Celebrating Algarve’s rich cultural tapestry

Medieval fair, geese on cobbles

Algarve is a treasure trove of cultural heritage, offering a captivating blend of tradition, folklore and festivities that have stood the test of time. At the heart of this vibrant cultural quilt lie two events – Silves’ Medieval fair and Fatacil in Lagoa.

Silves’ Medieval Fair

Starting today (August 10), Silves’ Medieval Fair opens with the town’s biggest event which is also one of the prominent summer events in the Algarve.

Running until August 20, the fair invites visitors on a captivating journey back in time to delve into the Moorish heritage of the town.

Anticipate the customary stalls with exhibitors hailing from various parts of the globe. There will be street entertainment that echo the town’s ancient history with those taking part dressed in keeping with the fair’s theme. Taverns (restaurant stalls) will offer an array of tasty food and beverages.

2023’s theme is “The Mosque, Symbol and Power” illuminating “the history of the mosque’s construction and its consecration as a sacred site and symbolic expression during the early stages of the Islamisation of a territory that ultimately evolved into a significant political and cultural hub of the Gharb al-Andalus,” Silves council states.

Tickets to access the event, and its shows, can be bought online or directly on the day, with individual daily passes priced at €2 or €8 for a group of five.

For an immersive ‘Medieval Experience,’ that includes costumes, a lavish feast, admission to shows, and more, prices range from €30 for children up to 10 years and €60 for adults.

Fatacil – a county fair

Fatacil, similar to a county fair, is an annual event in Lagoa, Algarve.

The vibrant and lively fair showcases the Portugal’s rich cultural tapestry, celebrating its arts, crafts, music and gastronomy along with livestock.

This year Lagoa celebrates 250 years and the 42nd year of Fatacil. Running from August 18 for 10 days, the fair has become a firm favourite, drawing both locals and tourists alike.

With over 700 stalls, visitors have the opportunity to explore a plethora of traditional crafts, local wines and gastronomy. Livestock including cattle, sheep and goats can be seen and some even petted plus there will also be the usual equestrian magic every evening.

The fair offers a tantalizing array of Portuguese delicacies, allowing attendees to indulge in the region’s distinctive flavours. From freshly caught seafood dishes to delectable pastries, you cannot leave with an empty stomach.

This year there will continue to be musical and dancing. From fado (sung by Mariza), the region’s orchestra and many well-known Portuguese artists will entertain visitors.

Beyond the festivities, Fatacil also serves as a platform for local artists to showcase their talents. Painters, sculptors, and artisans gather to exhibit their works, allowing visitors to gain insight into the region’s contemporary artistic scene.

Starting on August 18 and running for 10 days, Fatacil tickets cost €5 with a family ticket only €16. Children aged 12 and under can enter for free after showing proof of their age.

Tickets can be bought online, details on Facebook, or at CTT (Post Office), FNAC and Worten shops plus the Centro Cultural Convento de S. José in Lagoa.

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