Summer arrives with festivals, saints and beach partying

Loulé’s MED Festival, the traditional Santos Populares celebrations and Carvoeiro’s Black & White Night party are the highlights of the Algarve’s cultural agenda for June, the month that marks the start of the busy summer season in Portugal’s sun-drenched southernmost region.

The MED Festival will be held between June 27 and 30 and is famous for its eclectic musical line-up. Ten stages will be set up throughout the historic centre of Loulé and over 80 hours of music are planned with 280 artists from 22 countries travelling to the Algarve to perform.

This year, cinema will play a bigger role than ever in the festival. A short-film will be screened before each of the festival’s concerts, while the debut of ‘Gabriel e a Montanha’, “one of the most important productions of Brazilian cinema in the last few years”, will happen at the town’s castle on June 30.

Another highlight of the Algarve’s June cultural agenda will be the Festas dos Santos Populares, which are among Portugal’s oldest traditions. They are held in honour of the three Catholic saints – São João, São Pedro and Santo António – and are celebrated across the country with street parades and parties.

In the Algarve, Portimão (June 7-28) and Faro (June 11-13) will be hosting Santos Populares parades and parties lasting several days, while Alcoutim (June 15) and Castro Marim (June 23) in the Eastern Algarve will host single-day celebrations.

Also certain to attract thousands of revellers is Carvoeiro’s Black & White Night on Saturday, June 15 (click here). The village comes alive with people dressed in black and white, stages set up along the main streets and beachside square, and street performers entertaining the crowds.

It’ll also be a busy month for sports fans. Vila Real de Santo António will host the Algarve Sevens rugby competition this weekend (April 8-9), Aljezur’s Praia do Amado will welcome the fourth stage of the national surf competition Liga Meo Surf between Friday, June 21 and Sunday, June 23 and the fastest sailors in the world will compete in the waters of Lagos bay as part of the GC32 Racing Tour 2019 from June 26 to July 1.

And for those who want to refresh themselves with a nice cold beer in the hot days to come, there will be two beer festivals taking place this month – the Porches Craft Beer Fest at the Vila Vita Biergarten (June 8-9) and the Lagos World Beer Fest in Lagos (June 27-29).

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