02 Jul

The Portmao Sardine Festival 2014

Calling all sardine lovers. Sardine season is well underway in the Algarve as fishermen and chefs are equally as busy keeping up with the demand to supply what is possibly Portugal’s favourite dish.

Though we have to admit the fishermen have a more challenging task than the chefs in the quest to quench locals’ and tourists’ seemingly insatiable hunger for the humble sardine. Why? Because the most common way to eat sardines on the Algarve is to simply drizzle some lemon and salt on them, throw them on the grill and serve them with a chunk of rustic bread.

In fact it’s not just the Algarve which has a hungry penchant for eating sardines. Sardine festivals take place across much of southern Europe all summer long. The most famous however happens to take place in Portmao on the Algarve.  Portmao’s Sardine Festival takes place in early August when locals and visitors ascend on the town in their droves to celebrate what has been a staple food of the Algarve or centuries.

The Portmao Sardine Festival goes the extra mile when compared to other European sardine celebrations. This popular culinary event lasts for over a week. Live music, dressing up and activities for all the family accompany the rampant sardine eating, as the sweet smell of fresh sardines slowly cooking on a charcoal fire fill the warm Algarve air.

Portmao is a vibrant and cosmopolitan town, which has something for everyone. There is a museum to visit, river cruises to enjoy and many interesting, quirky and quality shops and restaurants to spend a leisurely day exploring.

With upmarket beach resorts, exquisite fishing ports and modern commercial shopping centres Portmao has also emerged as the new Western Europe destination for luxury travellers.

Though if you want to experience the town’s traditional, rustic charm, participating in the Sardine Festival in August is the perfect way to become acquainted with the esteem Portugal upholds towards its most popular culinary staple.


 

03 Jul

Freedom Festival 2013 and the city of Elvas – Just two reasons to visit mid-east Portugal

In a Portuguese summer you can virtually guarantee to have great weather and nothing goes hand in hand with hot weather quite as fluently than at a festival of love, union, peace and psychedelic music. The satisfaction of this heady amalgamation is demonstrated affectively at Portugal’s Freedom Festival.

The six-day Freedom Festival 2013 will run from August 13 – 18 in unspoilt countryside and scenic rapture next to a stunning lake near the city of Elvas on the Portuguese/Spanish border.

Celebrating the ‘spiritual and divine moment’ we are living in, bands and artists from all over the world will gather at this year’s Freedom Festival and collectively put together a festival of dance, energy, love and peace.

Typical to most modern festivals, there will be plenty going on at the Freedom Festival beside the music. From relaxing in the Chillout/Experience Lodge to treating yourself to a well-deserved massage in the Healing Area, this leading Portuguese festival prides itself on providing visitors will a truly alternative festival experience.

If you are not of the psychedelic persuasion and the Freedom Festival 2013 doesn’t appeal, then a trip to beautiful old garrison town of Elvas should be on your Portuguese holiday itinerary.

This UNESCO world heritage site was once fortified against a possible Spanish attack. The town’s old fort has certainly seen plenty of action down the ages, withstanding attacks from the Spanish in 1658 and again in 1711, before finally falling to the French during the Peninsula War in 1808. In 1811 the fort was finally ‘liberated’ by the British under Marshall Beresford.

With a history this tumultuous, it is easy to understand why Elvas’s fortress was made the subject of a ballad by the legendary poet, Sir Walter Scott.  As well as a truly remarkable fort, this historical Portuguese city also boasts a splendid aqueduct, which has four tiers of arches.

Whether you travel to this particularly picturesque and culturally dynamic part of Portugal to experience a potent mix of music, love and life, or visit the area to go to the episcopal city of Elvas, it is safe to surmise that you won’t be disappointed.


 

30 Apr

Muse to play in Portugal June 2013 at Porto’s Estadio Dragao

If you are lucky enough to be spending some time in the vicinity of Porto this June then you may be interested to hear that Muse will also be in town.

You do not often find many great bands coming out of the West Country, but with Muse, Devon can boast that their county has spawned one of our nation’s finest live bands. Popular at big major festivals, Muse sell out where ever they perform.

