Learning about the different cultures and customs around the world is one of the best things about travelling, which is why a visit to the Fatacil Fair in Portugal's Algarve should be on your holiday to-do list. Created to celebrate the region's heritage, and one of the largest events in the western Algarve, the fair returns to Lagoa every August for 10 days with its signature mix of live music, local food, crafts, and much more.
Shopping and foodFirst held in 1982, tens of thousands of people now visit the Fatacil Fair annually to soak up the atmosphere and wander around the huge 50,000-square-metre exhibition area. With the fair taking up such a huge space, it's no surprise there's lots to see here. Both kids and adults will enjoy the demonstrations, concerts by famous artists and stalls jam-packed with everything from local farm produce to homemade jewellery, and wooden art. All that shopping is guaranteed to build up your appetite, and with countless food stands to try you'll be spoilt for choice. Tuck into typical Portuguese cakes and sweets, or give in to temptation with some delicious grilled octopus; the mouthwatering smell of seafood cooking fills the air and you won't be able to resist! The large cheese and ham sandwiches are a must-try, as are the usual festival foods of bifanas (Portuguese pork sandwich) and p ão com chouriço (bread with chorizo).
Farmer's marketJust like a country fair, at Fatacil you'll find a wide range of cheeses, smoked hams, seafood, dried fruits, and even honey from across the country, but mainly sourced from the Algarve.To showcase the quality of their products, Portuguese farmers tend to bring some of their livestock to the fair. Kids will love to get up close to the sheep, goats, cows and pigs, as well seeing some of the tractors and other heavy farm machinery on display. The fair's equestrian show takes place every night, where you can grab a seat in the special area and watch as Portuguese, Spanish and Brazilian well-known horse stud farms put their horses through their paces in the show ring.
WineWith the Fatacil Fair taking place in Portugal's important wine-producing region, you can expect to find some of the best local wines. Celebrating the quality of Algarve wines, there's a special area where you can sample vintages from both smaller family-run businesses and internationally-acclaimed names. When you find one you like, you can buy up bottles in discount boxes. If wine's not your tipple of choice, don't worry as there are many other types of liqueurs sold at the fair, including Medronho. The main highlight of the fair is the live music. Join the lively crowds and head to the stage to see a line-up of popular singers and musicians, with past performances by the likes of Pedro Abrunhosa, José Cid and Herman José.