For many local residents, autumn in the Algarve is their favourite season. The boisterous high season is over for another year, the pace becomes more chilled-out, and the lead up to the Christmas-New Year festive season is full of attractive cultural events and leisure activities that are popular with both residents and visitors.
Here we mention just a few of the dates you should put into your diary if planning to visit the Algarve over the next few days – but first a look back at the conclusion of another successful summer tourist season.
According to tourism officials, the Algarve’s hotels welcomed approximately 445,000 guests in September, or 1.9 million overnight stays, which represented 3.9 and 1.3 per cent rises, respectively, compared with the same month in 2018.
The total number of holidaymakers (including all tourist accommodation) was 624,000 and the number of overnight stays, 2.5 million; with increases among British, Irish Spanish and French visitors.
September was becoming “one of the most popular high season months in the Algarve”, said Algarve Tourism Association president João Fernandes. The Algarve accounted for 33.8 per cent of overnight stays at Portuguese hotels, he noted, 1.1 million passengers used Faro Airport, and more than 135,000 rounds of golf were played in the region.
Now in its fourth edition, 365 Algarve continues with the Trails for Spoon and Cook session on 30 November in Alcoutim; while the Aljezur Sweet Potato Festival begins on 29 November and runs until 1 December.
The 12th edition of the Algarve Organ Festival returned to Portimão, Faro, Boliqueime and Tavira in November, with 12 free evening classical music concerts held at local churches. Still coming up are Javier Artigas and Ministriles de Marsias performing at Igreja de Santiago in Tarifa on 29 November and the Sé church in Faro on 30 November.
On another note, in addition to cultural attractions, the Algarve is also well-known for its residents’ strong sense of civic pride and responsibility.
That was on magnificent show this month when people from eight municipalities across the region joined forces for a tree-planting initiative of “epic proportions”. More than 4,000 volunteers planted over 42,000 trees to help the region recover from serious wildfire damage.
First held in 2016, “Operação Montanha Verde” has grown from 1,250 participants in 2018 to nearly four times that number this year. It covers the municipalities of Portimão, Silves, Lagoa, Monchique, Loulé, São Brás de Alportel and Tavira.