes place in: Across the Algarve

The Algarve equivalent of the Tour de France, this event sees cyclists cover more than 690 kilometres across the region. This event attracts cyclists from all over the world and, if you’re a fan of the sport and in the Algarve, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see a race like this up close.

Dates vary for Volta ao Algarve, but the event normally takes place in the second half of February. Visit voltaaoalgarve.com for dates and more information. 

Carnival

  • Cultural Event | Takes place in: Loulé

Carnival in Loulé is the same celebration that takes place in Rio de Janeiro, although admittedly on a much smaller scale. Expect dancing, street food, and of course a big parade with floats and live music.

Carnival can take place in February or March, depending on when Easter falls that year. 

Public Holidays in February

  • Good Friday (can be in March, depending)
  • Easter Sunday  (can be in March, depending)

March events on the Algarve

As March comes round, the Algarve has woken up and the calendar of events is looking a lot fuller. There are several local food festivals which celebrate important regional ingredients, like the Feira dos Enchidos in Monchique which focuses entirely on sausages, and these festivals are a great way to really get a taste for these Portuguese ingredients.

Feira dos Enchidos

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Monchique

The Feira dos Enchidos (sausage festival) takes place every year around the beginning of March in Monchique. Naturally, sausages are a big focus of this food festival, but that’s not all you should expect: there’ll also be cooking workshops and entertainment, and the event will also focus on other traditional foods like regional breads and medronho (local spirit).

Feira dos Enchidos normally takes place during the 1st weekend in March. 

Feira do Pão Quente e Queijo Fresco 2018, Vaqueiros

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Vaqueiros-Alcoutim

The Feira do Pão Quente e Queijo Fresco (Hot Bread & Cheese Festival) is a food festival that focuses on bread and cheese, so expect several stalls selling freshly-baked bread and cheese as well as stalls selling handicrafts and pottery.

This event normally takes place on 2nd Sunday in March, but it’s worth double checking for more information. 

Festival of International Music (FIMA)

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Across the Algarve

The Festival of International Music runs from March until May, with performances from both Portuguese and international artists. There’s a large focus on classical music, but you can also expect world music and dance performances.

For more information about FIMA, as well as dates, and tickets, visit fima.com.pt/en

Carnival, Loulé

  • Cultural Event | Takes place in: Loulé

Carnival (yes, like the one in Rio) can take place in either March or February, depending on when Easter falls. More detailed information can be under the February Events section.

FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival, Pêra

  • Cultural Event | Takes place in: Pêra

The FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival normally runs from March until October, showcasing the work of artists from all over the world. Every year, artists build giant sandcastles based on that year’s theme which in previous years has been music, mythology, Hollywood films and characters, and wonders of the world.

For ticket prices, dates, and more information, visit fiesa.org.

Vodafone Rally de Portugal

  • Sporting Event | Takes place in: Across the Algarve

The Vodafone Rally de Portugal normally takes place between March and June, and the month often changes from year-to-year. The rally, which previously took place in the North of Portugal, has been voted “The Best Rally in the World” five times since launching in 1967.

For more information, tickets, and dates, visit the Rally de Portugal’s Facebook page

Algarve Cup

  • Sporting Event | Takes place in: Stadiums across the algarve

The Algarve Cup (sometimes called the Mini FIFA Women’s World Cup) is one of the biggest event in women’s football, with teams from all over the world competing here. Games take place at stadiums across the Algarve.

For more information, fixtures, and tickets, check out the Algarve Cup’s Twitter page

Public Holidays in March

  • Good Friday (can be in April, depending)
  • Easter Sunday  (can be in April, depending)

April events on the Algarve

April is a great month for classical and world music in the Algarve, as the region plays host to the Festival of International Music, Festival Al-Buhera, and Alte’s Cultural Week. April 25th meanwhile celebrates “Liberation Day” or “Freedom Day”, the day the Portuguese overthrew Oliveira Salazar’s dictatorship. Essentially, this is one of the best months for culture vultures to visit the Algarve.

Festival de Gastronomia Serrana

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Tavira and nearby

The Festival de Gastronomia Serrana (Mountain Gastronomy Festival) celebrates the mountainous gastronomy of the Algarve. Several restaurants in Tavira and the surrounding villages put on special menus that showcase traditional dishes from the interior Algarve.

This event normally takes place in April, but has started in March before. 