This three- piece outfit from Teignmouth formed in 1994 whilst still at school. Muse have released six studio albums and have won many awards, including five MTV awards, six Q awards, eight NME awards, two Brit awards, where they won “Best Live Band” twice and as if that wasn’t enough, the Devon rockers have also won a Grammy for their fifth album “The Resistance”.

Muse has sold 15 million albums worldwide – Not bad for three West Country schoolboys!

Muse are booked to play in Portugal on 10th June at the magnificent Estadio Dragao Porto. The Estadio Dragao is no newcomer to rock concerts having already hosted many legendary acts, including the Rolling Stones and Coldplay, to name just two.

Estadio Dragao – the Stadium of the Dragon – is the home of FC Porto and is a wonderful modern state-of -the -art venue, which is worth a visit even when it’s empty!

To see Muse in Portugal in June 2013 when the summer heat has not reached its peak would be absolutely perfect. The lads will play original songs from their vast repertoire of progressive space rock, which is fused with many styles.

This is what makes Muse so special and different. There really isn’t another band like them on the planet – Perfect for rocking the clear night time summer Porto sky.

 


 

23 Jun
algarve events

3 great Algarve events in July 2012

Not only is the Algarve blessed with boundless stretches of beautiful beaches but it is also a hub for creative arts, meaning the southern Portuguese region takes some beating when it comes to having a beach holiday with a cultural twist.

Summer 2012 looks like the Algarve is more determined than ever to provide a string of cultural events for visitors yearning a tad of Portuguese history, heritage and tradition.

Take a look at three of the best cultural Algarve events in July 2012.

The Biker’s Festival

If the legendary Billy Idol rocks your boat then be sure to head to the Biker’s Festival where the pop legend will be headlining on July 21st. The veteran rocker hasn’t been in Portugal for 19 years, so if you’re an Idol fan make Faro a date in your calendar this July 21st for the celebrated Biker’s Festival.

Al-Buhera Festival

From July 20 until July 24 the town of Albufeira will be welcoming back another edition of the Festival Al-Buhera. With craft fairs, live music and gastronomic shows, this popular festival provides visitors with a wealth of cultural delights from the Algarve.

The majority of the activities and shows take place in Albufeira’s Fisherman’s Square, which is certainly the place to head to if you want to experience a true taste of Portugal.

Silves Medieval Fair

From 28th July to 5th August the Silves Medieval Fair will be held in the town of Silves in central Algarve. This festival is one of the biggest cultural events on the Algarve calendar and never fails to attract a throng of visitors from Portugal, Europe and beyond.

People of all ages, tastes and ethnicities take to Silves cobbled streets as long as they’re dressed up in period costume. Food and drink plays a leading role in this medieval festival with the aroma of joints of meats slowly spit roasting in temporary barbecues filling Silves’s quirky streets as medieval revellers make their way up to the town’s magnificent castle.

 


 

30 May

The Loule Festival Med 2012

Start the summer in style at the Loule Festival Med 2012! The town of Loule is one of the most popular places to visit in the Algarve. Being just a stone’s throw – 16 kilometres – from Faro Airport, tourists can arrive in the Algarve and within no time at all can be enjoying the many delights of Loule, including beautiful beaches, top quality restaurants, exquisite bars and shops to satisfy even the most die-hard of shopper.

This charming town has been part of the Algarve since 1249 when the region was recaptured by the Moors. At the end of the 13th century, King Dom Dinis launched a medieval fair in Loule, the first of its kind, which represented the wealth and prosperity of the region.

Today Loule is famous for its Saturday morning gypsy market, a thriving and colourful market where one can pick up many a unique and quirky gift for a steal.

Whilst Loule remains a popular tourist destination all year-round, it is in June when the town really excels itself in the ‘attractiveness’ stakes.

Each June Loule holds its Festival Med, an event that attracts thousands of people from around the world to witness what has become known as being one of the most important cultural entertainment festivals in the Algarve.

Essentially celebrating the culture and music of the Mediterranean, Loule’s roads come alive with street entertainment, artistic exhibitions, theatre, traditional, delicious and beautifully presented Mediterranean food, as well as Med-inspired arts and crafts.

