With 26 UK airports now operating direct flights into Faro and the Algarve’s sun-kissed beaches warmed by September temperatures in the mid 20’s, southern Portugal is a safe bet for a late summer break.
Although the season will soon be winding down, the summer festivals in Portugal aren’t over yet. For those who missed the Pink Floyd Live Tribute last weekend, Folkfaro is now in full swing. The ethnic music festival attracts over 300 performers and musicians from seven countries and runs until August 26th.
In a few days’ time the popular CinePraia open air cinema season kicks off on August 26th. Five different film genres will be screened at five Algarve beaches over five weeks, five nights a week. Beaches hosting the CinePraia film nights include Ilha de Tavira (in Tavira), Ilha de Faro (Faro), Marina Beach (Vilamoura), Fisherman’s Beach (Albufeira) and Batata Beach (Lagos). The films will be screened from 22:00–01:00 and entry is free.
Or see what’s on show at the Art Exhibition at the Grande Real Sta. Eulalia Hotel in Albufeira where 80 works by 40 artists will soon be on display. The Masters of Portuguese Contemporary Art starts on August 26th and is open from 8pm until midnight.
And for a different way to chill out in August, the Portimão Marina Ice rink opens on September 2nd. More than just a skating rink, it’s a popular meeting place complete with a lounge area, music, DJs and entertainment. Admission is €5 for 30 minutes and the rink is open Monday to Friday, 14:00–midnight and 11:00-midnight at weekends.
August is the month when many locals who don’t work in the tourist industry take their holidays, so for a detour inland, the local fairs and markets in the tiny hillside towns offer a taste of real village life. The market at Loulé, a charming little hillside town is worth exploring while others worth a visit include Aljezur and Olhão.
Last but not least, The International Sand Sculptures Festival (FIESA) started in May and runs until 25th October. FIESA has been an Algarve highlight every year since it began in 2003 and the amazing sand sculptures attract thousands of visitors to the beach of Pêra. Apparently it’s the largest event in the world of its kind and the amount of sand used is quite staggering – some 40 thousand tons of sand are sculpted by fifty national and international artists every year. Some of the sculptures can reach 12 metres high and the preparations are divided into two stages, over a period of eight weeks. First, the infrastructures or “bases” are prepared and then the second phase begins, which is when the real sculpting begins. Every year the festival has a different theme – this year it’s “Idols”.
To see what else is on in late August and coming to the Algarve this autumn, visit www.visitalgarve.pt/visitalgarve/vEN
Petchey Leisure www.petcheyleisure.com specialises in timeshare holidays as well as golf breaks in the Algarve and for exchange opportunities please see the Algarve resort listings on www.RCI.com and www.Intervalworld.com