Semana Cultural de Alte, Alte

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Alte

Semana Cultural de Alte (Alte Cultural Week) is a celebration of rural Algarve life, and the festival has been running for more than 20 years. Expect a craft and regional produce market, demonstrations of local traditions and gastronomy, traditional music, fado, and lots of people dressed in traditional dress.

Semana Cultural de Alte normally takes place during the last week of April. 

Liberation Day (25th April)

  • National Holiday | Takes place in: Across the Algarve

The 25 of April is a big day in the Portuguese calendar, and marks the day that Salazar’s Estado Novo dictatorship was overthrown. This military coup was bloodless (known as the Carnation Revolution ) and it brought nearly 50 years of the autocratic rule to an end.

There are celebrations throughout Portugal, including towns across the Algarve like Albufeira, Faro, and Lagos where there are fireworks and street performances. In Faro, celebrations usually start on the 24th and continue through the 25th.

Festival Al-Buhera

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Albufeira

The Festival Al-Buhera is an Arabic-themed restaurant that takes place in Albufeira each year that has a large focus on music, but also crafts and gastronomy. The event normally takes place in April each year in Albufeira’s Praça dos Pescadores.

For more information and dates, visit Festival Al-Buhera’s Facebook page.

Vodafone Rally de Portugal

This event normally takes place between March and June, with the month changing from year-to-year. See March Events for more information.

FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival

Runs from March to October. See March Events for more information.

Public Holidays in April

  • April 25th: Liberation Day

May events on the Algarve

May usually sees quiet a variety of unique events taking across the Algarve and, depending on your interests, there’s hopefully something there for you to look forward to. Nature lovers probably do the best here with two events to look forward to: Algarve Nature Week and the Festa da Pinha (pine cone festival) both happening this month. Brave foodies have the chance to join locals and celebrate caracois (snails), one of the region’s most popular specialties, at the snail festival in Castro Marim.

Algarve Nature Week

  • Nature Event | Takes place in: Across the Algarve

A week of outdoor activities in the Algarve including bird-watching, dolphin and whale watching tours, and hot air ballooning.

For more information about Algarve Nature Week, visit algarvenatureweek.pt

Vila Vita Fine Wines & Food Fair

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Porches

The Vila Vita Fine Wines & Food Fair is one of the most extravagant food fairs not just in Portugal, but across Europe. Over the course of a week, world-class chefs and wine producers visit the Algarve to put on extravagant fine dining experiences and wine tastings at Vila Vita. For foodies, especially those that enjoy high-end gastronomy, this is an event that’s definitely not to be missed.

The Fine Wines & Food Fair normally takes place on the 2nd or 3rd week in May, around the middle of the month. For more information, including a program of events and a list of participating chefs, visit finewinesfoodfair.com.

Day of the City, Vila Real Santo Antonio

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Vila Real Santo Antonio

Normally consisting of a parade and a medieval fair, the Day of the City festivities normally take place. The city as founded in 1774 by the Marques de Pombal, and the parade celebrates what life in Vila Real Santo Antonio has been like since there. As well as the parade and medieval fair, there are normally also stalls selling locally-made food products and handicrafts.

Day of the City normally takes place on May 13th. 

Lagos Half Marathon, Lagos

  • Sporting Event | Takes place in: Lagos

Lagos Half Marathon is a popular event for local Portuguese runners. The event starts and ends in Lagos marina, passing through Lagos city centre and beside some of the beaches near Lagos. As well as the half marathon, there’s usually a mini marathon (typically 5-8 km) as well.

Lagos Half Marathon usually takes place on the 1st Sunday of May. Finding information about this event is often difficult, but it’s usually posted on Facebook

Festa da Pinha, Estoi

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Estoi

Festa da Pinha translates as festival of the pine cone, but don’t worry: there’s a bit more to this festival than just pine cones.

The main focus of the festival is the parade which takes place in the morning in Estoi. Participants dress up in a traditional costume consisting of black trousers, white shirts, and red neckerchiefs, and set off for Ludo where they’ll have lunch before returning to Estoi later that afternoon. As they leave, the parish church bells are run and spectators shout “Viva a Pinha”, which means long live the pine cone.

As well as a parade, there’s normally a BBQ in the afternoon, stalls selling locally-made food products and handicrafts, and a competition for the best-decorated tractor.

Festa da Pinha, Estoi usually takes place in the very beginning of May. For more information about this festival, visit festadapinha.blogspot.com

Festival Internacional do Caracol, Castro Marim

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Castro Marim

For brave foodies, this is a chance to sample a very traditional Portuguese dish: snails. The snails are cooked in boiling water, and then served with with salt, olive oil, and oregano.

