November brings roasted chestnuts, light art and “forgotten food”

November brings roasted chestnuts, light art and “forgotten food”

The days may be shorter and darker now, but the Algarve is still buzzing with things to do.

A traditional autumn fair, a light art festival, the prospect of discovering “forgotten foods” and a popular sweet potato festival are among the highlights of the Algarve’s cultural programme for November.

First up is Portimão’s 357th Feira de São Martinho, which will take place at the town’s exhibition park near the Portimão Arena between Friday, November 8 and Sunday, November 17.

One of the oldest events in the Algarve, the fair has something for everyone from delicious street food and piping hot roasted chestnuts to fairground rides, car exhibitions and stalls selling regional sweets, clothing, handbags, toys and household items. Admission is free.

For the first time, the Algarve International Festival of Light (LUZA) will be held in Faro between Thursday, November 14 and Saturday, November 16. The event is popular for the way artists use light as a form of art and will see parts of the Algarvian capital turned into true works of art. There will also be workshops, conferences and ‘Luza Lab’ exhibitions at the Fábrica da Cerveja (former beer factory).

‘Forgotten Food’, the festival that aims to shine the spotlight on traditional products that are “disappearing” from our tables, is also returning this month with four events. Three of them will be sensorial dinners called ‘Momentum’, which will be held in Lagoa on Friday the 8th, in São Brás de Alportel on Saturday the 9th and in Vila do Bispo on Sunday the 10th. A ‘Harvest and Cook’ event is planned for November 30 in Alcoutim.

Food lovers should also take note of Aljezur’s Sweet Potato Festival, described as one of the biggest gastronomic autumn festivals in the south of Portugal. The event begins on November 21 and continues until the first day of December, showcasing not only the delicious sweet potato produced in Aljezur but also many other local gastronomic treasures.

Other highlights this month include ‘Operação Montanha Verde’, a volunteer initiative that will see thousands of people planting trees in fire-ravaged areas of the Algarve on Sunday and Monday (November 10 and 11), and a performance by acclaimed Flamenco dancer David Pérez y Su Cuadro Flamenco at Olhão’s Municipal Auditorium on Friday, November 22 at 9.30pm.

Information on these and other events can be found in ‘Guia Algarve’, a guide in Portuguese and English launched every month detailing what is going on in the Algarve (click here). The physical guide is also distributed for free at Faro Airport, hotels, travel agencies, rent-a-cars and golf courses.

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