Although there is a strong emphasis on Mediterranean music, advertising under the slogan ‘music and much more’, Loule’s historical centre, for four days, will play centre stage to “world music”. Well-known names in the world of music from across the globe flock to the Loule Festival Med 2012 to participate in this highly anticipated event.

Asides local Mediterranean-based food being served in Loule’s many restaurants, bars and temporary food kiosks put on for the festival, visitors will have a chance to sample the different tastes of may cuisines from around the world.

With Loule’s narrow, winding and intricate streets being abound by multi-national cultures, unique displays of colour, art and talent, there is no time quite like during the Festival Med to witness this intriguing Moorish town at its most compelling.

The Loule Festival Med 2012 is being held this year between June 22 and June 25. If you need to find a luxury villa in Loule, Casa la Dona is 5 km away and is yet another very special Vintage Travel villa.

 


 

10 May
Algarve Classic Festival 2012

The Algarve Classic Festival 2012

Whilst October can only be described as being well and truly engrossed in autumn in the UK, in the sunny Algarve, October can be described as being late summer, where the days are still beautifully warm and the nights refreshingly crisp.

If you do have an inkling to escape the onset of winter in Britain and prolong the summer and you want to experience a holiday with a difference, you may be interested to hear about the Algarve Classic Festival 2012, a festival guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping and heart racing.

This annual car rally race is taking place on 18 – 21 October 2012 at the Algarve International Autodrome, and, this year, is being is being re-launched as a major European event.

Talking about the popularity of this major sporting event on the Algarve, Paulo Pinheiro, the Algarve International Autodrome circuit director, told 3D Car Shows:

“Since the Autodrome was completed in 2008, our annual historic motorsport event has become increasingly popular across Europe. Recently, we have heard from a small number of race organisers and racers who were concerned that the event would no longer be run every year, but this is not the case.”

“We can say with certainty that the Algarve Classic Festival is a firm fixture for 2012, and will be an annual event from now on.”

The Algarve Classic Festival 2012 is almost a five kilometre circuit, comprising of several steep climbs and technical corners, provides an exhilarating ride for both drivers and spectators. Various races will take place throughout the four-day event, including the JD Classics Challenge for Touring Cars from 1966 – 85, the Motor Racing Legends Pre-War Sports Car Series, and the Stirling Moss Trophy for pre-61 sports cars and sports racers, amongst many more, meaning spectators will have the chance to see hundreds of legendary and collectible sports cars being handling by the most talented of racing car drivers.

The Algarve International Autodrome is FIA approved and is one of the most modern racing circuits in Europe. Located close to the stunning town of Portimao, which is blessed with beautiful beaches and hordes of shops, restaurants, bars and local events, this world-class racing circuit boasts a lively year-round events calendar, but perhaps the most nail-biting and entertaining of them all is the Algarve Classic Festival.

Why not check out Vintage Travel’s collection of Algarve luxury villas?

 


 

18 Dec

The Rally de Portugal 2012

Exhilarating, bold and precarious – The Rally de Portugal 2012.

From 27 March 2012 – 1 April 2012 some of the best rally drivers in the world will race across the Algarve. The 1000 kilometre race will take drivers of only the best calibre on the international rally driving circuit, across perilous tracks, vast stretches of open road and past the most stunning of Algarve countryside – not that the drivers will have time to see it, but the spectators will – and finish at the impressive Estadio Algarve in Loule.

Motor sports, for years, have been an important sport in Portugal and, given its devotion to motor racing, the Automovel Club de Portugal was founded in 1900.

The Rally de Portugal began in 1975, succeeding the Rally TAP, both of which were founded and have been organised by the Automovel Club de Portugal.

The event later became known as the Vodafone Rally de Portugal and throughout its history some of the most famous names in international rally driving have been written into the rankings of the event.

The Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2012 is the fourth event of the World Rally Championship calendar for 2012, a championship that has 13 legs and opens in January with the Monte Carlo Rally and closes in November in Spain.

With the weather becoming warmer, the first of the Algarve buds beginning to blossom and without there being a heavy mass of tourists arriving in the region’s holidaymaker’s hotspots, if the speed, exhilaration and sheer danger of rally racing gets your heart pumping and adrenaline racing, then a trip to Portugal in late March next year will definitely settle all yearnings for an adrenaline fix.