Previously this festival was called the Festival do Caracol but, in recent years, the focus has moved away from just snails and now there are a few other international foods that you can sample as well hence the change to the Festival Internacional do Caracol. As well as food, there’s also live music, crafts, and kid’s activities.

Snails are a seasonal dish, and this event may take place in May, June, or July. 

Festival of International Music (FIMA), Faro

Runs from March to October. See March Events for more information about FIMA.

FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival

Runs from March to October. See March Events for more information about FIESA.

Vodafone Rally de Portugal

This event normally takes place between March and June, with the month changing from year-to-year. See March Events for more information.

Public Holidays in May

  • May 1st: Labour Day (or May Day)
  • May 31st: Corpus Christi

Read more about the Algarve in May

June events on the Algarve

Although May and April can often be warm, June is officially the first month of summer. Along with September, this is a good month to visit the Algarve as temperatures aren’t quite as high as they are in July and August and the Algarve isn’t quite as busy either.

In terms of events, it’s also a great month to visit. There are several great events taking place across the Algarve including food and drink festivals like the Castro Marim Festa da Cataplana, the caldeirada festival in Armação de Pêra, and Festival Prazeres do Mar in Aljezur. June 10th, Dia de Portugal, is also a big day in the Portuguese Calendar and it celebrates the day writer Luís de Camões died in 1580 (as nobody knows what day he was born on).

June 10th: Dia de Portugal

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Nationwide

June 10th is Dia de Portugal or Portugal Day, a public holiday across Portugal. Rather than celebrated a specific battle, Portugal Day celebrates Portugal’s favourite poet: Camões. There are celebrations across the whole of the Algarve, including Albufeira where there’s normally a free concert in the evening at Largo dos Paços do Concelho square.

Every year, a different Portuguese city hosts the official Portugal Day celebrations. This has been Faro at least once, so it’s always worth checking to see which city is celebrating it this year.

Carvoeiro Black & White Night

  • Summer Festival | Takes place in: Carvoreiro

Carvoeiro’s Black & White Night normally takes place in Carvoreiro Town Centre and across Carvoreiro’s beach (Largo da Praia). Expect live music, DJs, and a big summer party atmosphere.

Black & White Night normally takes place on a Saturday in June towards the middle of the month (usually around the 16th). For more information, dates, and times, visit facebook.com/carvoeironoite

Castro Marim Festa da Cataplana (Cataplana Festival)

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Castro Marim

The Castro Marim Festa da Cataplana celebrates the popular Algarve dish and cooking pot with the same name: the cataplana. During the month, participating restaurants in Casto Marim put on special menus featuring traditional and modern cataplana dishes.

Marchas e Santos Populares

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Portimão

Marchas e Santos Populares is a traditional festival that takes place in Portimão and features parades, costumes, and lots of grilled sardines.

Festival MED, Loulé

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Loulé

Festival MED is a multi-day world music and culture festival that takes place in Loulé at the start of the summer. As well as music, expect dance performances, street theatre, food stalls, a handicrafts market, and special menus from participating Loulé restaurants.

Festival MED normally takes place towards the end of June. For more information about Festival Med, including dates and times, visit the Festival Med Facebook page.

Silves Beer Fest

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Silves

Silves Beer Fest is a small beer festival that takes place at Praça Al-Mutamid in the moorish town of Silves. There are normal around 50 different types of beer that you can sample, both from Portuguese and international producers.

Fore more information about Silves Beer Fest, visit the Silves Beer Festival Facebook page. Source:

Festival da Caldeirada e do Mar

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Armação de Pêra

Similar to the cataplana festival, the annual Festival da Caldeirada e do Mar (fish stew and sea) Festival in Armação de Pêra celebrates the caldeirada, a popular Algarve dish. Participating restaurants in Armação de Pêra put on special caldeirada dishes for the festival, and there is often live music in the streets as well.

Festival da Caldeirada e do Mar normally takes place towards the start of June. 

FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival

Runs from March to October. See March Events for more information.

Vodafone Rally de Portugal

This event normally takes place between March and June, with the month changing from year-to-year. See March Events for more information.

Public Holidays in June

  • June 10th: Portugal Day
  • Corpus Christi: Thursday, date varies. 60 days after Easter Sunday. It is religion based.

