Algarve celebrates Popular Saints with parades and grilled sardines

June in Portugal is the month of Santos Populares celebrations.

No matter where you are in the country, chances are that some town near you is hosting a party or street parade in honour of São João, São Pedro and Santo António.

Festivities usually involve big parades and street barbecues, mainly grilled sardines served on bread with a beer or wine to help ‘wash it down’. And the Algarve is no exception, with festivities planned throughout the region.

Alcoutim (Saturday, June 15 at 6pm) and Castro Marim (Sunday, June 23 at 7pm) in the eastern Algarve will each be hosting their own single-day Santos Populares events.

The capital of the Algarve, Faro, is hosting its Festa de Santo António do Alto until this Thursday and is also planning a series of parades at the São Luís stadium on Sunday, June 30.

One of the most popular stops for Santos Populares celebrations is Quarteira, where the parades are considered some of the best in the south of Portugal and attract crowds of people.

They will be held on Sunday, June 23 and Friday, June 28 at the town’s seafront starting at 9pm.

Lagos is also hosting parades at the Infante square from Thursday to Saturday (June 13 to 16), with the event starting at 7pm and the parades taking to the streets from 9.45pm.

Parades are also being held in São Brás de Alportel at the Cabeço de Velho football headquarters (Friday, June 14), at the Alportel park (Friday, June 21), at the local chapel’s square (Saturday, June 22) and at the João Sousa Beatriz neighbourhood (Friday, June 28).

But these are just some of the best-known parties. Some neighbourhoods host their very own parades and ‘bailes’, so follow the sound of music or the smell of grilled sardines to find a Popular Saints party near you!

Information on the Popular Saints celebrations and other events can be found in ‘Guia Algarve’, a guide to what is going on in the Algarve each month (click here).

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