For those looking to sample the best food the Algarve has to offer, then there is certainly a bounty of local restaurants, markets and food festivals to accommodate this. The area prides itself on its food and there are many gastronomical events throughout the year to tickle taste buds.
Local restaurants often take part in scrumptious events or even run their own food festivals, offering great deals, cookery classes, demonstrations and more. Visitors will have the chance to enjoy fine dining, whilst being entertained by poetry reading and live Portuguese music. It’s well worth finding out what’s on during your visit.
Below are a few that we’ve found in the Rocha Brava Resort locality that are ideal for food fans.
The town of São Bartolomeu de Messines has previously held a successful annual food festival and is home to many exquisite restaurants, each with a great authentic offering. In addition, Portimao holds a popular street food festival for those visiting a little earlier in the year; this takes place in July and August, and a similar event can also be found in Lagos.
Olive oil is a staple in Portuguese cooking – look out for demos and taste-testing opportunities around the Algarve to try some of the best around, and get some tips to take home with you to enhance your own cooking.
The area is known for its exquisite seafood – in fact it is said that the locals have over a thousand recipes for cod dishes alone. August is the best time to visit for seafood festivals, such as the Portimão Sardine Festival and the Olhão Shellfish Festival.
Shellfish Festival - Image from the website www.sulinformacao.pt
What’s more, meat - pork in particular - is considered to be spectacular in this region. The beginning of November sees a celebration of delicious Alentejo black pork at Herdade dos Grous country estate. The estate also produces its own red and white wines.
Of course, a stay in the Algarve wouldn’t be complete without wine, as the area is well-known for its distinguished vino. Porches Velho restaurant runs a wine and food festival at the end of October, usually. You can be sure of matching your drink to your food, as experts assist you to find the perfect gastronomic complement, with free wine to accompany an a la carte meal. There are numerous other wine tasting events around and you won’t have to look far to find one in the Algarve!
Once you’ve booked your stay at Rocha Brava resort then be sure to make a plan to visit some of the local restaurants in Carvoeiro, or venture further afield to see what larger towns such as Portimão and Faro have to offer.
Algarve Annual Gastronomic Events
- Festival of “Chouriças” (Sausages), which is also known as the Festival of S. Luís, the patron saint of animals in Querença
- Festival of Hot bread and fresh cheese (Feira do Pão Quente e Queijo Fresco) in Vaqueiros.
- EXPOMAR Fair of the Sea and Nautical Activities in Olhão
- Traditional Sausage Fair in Monchique
- Gastronomy Festival of the Serra in Tavira (March/April)
- Vila de Amêijoas (Clams Festival) in Olhão
- Festa da Pinha (Festival of the Pine Cone) in Estoi - a traditional festival to celebrate spring
- "The Gastronomy of the Sea" - Festival in Tavira
- Snail Festival in Castro Marim
- 'May Sweet May' Jazz Festival in Portimão
- 'Feira da Terra' (local produce market) in Aljezur on 1st Saturday of each month from June to October
- Cataplana Festival in Almancil
- Popular Saints Festivals across the Algarve celebrating St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter. The warm nights are filled with the aromas of barbecues and grilled sardines as the towns and villages celebrate, often partying until the small hours!
- Portuguese Gastronomy week in Lagoa
- Caldeirada (Fish stew) Festival in Armação de Pêra
- "Pleasures of the Sea" Festival in Aljezur - gastronomy, music, entertainment
- "Festival Med" in Loulé- mediterranean music, gastronomy and handicrafts
- "Arte Doce" Competition and Fair in Lagos - a wide range of traditional sweets as an art form! Also musical entertainment in the evenings
- Fair of the Serra in São Brás de Alportel
- Fair of Traditional Smoked Ham in Monchique
- The festival of 'Our Lady of the Oracle' (the patron saint of Albufeira fishermen)
- FATACIL in Lagoa - It is the major fair of handicrafts, tourism, agriculture, business and industry in the Algarve and also includes horse shows, evening entertainment and gastronomy
- Medieval Fair in Silves
- Medieval Fair in Castro Marim
- Noites de Moura Encatada in Cacela Velha - recreating the times of the Arab occupation with a traditional Souk, music, belly dancing and traditional food.
- Sardine Festival in Portimão - live music and entertainment, plus, of course, barbecued sardines!
- Shellfish Festival in Olhão - a major event with live music every night
- 'Sounds of the Atlantic' music festival at Senhora da Rocha, Lagoa - concerts, street theatre, handicrafts and gastronomy
- Fishermen's festival at Praia dos Pescadores in Albufeira including a gastronomy festival
- Festival in Alcoutim
- Santa Iria Fair in Faro - lots of entertainment, fairground rides and stalls at this 400 year old fair.
- AgroExpo in Vila do Bispo – A fair of economic activities, tourism, gastronomy, handicrafts and livestock farming. Another essential ingredient is evening entertainment, with plenty of music on four consecutive days
- Partridge Fair in Martim Longo
- Sweet Potato Festival in Aljezur
- Gastronomy fortnight in Almancil
- St. Martin's Fair in Portimão
- Gastronomy week in Messines
- Loulé Mountain Fair - The aim of this festival is to enable people to find out more about the diversity and popular culture of the parishes of the “Serra do Caldeirão”. Visitors will be able to get a close up view of handicrafts, a variety of products, gastronomy, ethnography and the traditions of the upland regions.