Read more about the Algarve in June

July events on the Algarve

July is a warm and busy month on the Algarve, with plenty of events taking place across the region including food festivals like Festa da Ria Formosa and Feira Arte Doce, music festivals like the International Jazz Festival in Loulé, and more unique festivals like the International Bikers Rally in Faro which is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Noites de Moura Encantada (Enchanted Nights)

  • Cultural Event | Takes place in: Cacela Velha

Noites de Moura Encantada (Enchanted Nights) takes you back in time to when the Algarve lived under Moorish rule. There’s a traditional market (souk), crafts, bellydancing, and lots of traditional music.

Usually takes place in the second half of July, but has taken place in August in the past as well. For more information, including dates, visit the event’s Facebook page

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas

  • Cultural Event | Takes place in: Lagoa

Although there are plenty of markets in the Algarve, Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas (Market of Cultures by Candlelight) is unique in that it’s lit up by more than 12,000 candles. Expect stalls selling locally-made products as well as gourmet food.

Mercado de Culturas à Luz das Velas normally takes place around the start of July. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

International Bikers Rally

  • Cultural Event | Takes place in: Faro

The International Bikers Rally has been taking place in Faro for more than 30 years, and is one of the largest rallies of its kind. As well as the biker parades, there’s also live music from international metal bands, fairs, and competitions.

The rally normally takes place between July 17th and 20th. For more information, visit motoclubefaro.pt

Alameda Beer Festival

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Faro

The Alameda Beer Festival is the largest beer festival in the Algarve, and there are normally more than 100 different types of beer to try. Entry is free, and the event normally takes place in the evenings (from around 17:00) at Jardim da Alameda in Faro.

The Alameda Beer Festival normally takes place around the start of July. More information, including dates, can be found on the event’s Facebook page

Feira do Presunto

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Monchique

The Feira do Presunto celebrates presunto, Portugal’s equivalent of jamón or prosciutto. Presunto is made in Monchique, so naturally there’s a big focus on presunto from Monchique but there’s also normally presunto from other parts of Portugal like Castelo Branco, Estremoz, and the Alentejo. Expect food stalls selling presunto, workshops dedicated to the art of ham cutting, and live music. As well as presunto, you’ll also find other traditional foods like breads, sweets, and of course medronho.

The Feira do Presunto normally takes place towards the end up July. 

Salir do Tempo (Salir Medieval Festival)

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Salir

Salir do Tempo (Salir Medieval Festival) transports you back in time to the medieval period on the Algarve. The town is transformed into a medieval market, with music, archery, dance, and stalls selling handicrafts and traditional food.

This event usually takes place in the second half of July in Salir, which is near Loulé, around the 3rd week of the month. 

International Jazz Festival

  • Music Festival | Takes place in: Loulé

Loulé’s International Jazz Festival usually runs through July and the start of August on the Algarve and features jazz musicians from both Portugal and overseas.

For more information check out the Loulé International Jazz Festival Facebook page.

Sunset Fest

  • Music Festival | Takes place in: Arrifana

Sunset Fest takes place every July in Portinho de Pesca da Arrifana in Aljezur on the Algarve’s West Coast. This is a live music event, with plenty of beer and a focus on “good vibes”.

Sunset Fest normally takes place in the last few days of July. For more information and dates, visit the event’s Facebook page

Feira Arte Doce

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Lagos

The Feira Arte Doce celebrates traditional sweets from the Algarve and normally features stalls selling sweets and other regional products, as well as handicrafts and live music. The sweets themselves and normally crafted into beautiful shapes depending on that year’s theme.

The event normally takes place at Complexo Desportivo Municipal de Lagos towards the end July, normally on the last weekend. 

Sunset Secrets

  • Cultural Event | Takes place in: Silves

Sunset Secrets is a weekly event that takes place on Thursdays in Silves at Silves Castle. The weekly event features live music as well as food, wine, and belly dancing.

The event usually starts at 19:00 and finishes at around 23:00. Tickets cost €5 normally, or €2 for Silves residents.

Festa da Ria Formosa

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Faro

For lovers of seafood, Faro’s Ria Formosa Festival is a fantastic opportunity to try some of the best seafood available on the Algarve. As well as fish and seafood, there’s normally live music and entertainment as well.

The Festa da Ria Formosa usually takes place in Faro’s São Francisco Square towards the end of July, often spilling over into August. 

FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival

Runs from March to October. See March Events for more information.

Vodafone Rally de Portugal

This event normally takes place between March and June, with the month changing from year-to-year. See March Events for more information.

Read more about the Algarve in July

August events on the Algarve

August is one of the busiest months on the Algarve, both in terms of tourism and the number of events. Some of the most popular events on the calendar including the Medieval Fair in Silves, the Portimão Sardine Festival, and Fatacil.

