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Ria Formosa seafood extravaganza

Olhão’s annual Festival do Marisco (Seafood Festival) starts on August 8 at Jardim Pescador Olhanense.

Thousands of people travel to the eastern Algarve town to taste the many sea delicacies on offer.

Foreign residents and visitors to the region unfamiliar with some of Portugal’s most famous seafood dishes should try the old favourites, Arroz de Marisco (seafood rice), Açorda de Marisco (seafood bread stew) and Feijoada de Búzios (whelk and bean stew), or for a bit of glamour the Cataplana (seafood steamed in special copper pan).

Typical Algarve sweets, crafts and an interesting concert programme complement this festival that runs until August 12.

Musical highlights include Tony Carreira, the best-selling Portuguese ballad singer, on August 8, Portuguese band GNR on the 9th and Bandit Beatles (tribute band) on the 10th.

The festival opens daily from 6.30pm to 1.30am.

Tickets, purchasable at the door, cost €8 for adults and €3 for children aged seven to 12. Admission is free for children up to the age of six. Visit www.festivaldomarisco.com

Meanwhile, still on this weekend is the 19th Ria Formosa Festival in Faro’s Largo de São Francisco, from 6pm to 2pm each day.

Try shrimp, spider crab, whelks, clams, cockles, oysters and other local seafood dishes. Food served comes straight from the Ria Formosa onto the table.

An unmissable Algarve gastronomic experience! Entrance is free.