Rock salt mine (Mina de Sal-Gema) in Loulé

Loulé, Silves and Albufeira to host cultural events in “unexpected locations”

Free cultural events in “unexpected locations” will take place in the boroughs of Loulé, Silves and Albufeira, and also the University of the Algarve. The four ‘entities’ are responsible for creating the Algarvensis Geopark, which since 2019 is aspiring to join the official network of UNESCO Geoparks.

The series, entitled ‘GeoPalcos Arte.Ciência.Natureza’ (GeoStages Art.Science.Nature), will feature everything from a night-time concert in a quarry to an art exhibition inside a 230-million-year-old rock salt mine.

Events will take place until September and aim to show people some of the amazing locations that have inspired these three municipalities to seek recognition as a UNESCO Geopark (officially described as “single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development”).

“We plan to host this programme twice a year, created with the collaboration and participation of populations and which links art, science and nature,” organisers say.

One of the events being pitched as a highlight is an art exhibition by Miguel Cheta, Christine Henry and João Caiano which will be unveiled on Wednesday (June 23) inside Loulé’s Mina de Sal-Gema rock salt mine.

Another standout event will be a musical performance by Vítor Bacalhau and Ricardo Martins on Saturday (June 26) at the Pedreira de grés quarry in Vale Fuzeiros. It will “fuse Fado and Blues” and also feature a multimedia show put together by students from Silves’ secondary school.

Also planned is the unveiling of an art exhibition by Vanessa Barragão at Paderne’s medieval bridge on July 2.

A long list of walks, workshops and other live performances are also planned throughout the summer. Information about these and other events is available online at

The Algarvensis Geopark is looking to become the only UNESCO Geopark south of the Tejo River in Portugal.

Cristina Veiga-Pires, scientific director of the Geopark, said that the bid was created following the discoveries that have been made in the area.

“It all started with the discovery of Metoposaurus algarvensis (said to be 227 million years old), a unique species of giant salamander that was over two metres long and which gives its name to this geopark,” she explained.

Covering a 1,381sqm area across around one third of the Algarve’s territory, the geopark is said to boast a “geological heritage dating back to before the appearance of dinosaurs”.

[email protected]

Full programme: AF_Programa_GeoPalcos

Metoposaurus Algarvensis
Metoposaurus Algarvensis
Rock salt mine (Mina de Sal-Gema) in Loulé
Rock salt mine (Mina de Sal-Gema) in Loulé
Rock salt mine (Mina de Sal-Gema) in Loulé
Benémola, Loulé
Paderne Castle
Paderne old bridge
Aldeia de Paderne
Casa Museu João de Deus, Messines