Medieval Fair

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Silves

The Medieval Fair is probably the biggest event in Silves, and one of the most exciting on the Algarve. The event, which normally lasts for just under weeks, sees Silves transported back to medieval times as people dress in medieval costumes, dance to traditional medieval music, and eat and drink traditional medieval food. Expect jousting knights, market stalls, and plenty of entertainment.

This event normally takes place around mid August. For more information visit the event’s Facebook page

Medieval Days

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Castro Marim

Like Silves, the town of Castro Marim in the Eastern Algarve has a strong medieval heritage and every August that heritage is celebrated at the annual medieval festival. Expect jousting, a medieval banquet, street entertainment, and a big medieval-themed open air market.

This event usually takes place in the evenings around the last week of August. For more information see the event’s Facebook page

Festa do Frango da Guia

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Guia

The Festa do Frango da Guia celebrates one of the Algarve’s most popular dishes: piri-piri chicken. Although the history of this dish is fairly unknown, it is believed to have been invented in Guia. The festival normally lasts for around 3 days, and usually takes place in the evenings.

This event normally takes place towards the start of August at the Polidesportivo da Guia (Guia sports complex). For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page

Dia do Município, Albufeira

  • Local Festival | Takes place in: Albufeira

On August 20th 1504, Albufeira was awarded town charter by King D. Manuel I and since that day August 20th has been a municipal holiday. There’s normally a street parade during the day and live music in the evening, followed by a fireworks display.

This event takes place in Albufeira every year on August 20th. 

Festa da Nossa Senhora da Orada

  • Religious Festival | Takes place in: Albufeira

Festa da Nossa Senhora da Orada (the festival of Our Lady of the Oracle) is a religious festival that celebrates the patron saint of fishermen in Albufeira. There are candlelight processions, mass services, as well as a ceremony where the fishermen’s boats are blessed.

This multi-day religious festival takes place in Albufeira every year towards the middle of the month. 

Festival da Sardinha

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Portimão

The Festival da Sardinha (sardine festival) in Portimão is one of the most popular Algarve food festivals. The festival takes place over the course of several evenings along the Portimão Zona Ribeirinha and, as well as plenty of grilled sardines, features live music, street entertainment, stalls selling artisan products, and other vendors selling traditional Portuguese foods and desserts.

The Festival da Sardinha normally takes place at the start of August. For more information, visit the event’s official webpage on cm-portimao.pt

Festa da Sardinha dos Olhos de Água

Portimão isn’t the only place with a sardine festival: there’s one in Olhos de Água near Albufeira as well. As well as lots of grilled sardines, there’s usually live music in the evenings.

This event normally takes place during the second weekend in August. 

Festival Nacional de Folclore e Etnografia de Odiáxere

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Odiáxere

The Festival Nacional de Folclore e Etnografia de Odiáxere (National Festival of Folklore and Ethnography of Odiáxere) is a small cultural festival that takes place in Odiáxere near Lagos and celebrates the region’s traditions, customs, and folklore.

This event normally takes place in August. For more information, including dates and the event location, visit the organiser’s Facebook page

FOLKFARO

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Faro

FOLKFARO is the biggest folklore festival in the South of Portugal, and the only CIOFF® recognised folklore festival in the region. It normally takes place for a week in the second half of August (usually the 3rd week of August), and consists of live music, parades, and traditional dance from both Portugal and all over the world.

For more information about FOLKFARO, including dates and a schedule of events, visit folkfaro.com

Olhão Festival do Marisco

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Olhão

The small town of Olhão near Faro is famous for its seafood and every year, in August, the town throws a festival to celebrate that. As well as lots of seafood, there’s also live music from Portuguese and international artists. Olhão Festival do Marisco is one of the largest food festivals in the Algarve, and it’s a great festival to attend if you want to sample some of the best seafood the Algarve has to offer.

For more information about Olhão Seafood Festival, including dates and times, visit the event’s Facebook page

Festa do Banho 29

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Lagos

Festa do Banho 29 is an annual cultural event that has recently been revived by Lagos council. The origins of this festival are unknown, but extend at least as far back as Moorish times on the Algarve.

According to tradition, a bath taken on August 29th is worth 29 baths and so people would come from all around Lagos to bathe in the sea. Although the Center for Studies of Lagos still does a reenactment of this tradition on the morning of the 29th, the festival has become more of a beach party with live music and a DJ set.

