The Algarve may be better known as a summer destination but that doesn’t mean the region goes “quiet” in the winter months.
To give locals and visitors a general idea of what will be happening this month, the regional tourism board (RTA) has launched a guide to around 150 cultural events taking place throughout the region in January.
New Year Concerts by the Orquestra Filarmónica Portuguesa, under the direction of maestro Osvaldo Ferreira, will be held at Olhão Municipal Auditorium on January 3 (€10) and at Portimão’s TEMPO auditorium on January 4 (free entry), both commencing at 9.30pm.
One of the highlights will be a performance by Chinese virtuoso Zi Zhai and the Orquestra Clássica do Centro led by Polish maestro Jan Wierzba at Portimão’s TEMPO theatre on January 19. The event is part of the Algarve’s 3rd International Piano Festival and is included in the ‘365 Algarve’ programme, created to promote winter events in the region.
Also included in the programme is an Urban Art Experience on January 26 in Lagos which will encourage art lovers to discover the town’s best examples of urban art and also create their own works.
There will also be three performances by “Moda Vestra”, which includes Algarve-born artists João Frade (accordionist), Sickonce (electronic music) and Ana Perfeito (visual artist), who united to create “an audiovisual project that, based on the region’s traditional music, aims to explore the ambiguity between the traditional Algarve, its past, present and visions of its future, from an experimental perspective of contemporary re-interpretation.” They will be performing in Albufeira (January 12), Olhão (25) and Silves (26).
For those who love wine and jazz, the ‘Jazz nas Adegas’ will be returning in January with a performance by Zeus Faber at the Quinta João Clara wine cellars in Alcantarilha on January 18.
Foodies will be able to enjoy the ‘CataPlay’ show, which combines theatre, music, dance and gastronomy into one unique event and will be held in Albufeira on January 26.
The Video Lucem initiative will also host a cinematic concert featuring pianist Filipe Raposo and singers Rita Maria and Ribardo Ribeiro at Estoi Palace on January 19.
Other highlights include a concert by Eurovision winner Salvador Sobral, who will perform at Lagos’ cultural centre on January 25 and 26, and the return of the Algarve Tango Festival to Faro where a tango show will be held on January 19, with several classes also taking place between January 18 and 20.
The inland village of Querença will host its ‘Festa das Chouriças’ on January 20. The event shines the spotlight on the village’s smoked sausages, considered to be among the best the Algarve has to offer.
Last but not least, Portimão is promising the “biggest 360º indoor video mapping event ever seen in Portugal” to mark the town’s title of ‘European City of Sport’ in 2019. The event will take place on January 18 at the Portimão Arena.
More information about all events can be found online (https://www.visitalgarve.pt/upload_files/client_id_1/website_id_1/Guia%20Algarve/GUIA_janeiro_web_2.pdf). The physical guide is also distributed for free at Faro Airport, hotels, travel agencies, rent-a-cars and golf courses.