When you think of the coast of the Algarve in southern Portugal, golden beaches, scenic cliffs and luxury golf resorts usually spring to mind first. There's more to the Algarve than just sun, surf and sand; there's plenty of attractions and cultural events to keep you busy here, too. Popular with both locals and visitors, the International Algarve Fair has been running since 2006 and promises two full days of fun. This is the biggest annual event for Portugal's international community, and is a great opportunity for the region to show off to the millions of visitors who flock here every year. The International Algarve Fair is currently hosted at the Faticil Showground in Lagoa and has a wide range of family-friendly activities, exhibitions and shows.
All-day entertainmentHead to the fair's arena and enjoy the all-day entertainment, arts and crafts stalls, golf simulators and car show. Kids will love jumping on the bouncy castles, juggling alongside clowns, and getting their face painted. The whole family will enjoy watching all the different breeds compete in the dog show at the International Algarve Fair. Now the leading dog show in the Algarve region, the show's organised by the Paws4Pets charity and has classes and challenges for dogs of all different shapes and sizes over the two-day fair. Choose your favourite hound and cheer them on from the sidelines.
Performances and refreshmentsThere's dance demonstrations, choirs, soloists and fashion shows, with a range of talented performers taking to the stage to showcase their culture and customs. All this fun and entertainment will leave you needing to re-energise with some food and drink. There are plenty of restaurants, snack bars and cafes at the fair to choose from; where you can sit back and enjoy the performances with a cold beer, tea or even a meal. Paying homage to the different nationalities of people who live in the Algarve, there's a variety of cuisine from around the world in the restaurant area to tantilise your tastebuds. Try everything from traditional Portuguese dishes to Indian curries, cream teas and South African BBQ. Visit the fair on a Saturday night, where you can enjoy a late-night meal, and the entertainment after you've explored all the stands.
Local Lagoa wineLagoa is known as Portugal's wine region, and you can taste some of the best at the International Algarve Fair. From smaller family-run businesses to internationally acclaimed names, you might find you like local Lagoa wine so much that you book yourself on a guided wine-tasting tour once the fair's finishes.
Getting hereOnly half an hour's drive away from Albufeira, the small city of Lagoa is also easy to get to from the tourist hot spots of Carvoeiro and Ferragudo. If you're travelling here by hire car, you'll find lots of spaces to park close to the main entrance. The International Algarve Fair is held on a Saturday and Sunday in June, from 11am until 7pm. It's only 3.50 to enter, and for kids under 12 it's completely free.