Fatacil

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Lagos

Fatacil is a large annual fair that attracts thousands of visitors every year. Fatacil stands for Feira de Artesanato, Turismo, Agricultura, Comércio e Indústria de Lagoa or Lagoa Craft, Tourism, Agriculture, Commerce and Industry Fair.

Although it’s quite a rural event, where you can buy farming equipment and livestock, it’s also quite a diverse event and Fatacil has something for everyone. As well as being a place where you can buy a pig or a cow, Fatacil also has an arts and handicrafts market, traditional Portuguese food stalls, kid’s activities, showjumping and equestrian activities, and music from Portuguese artists.

Fatacil normally takes place at the Fatacil Showground in Lagoa, usually around the 3rd week of August, and runs for around 10 days. For more information about the event, visit fatacil.pt

Festa da Ria Formosa, Faro

This event normally takes place in July, but often spills over into August. For more information about this festival, see July Events.

FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival

Runs from March to October. See March Events for more information.

Public Holidays in August

  • August 15th: Assumption

September events on the Algarve

September is a notably quiet month in the Algarve after August, and the number of events and festivals happening decreases as well. This is another good month for nature lovers to visit, with several relevant events taking place including the Bird Watching Festival in Sagres, the Golden Pigeon Race in Monte Gordo, and the Agro Expo in Vila do Bispo.

Festas do Pescador

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Albufeira

The Festas do Pescador (Fisherman’s Festival) in Albufeira is a multi-day event that has been taking place in Albufeira since the late 90s, which pays homage to the fishermen and women. Expect plenty of fish-based gastronomy, as well as live music, a folk festival, and other forms of street entertainment.

This event normally takes place at the start of September (normally the 1st weekend in September) at the Praça dos Pescadores. 

Festival F

  • Music Festival | Takes place in: Faro

Festival F is the last big summer festival on the Algarve. The festival takes place in Faro’s historic “vila adentro” in the old town, and has a strong focus on Portuguese music but also has other performances from stand-up comedians, political figures, writers and poets. There’s also plenty of arts and crafts on sale, along with international and Portuguese street food.

Festival F normally takes place at the beginning of September, but may start on one of the last few days in August. For more information about Festival F including dates, ticket prices, and a program of events, visit festivalf.pt

Festa de Alcoutim

  • Local Festival | Takes place in: Alcoutim

The annual Festa de Alcoutim takes place every year in September, and marks the end of summer. Alcoutim Festival has been running since the 1950s and features traditional games, live music, entertainment, fireworks, and an international football match with the Sanlúcar de Guadiana football team from across the river.

This event normally takes place over the second weekend in September. 

Agro Expo

  • Local Festival | Takes place in: Vila do Bispo

Agro Expo is an agricultural festival that takes place every year in September, where agricultural businesses come to showcase the latest in farming machinery and farmers come to show off their prize animals. There’s also usually bullfighting, stalls selling gourmet food products and handicrafts, traditional dancing, music, and other entertainment.

Agro Expo normally takes place over the 1st or 2nd weekend in September. 

Golden Algarve Race

  • Sporting Event| Takes place in: Monte Gordo

Golden Algarve Race is one of the largest pigeon racing events in the Algarve and, in 2018, more than 5,000 pigeons participated in the event making it the largest one loft race in Europe. The event attracts pigeon racers from all over the world, all hoping to win the top prize which, in the past, was a cash prize of €120,000.

Golden Algarve Race normally takes place on the last Saturday in September. For more information, including dates and a program of events, visit goldenracealgarve.com

Festival Flamenco

  • Cultural Event| Takes place in: Lagos

Festival Flamenco is a multi-day celebration of flamenco that takes place in Lagos. There are normally several performances each evening, and each performance normally focuses on a different style of traditional or contemporary flamenco.

Festival Flamenco normally takes place during the middle of September at the Centro Cultural de Lagos. For more information, including dates and times, visit the event’s Facebook page

FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival

Runs from March to October. See March Events for more information.

Read more about the Algarve in September

October events on the Algarve

The end of October marks the end of “the season” for many bars and hotels on the Algarve, and you can really feel things start to wind down as the month goes on. It’s a great month for foodies, with the Rota do Petisco providing a fantastic opportunity to try different Portuguese petiscos and other events like the Feira da Perdiz and the Quinzena Gastronómica taking place as well.

Guadiana International Music Festival

  • Music Festival | Takes place in: Guadiana

Guadiana International Music Festival is a small and fairly new music festival that has been running since 2012. The festival takes place along the Guadiana river on the Spanish-Portuguese border, with some events taking place in Alcoutim in Portugal and some in Sanlúcar de Guadiana in Spain.