For more information about what promises to be a white-knuckle, exhilarating event, visit the Rally de Portugal website.


 

14 Aug

Medieval days of Castro Marim festival 2011

From Thursday 25 August 2011 until Sunday 28 August, the ancient town of Castro Marim on the eastern edge of the Algarve will be holding the Medieval Days of Castro Marim festival 2011.

This fun, family-orientated event is free for all and includes many colourful and exciting children’s activities, delicious local cuisine being served in abundance, beautiful handicrafts meticulously crafted by the locals being sold, alongside music, dancing and merriment well into the early hours, making the Medieval Days of Castro Marim an event not to be missed.

The earliest remains of this fascinating town date back as early as 5000BC and for thousands of years Castro Marim was an important town strategically position next to the mighty Guadiana River close to the Spanish border acting in defence of the Algarve.

The Castro Miram Castle stands on the hill overlooking the town and the fort of Sao Sebastiao. The castle dates back to the 10th century and was built by the Moors to protect the Algarve coast.

The castle remains the focal point for the medieval festival with many of the locals re-enacting the medieval era by dressing as queens, kings, knights, noblemen and minstrels and wandering around the castle and the streets of the town on horseback and on foot in authentic medieval clothing.

The food, drinks and music is presented at the castle, as well as many exciting activities including a jousting competition, an exhibition of the torture instruments used in the Middle Ages and many story telling sessions for the children.

The Medieval Days of Castro Marim festival is now in its eleventh year and was started as an initiative by the Castro Marim town hall to promote the history of the town as well as the local produce.

The festival seems to grow in popularity with each passing year, and if you are heading to the Algarve this August, be sure to follow the magnificent Guadiana River until you arrive at this remarkable ancient town and witness it at its most spectacular.


 

26 May

Lagos and the Algarve Fair 2011

From Saturday 4 June 2011 until Sunday 5 June 2011, the International Algarve Fair will be taking place in the town of Lagos.

Cited as being “where all the Algarve meets”, this annual event seems to go from strength to strength and attracts an escalating international crowd with each passing year.

With hundreds of exhibitors, all day entertainment, bars, restaurants and kiosks all serving delicious local dishes, the Algarve Fair 2011 caters for all tastes and age groups, with something of everything for each family member.

This year will include several new attractions, including new features, shows and demonstrations in the third Algarve Dog Show and a prize draw on the entry tickets, giving every attendee the chance to win a fantastic prize.

Although the fun, exciting and friendly Algarve Fair is only one of a whole host of reasons to visit the town of Lagos this summer.  Taken from the Latin word ‘Laccorbiga’, the name Lagos actually means ‘Lakes’, shedding a clue on the beauty of the town.

Situated at the mouth of the Bensafrim River and along the Atlantic Ocean, this seaside town remains a popular tourist destination, although maintains a certain charm seemingly resistant to the effects of mass tourism.

History is at the heart of Lagos and the town has the oldest slave market in Europe, which dates back to the 15th century. It was in the town of Lagos that Caravels were built and set sail to the new world.

Although Lagos provides an interesting mix of something for everyone, and for those yearning a vibrant nightlife scene, Lagos is the place to go.

Being one of the most visited towns on the Algarve, Lagos is home to a prolific amount of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, which, together with its grand, beautiful and diverse beaches, means Lagos remains a renowned party city, particularly in the summer months.


 

29 Nov

Passegem de Ano Algarve – New Year in the Algarve

In typical up-to-date fashion, Vintage Travel is pleased to inform its readers of newly released ‘hot off the press’ tickets for the New Year’s Eve Party at Pestana Golf resorts on the Algarve.

The New Year’s Eve Party at Pestana Golf resorts on the Algarve is going to be a night to remember

If seeing the New Year in for the umpteenth consecutive year down your local doesn’t wholly inspire you this year, or forking out hundreds of pounds on tickets, drinks and a taxi home doesn’t sound too appealing either, then you could do a whole lot worse then jet off to the sunny Algarve and spend New Year’s Eve 2010 at the Pestana Golf Resorts party.