Portimão’s much anticipated annual sardine Festival is back for its 27th edition. One of the biggest gastronomic events in the Algarve, which last year attracted 110,000 visitors, returns between August 1 and 6 with plenty of grilled sardines and entertainment.
The festival is inaugurated at 17:00 on August 1, with a unique historical recreation of sardines being unloaded onto the docks. This picturesque tradition, which until four decades ago could be witnessed along Portimão’sriverside, was lost when the fishing port moved to the opposite bank of the Arade River.
On the occasion of this recreation of the traditional ritual, free tasting vouchers for two sardines on bread and a drink will be offered at the festival grounds. These can be collected at the entrance and redeemed from August 1 to 5 at one of the catering stands promoted by local associations.
A summer delicacy par excellence, it is at this time of the year that sardines, icons of Portimão’s gastronomy, are at their most delicious and resulted in the creation of the first Sardine Festival in the summer of 1985. The event soon became one of the most popular “anchor” events in Portimão, both nationally and internationally, attracting thousands of visitors to the city at the beginning of August.
During six days, the most delicious grilled sardines can be tasted on a plate or a slice of bread at one of five pavilions set up on the premises or at the seven restaurants partnering with the event. The “Festival Plate”, which includes five grilled sardines, bread, boiled potatoes and a refreshing Algarvian salad, has a fixed price of €10.50 (without drinks). Other snacks to satisfy all palates and a selection of the best local sweets, desserts and regional liqueurs are also available.
Exhibitors include personalised embroidery, gold and silverware, textiles, footwear, handmade candles and many more stands. And, as is mandatory, the festival features a great musical line-up on four stages spread along the riverside. Three stages feature national, regional and local artists and groups, while the «Main Stage» hosts headlining acts every day at 22:00: Carlão (1), Áurea (2), André Sardet (3), Virgul (4), Cuca Roseta (5) and Tony Carreira (6).
One of the last edition’s innovations, the lounge space, is also back, providing a calm and pleasant environment with a privileged view of the Arade River. Here, visitors can relax and socialise, take a break, take pictures or even contact the Municipality of Portimão through the information point on site.
A Sustainable Event
The event prides itself in once again being an officially sustainable gastronomic event, thanks to a partnership established between the Portimão City Council and EMARP (Portimão’s Municipal Water and Waste Company) to reduce environmental impacts.
During last year’s edition, 1,600 kilos of organic waste/food leftovers were collected and subsequently transformed into natural fertiliser, while 610 kilos of paper/cardboard, 770 kilos of packaging and 100 kilos of glass were collected and separated for recycling.
The official “Festival cup” was one of the primary measures adopted. Made from ecological and reusable material, the cup can be purchased at the entrances of the enclosure for €1. Each cup can be returned to be washed or exchanged for a new one free of charge, and, to avoid waste, its cost is refunded if the consumer does not intend to take it home.
Plates and cutlery in sustainable materials are also used, with several “ecopontos” and awareness signs placed throughout the enclosure and environmental initiatives promoted and publicised.
The doors of the 27th edition of Portimão’s Sardine Festival open daily from 18:00 till midnight between August 1 and 6, and admission is free. Additional information can be found at www.festivaldasardinha.pt.