The music festival is an eclectic mix of genres – including blues, folk, jazz, fado, and flamenco – and attracts a mix of expats as well as locals from Spain and Portugal.

This event normally takes place in the second half of October. For more information visit, musicaguadiana.com

Sagres Birdwatching Festival

  • Nature Event | Takes place in: Sagres

Sagres Birdwatching Festival is Portugal’s biggest nature events, and normally takes place around the beginning of October which is when birds migrate towards Africa over the village of Sagres and the Southwestern Algarve. Nature lovers from all over Europe come to try and spot all the different types of migrating birds including vultures, Egyptian vultures, black-storks, and booted eagles.

As well as birdwatching, you can also take part in exhibitions, dolphin and whale tours, go snorkeling, or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. The event has been designed with families in mind, and there are plenty of children’s activities as well.

Sagres Birdwatching Festival normally takes place in the first few days of October, and in previous years has even begun at the very end of September. For more information, visit birdwatchingsagres.com

BLiP (Better living in Portugal) Exhibition

  • Expat Conference | Takes place in: Portimão

BLiP (which stands for Better living in Portugal) is an event organised by Adpop where expat-related businesses from Portugal and abroad showcase their goods and services to expats living in Portugal. Exhibitors include insurance companies, funeral homes, healthcare services, companies selling home furnishings, and just about everything else expat-related.

BLiP normally takes place over the second weekend in October. For more information, visit betterlivinginportugal.com

Feira de Santa Iria, Faro

  • Local Festival | Takes place in: Faro

Faro’s biggest and oldest fair takes place in October and normally features fairground rides, street food stalls, entertainment, stalls selling handicrafts and locally-made food products. This fair dates back a long way: the first fair was in 1596.

Like the Feira de São Martinho in Portimão, and other local Autumn fairs that take place across the Algarve, there are normally also plenty of stalls selling products like ceramics, kitchen products, and cheap clothes.

Feira de Santa Iria normally takes place around October 20th, the day of Santa Iria, and lasts for around 10 days. For more information about the event, including dates and a program of events, visit the event’s Facebook page

Rota do Petisco

The Rota do Petisco normally runs from September to October each year. See September Events for more information.

FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival

Runs from March to October. See March Events for more information.

Public Holidays in October

October 5th: Republic Day

Read more about the Algarve in October

November events on the Algarve

Although September is technically the first month of Autumn, November is often the first month that the Algarve really starts to feel like Autumn. Several ‘Autumny’ festivals take place this month, in particular São Martinho which is often marked by eating roast chestnuts and drinking sweet wine.

Dia de Todos os Santos

  • Religious Festival | Takes place in: Across Portugal

November 1st is a public holiday in Portugal known called Dia de Todos os Santos (the day of the saints). It’s a day when everyone heads to the local graveyard to clean up their former relatives’ graves, to lay fresh flowers, and to attend mass services (which often take place in the graveyard).

Although there aren’t many events on November 1st, this is an interesting Portuguese Halloween tradition and, if you’re passing a graveyard, it’s worth taking a look in to see it in action.

Feira da Perdiz

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Alcoutim

The Feira da Perdiz is an event organised by several Algarve organisations, including the Hunters’ Federation of the Algarve. It focuses on partridge hunting, but also includes other related events like falconry demonstrations, a greyhound race, and dog obedience workshops. There’s also a strong focus on gastronomy, particularly gastronomy related to hunting.

The Feira da Perdiz (Partridge Fair) normally takes place in Martim Longo in mid November, but in the past it’s also taken place in October. For more information and dates, visit the Câmara Municipal de Alcoutim’s Facebook page

Semana Gastronómica de São Bartolomeu de Messines

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Messines

Semana Gastronómica de São Bartolomeu de Messines is a restaurant week that takes place every year in December in Messines. Over the course of the week, restaurants in Messines put on a special menu with an emphasis on local ingredients.

Gastronomic Week in São Bartolomeu de Messines normally takes place in the first few days of December, but may start on the last few days of November. For more information, including dates and times for this year, visit the Junta de Freguesia de São Bartolomeu de Messines’s Facebook page

Rallye Casinos do Algarve

  • Sporting Event | Takes place in: Portimão

Rallye Casinos do Algarve is one of the biggest rallies in Portugal, and is considered to be one of the best European regional rallies. The event normally takes place in the second half of November, and the route normally takes drivers through Monchique, as well as through parts of Lagoa, Portimão, Lagos.

