Celebrating Easter in the Algarve

Flowers laid on a cobbled street with houses decorated with flowers and bunting

What does Easter mean to you? The opportunity to gorge on chocolate? A time of reflection on your faith?

In Portugal cuisine and culture play an important role in Easter celebrations. There are parades, festivals, a wide choice of delectable culinary delights and much more to enjoy.

This year Easter falls over the last weekend of March and the Algarve has plenty of events for all ages to enjoy.


Loulé leads with one of the largest religious celebrations in Portugal, after Fátima, known as the Feast of the Sovereign Mother – the patron saint of Loulé.

On March 31 (Easter Sunday), men carry a statue of the Virgin Mary on their shoulders from the hermitage at Cerro da Piedade to the parish church, accompanied by music and of course a crowd.

Two weeks later, on April 14, the statue is returned to its home, accompanied by music written especially for the event. Throughout the day there will be different celebrations throughout the city, for more information click here.

São Brás de Alportel

The village of São Brás de Alportel will hold its annual Flower Torch Festival (Festa das Tochas Floridas) on Easter Sunday, March 31.

The village streets are covered with flowers and the procession follows this carpet of flowers to the church. The whole village comes together to make this day a special one. Check out a video showing just how the festival comes together.

Local producers have stalls to sell their wares, there is plenty of music throughout the day and food to enjoy also. Entry is free.


Churches Santa Maria and São Sebastião are the focus of celebrations in Lagos during Holy Week.

Palm Sunday, March 24, there is a blessing of the palms at the Santa Maria church at 10.30am followed by a procession to São Sebastião church for Eucharist.

Thursday, March 28, sees a procession starting at 3pm from São Sebastião church through Lagos celebrating the Passion of Christ. At 9pm the Way of the Cross starts at Praça de Armas and mass will be celebrated at Santa Maria church for the Lord’s Supper and washing of feet, beginning at 9pm

You will find similar celebrations throughout the Algarve.

Handicraft Fair

From March 29 to March 31, at 3pm, Barão de São João host their 20th annual handicraft fair. Celebrating local customs and traditions, visitors will be able to also taste an Portuguese Easter cake called folar. Click here to learn about this traditional bread-like cake, along with a recipe.

At the fair visitors will be able to sample local produce and enjoy live music into the evening.

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