The Algarve Announce Autumn/Winter Cultural & Sporting Highlights

autumn-winter events algarve

Widely known as a sun, sea and sand destination, the region of the Algarve is now gearing up for a fully-immersive autumn and winter season with a plethora of events and cultural attractions that families, solo travellers, groups and couples can enjoy, across nature and wildlife, outdoor adventure, food and drink, seasonal festivity and more.

Highlights include:


Portugal Masters 2018, Vilamoura

A highlight in any keen golfer’s diary, the Portugal Masters will be taking centre-stage from 20 – 23rd September. Following Lucas Bjerregaard’s glorious triumph in 2017, who will be taking the trophy home for this year’s prestigious event? Warm sunshine, a first-rate playing field on the infamous Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, and some of the finest golf playing on the European Tour – it can’t get much better.

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365 Algarve, across the Algarve

Returning for its 3rd edition, the 365 Algarve programme is a celebration of performing arts.

Scheduled to start on the 4th October, the 365 programme offers a wide array of entertaining performances across theatre, exhibitions, music, dance, digital media and other various art forms. The individual acts take place across the region, giving visitors the chance to explore destinations that aren’t so well known, across the coast and to the uplands. Bringing heritage, arts and gastronomy together, this carefully curated programme is a low-season highlight, not to be missed.

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Sagres Birdwatching Festival

Following last year’s success that brought hundreds of wildlife and nature lovers together, the Sagres Birdwatching Festival is set to return for its 9th year, from the 4th – 7th October. The three days will see visitors from across the globe attend, armed with binoculars and telescopes to view the unique spectacle in the skies above, with the hope to glimpse numerous rarities – last year, 169 species were spotted.

A hotspot for biodiversity, Sagres is a verdant region in the western point of the Algarve, and the main crossing point in Portugal for migratory birds, enroute to their final destination of Africa. The festival organised with the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), is a celebration of nature as well as wildlife, and the programme will include around 200 nature-related activities such as nature excursions, boat trips, environmental education workshops and courses, guided tours, bird ringing and more.

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The Lagos Walking Festival

As part of the ‘Algarve Walking Season’ – a trilogy of walking festivals, the newly launched Lagos Walking Festival will be taking place from the 1st – 4th November.

The festival is set to offer 8-10 individual walks across the picturesque coastal town of Lagos per day, in addition to 2 environmental education activities, and 2 workshops/talks or lectures to be held daily with the aim to attract around 300 participants each day.

The walks available will cater to a wide range of levels and abilities, making it accessible to all. In addition to these selected routes, some of the tours will be thematic, linking to the town’s heritage, culture, gastronomy and artisan scene. Nature observations, archeology guides and photography opportunities will also be available. One of the aims behind the initiative is to fuse the local community, tourism and nature together.

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The São Martinho Fair, Portimão

Dating back to 1662, St. Martin’s Day has been widely celebrated for centuries in the municipality of Portimão, with the annual São Martinho Fair in the first week of November. This is a wonderful event to discover heritage from locals themselves. Traditional exhibits will include agricultural produce and other tempting regional cuisine to try, such as roasted octopus, chorizo bread and bifanas. Jewelry, textile and footwear stalls will also feature, and there is plenty for the kids to do, with games, tombola’s, bumper cars and more on site.

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The Sweet Potato Festival, Aljezur 

Following last year’s success that saw 40,000 attendees and 35 tonnes of sweet potato cooked up, one of the “great autumn food festivals in South Portugal” will be making its return in the upcoming season. The Festival da Batata-doce de Aljezur is an annual celebration that pays tribute to the sweet potato, taking place this year from the 30th November – 2nd December.

Due to the soil, growing and climate conditions in Aljezur, the sweet potatoes grown here are said to be some of the best in the country. Visitors to the festival will be able to sample the produce in new and innovative ways, from ice cream and liqueurs to chocolate, jams and much more – over 100 exhibitors will be taking part in this free traditional event.

Paying homage to the sweet potato’s cultural and culinary connection with the community, visitors will also be able to enjoy live cooking demonstrations, concerts, and competitions.

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Presépio Gigante de Vila Real de Santo António

For those planning to visit in the winter, why not pay a trip to observe the largest nativity scene in the Algarve? Set in the district of Vila Real de Santo António, the scene will be displayed for the 16th consecutive year across December, built with over 20 tons of sand, 4 tons of stone powder and 2,500 kilos of cork. The structure covers an area of 220sq metres, the crib alone takes over 40 days to complete. That is 2500 hours of work – worth a visit to witness, all in the name of festivity!

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