Rallye Casinos do Algarve normally takes place in the second half of November. For more information, including dates and times, visit clubeautomovelalgarve.pt

Festival de Órgão

  • Music Festival | Takes place in: Across the Algarve

Originally Festival de Órgão (Algarve Organ Festival) took place solely in Faro but, in recent years, the event has expanded and now includes events across the whole of the Algarve. The festival will host musicians from across Portugal who will put on organ recitals in churches across the Algarve.

Algarve Organ Festival normally takes place at the start of November. For more information, visit the Associação Cultural Música XXI’s Facebook page

Luza Festival

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Loulé

Luza Festival is a unique art exhibition and festival that focuses on just one material: light. It attracts artists from across Portugal who all travel to Loulé where there work is presented to the public as part of an exhibition. As well as the art exhibition, there’s normally also a torchlight parade as well as art workshops about working with light.

LUZA Festival normally takes place at the beginning of September. For more information, visit luzafestival.com

Feira de São Martinho (St Martin’s Fair)

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Portimão

Feira de São Martinho (St Martin’s Fair) is a traditional festival that has been taking place in Portugal since 1662 and, to celebrate São Martinho, Portimão hosts an annual fair. The fair is a mixture of fairground rides and Portuguese street food (especially roast chestnuts), as well as market stalls selling everything from Algarve pottery and household items to cheap knockoff clothing, sweets, and food products.

Dia do São Martinho falls on November 11th, and the fair takes place  on November 11th as well as on the surrounding days. The fair can be found at the Fair and Exhibition Centre in Portimão. 

Magustos

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Across the Algarve

As well as the Feira de São Martinho in Portimão, Dia de São Martinho is celebrated in the form of magustos. Magustos are social gatherings where you eat roast chestnuts and drink wine or Água-pé (a low alcohol spirit). It’s a very social event that signals the arrival of Autumn, and something that’s definitely worth attending.

You’ll find magustos taking place across the Algarve, and they’re often organised by local councils or by restaurants and bars. 

Festival da Batata Doce

  • Food Festival | Takes place in: Aljezur

The Festival da Batata Doce is probably Aljezur’s biggest festival, and it celebrates one of the most famous things to come from the region: sweet potatoes. Here, at the sweet potato festival, you’ll find street food stalls selling dishes made from sweet potatoes, market stalls selling products made from sweet potatoes, and farming suppliers exhibiting the latest in farming machinery. There’s normally also some traditional entertainment, as well as some children’s activities as well.

The Festival da Batata Doce typically takes place at the end of November and often spills over into December as well. For more information, dates, times, and the location of the event, visit the Município de Aljezur’s Facebook page

Rota do Petisco

The Rota do Petisco normally runs from October to November. See October Events for more information about this event.

Public Holidays in November

November 1st: All Saints Day

December events on the Algarve

December on the Algarve is an interesting month, as the region slowly prepares for Christmas. Christmas markets usually happen across the Algarve, and they can be a great place to pick up gifts for Christmas.

Vila Vita Christmas Market

  • Christmas Market | Takes place in: Porches

If you’re struggling with the Christmas shopping this year, you may find what you’re looking for at the Vila Vita Christmas Market. This Christmas market, which normally takes place over the 1st or 2nd weekend in December, is a traditional-style German market with beautiful wooden cabins, German sausages and biscuits, and plenty of Glühwein.

The Vila Vita Christmas Market normally takes place on the 1st or 2nd weekend in December. More information can be found on Villa Vita’s website.

Paderne Medieval

  • Cultural Festival | Takes place in: Paderne

Every year at the very end of December, the small village of Paderne near Albufeira transforms itself into a medieval village for its annual medieval fair. The festival normally encompasses parades, a medieval market, live entertainment and music, street food, and lots of people in medieval costume.

Paderne Medieval normally takes place from the 29th of December until January 1st. 

New Year’s Eve

  • Public Holiday | Takes place in: Across the Algarve

New Year’s Eve on the Algarve (often called Le Réveillon, São Silvestre, and Passagem de Ano) is a popular event, and there’s always something happening. The biggest event takes place at Praia dos Pescadores in Albufeira, but there are celebrations and fireworks at most towns across the Algarve.

For more information, read the Portugalist guide to NYE on the Algarve

Public Holidays in December

  • December 1st: Restoration of Independence
  • December 8th: Immaculate Conception
  • December 25th: Christmas Day (Natal)

Know of an event that should be on here? Leave a comment below with the information. 

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