Albandeira Beach, Lagoa
Fatacil Fair & Festival
Fatacil Fair is the largest event of its kind in the Algarve and is the perfect place to visit for anyone wanting to get a glimpse into Portuguese culture, traditions, entertainment and products all in one place.
The Fatacil fair is held each year in August at the Fatacil showground in Lagoa, located between Albuferia and Portimão and can be found just off the EN125. It is easy to spot thanks to the huge illumination display at the entrance, while the crowds of people and the large volume of traffic are also good signs that you are in the right place!
There are various parking options available if you are travelling by car but by far the best and most secure is the car park area located behind the main Fatacil showground where the flea markets are held. Here you pay a couple of euros to park and avoid having to try and find a space along one of the side streets or the road which can be dangerous, especially if you have children with you.
Once you have parked up then it is into the main event. There are two entrances to go through, the first is near to the equestrian area (which you can smell) and the second is the main one, which is a good idea to use if you want to get the full effect of the lights along the entrance.
Inside the Fatacil there are several distinct different zones and you can take your time to browse around the various ones depending on what your interests are.
The Fatacil fair started out as an agricultural fair which helps you to understand some of the more unusual looking exhibitors around but as it has grown over the decades it has become more of a regional fair celebrating all that is Algarvian and Portuguese.
In the equestrian area you will find a small show ring with seating where you can watch the Lusitano horses and their riders perform truly impressive dressage and other techniques accompanied by dramatic music and even the odd bit of fire. Here there is also a small farm area showing off prize local livestock, with everything from cows and sheep to goats and more horses.
A fairly new addition to Fatacil has been the wine area, which has proved to be a hit and offers visitors the chance to sample some local wines and see which ones have won the awards before deciding if you want to purchase them or not.
You don’t need to eat before you come to the Fatacil fair because there are lots of food options available including the chance to sample foods from other regions of Portugal alongside you standard event food of hotdogs and burgers. The creamy, tangy cheese and beautiful smoked hams are well worth seeking out and if you are feeling brave, why not try the smoked octopus sold on small carts around the fair – again, you will smell this one before you find it.
Away from the food and drink the other highlight of the Fatacil Fair has to be the handicraft area where you can buy homemade lace, hand crafted wooden items, delicately painted pottery and other specialities you can only find in Portugal and the Algarve.
There is plenty for children to enjoy at the Fatacil, away from the candy floss and sparkling lights there is usually a dedicated children’s fun zone in the centre of the fair to allow kids to blow off some steam while parents browse around the nearby stands and stalls before heading of for the entertainment.
You would not usually associate an agricultural fair with big name pop and rock acts but at the Fatacil they combine the two with some of the biggest names in Portuguese music headlining every evening with everything from pop, to rock, Fado and rap, there is also usually at least one cover band playing for those with more international tastes. Give our friendly team a call to find out the full line up and to pick the right night to go on.
Fatacil is a huge event in the Algarve and one that everyone should visit at least once to experience the real Algarve at its very best.
Wine Tasting at Quinta dos Vales
Wine tasting session have become increasingly popular in the Algarve and the team at Quinta dos Vales are able to offer an informative, fun and delicious experience designed to appeal to everyone from wine buffs to novices.
Portugal has only recently become more well known for its fantastic wines, the unique climate, favourable weather and position of a large part of the country next to the coast, means that the grapes grown and harvested across Portugal can stand up with the very best in the world to make fantastic wines.
Wines from the Douro region and Alentejo have grown in popularity but the Algarve was a bit of a slow starter and only now are people coming to realise that this most southerly point of Portugal is home to some fabulous home grown wines.
Over the decades there had been a steady decline in the number of vineyards in the Algarve but this trend has been reversing and one of those leading the way in the Algarve wine revolution has to be Quinta dos Vales.
Quinta dos Vales is located slightly inland between Lagoa and Portimão, the farm itself is actually partially visible if you are travelling along the EN125 but you need to access the farm from Estombar to make your way through the rural roads to get here.
If you are interested in learning more about wine, then booking a special wine tasting session at Quinta dos Vales has to be one of the best ways to find out more thanks to the informal, yet informative wine tasting sessions available.
The wine tasting sessions take place in the “Sala de Prova” and allow wine fans to sample either three of the main wines from Quinta dos Vales (red, white and rosé) or some of the award winning wines from the special “Grace Vineyard” edition which gives a good level of variation.
If you have never been to a wine tasting session before then don’t worry! The wine experts on hand will not only guide you through the various wines that are being presented, they will also teach you how best to go about tasting wines, drawing attention to the different aspects of the senses that you need to focus on.
These wine tasting sessions are really easy to enjoy either on your own or as part of a larger group and are able to offer something for all levels. If you know your wines then you can probe the experts further, while if you are more used to drinking wine than simply tasting it then the experts are far from judgemental and their passion for wine soon becomes infectious!
Quinta dos Vales itself is a stunning location and home to the largest outdoor sculpture collection south of Lisbon which makes this a really unique place for a wine tasting session.