Silves Medieval Fair: 9th – 15th August, 2011

A note for your diaries!

The annual Silves Medieval Fair (Algarve) is held in the narrow cobbled streets which lead up to the ancient castle. The streets and squares are transformed into a medieval market place as stall holders and even several of the visitors dress in medieval and arabic costumes. There is a tent where you can hire costumes plus if you really want to embrace the medieval “mood” you can also change your euros into the old currency to use at the stalls.

There are several food stalls where you can buy hog roast, barbecued chicken, crepes, sweets, cakes etc You can even buy mulled wine in rustic terracotta cups as you wander the streets or sit on straw bales while you eat, drink and enjoy the ambience.

If you do not fancy eating on the β€œhoof” there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area.

There are many events throughout the evening including jugglers, dancing, jousting and more!

The Fair opens at 18.00 and closes at 1.00.

If you have young children in pushchairs please note the fair becomes extremely busy later in the evening which may prove difficult to push the little one through the crowds and up or down the steep cobbled streets. We usually arrive to watch the opening processions and browse all the stalls before the crowds arrive!

I have written to the organisers to enquire about disabled parking and facilities and will update this post once I receive a reply.

Locals tip: Wear comfortable flattish shoes with a good grip. The cobbled streets are extremely slippery in places.

Useful links
Event organiser:
www.cm-silves.pt/portal_autarquico/silves/v_pt-PT

Portugal tourism website
www.visitportugal.com
VisitPortugal is the official web resource for travel and tourism in Portugal

Pictures of Silves Medieval Fair 2010

Silves Medieaval Fair 2010 - Opening Procession
Silves Medieaval Fair 2010 - Opening Procession
Silves Medieval Fair - Stall selling armor!
Buy your own medieval armor!
Silves Medieval Fair - View from the Castle
Silves Medieval Fair - View from the Castle
Silves Medieval Fair - stall selling shields
Silves Medieval Fair - stall selling shields before the crowds arrived!
Silves Medieval Fair - before the crowds arrived
Silves Medieval Fair - before the crowds arrived
Silves Medieval Fair - Stall selling Ginja - a popular Portuguese liquer
Stall selling Ginja - a popular Portuguese cherry liquer
Silves Medieval Fair - Opening procession
Silves Medieval Fair - Opening procession

The atmosphere changes as darkness falls and the streets fill with throngs of people. It has a real party feel and a great buzz, but a little difficult if you are trying to maneuver a pushchair.

Silves Medieval Fair - Dancers and jugglers entertain us!
Silves Medieval Fair - Dancers and jugglers entertain us!

Silves Medieval Fair - There are many stalls selling delicious food!
There are many stalls selling delicious food!
Magical meal at Cafe Ingles
Magical meal at Cafe Ingles as darkness falls
Silves Medieval Fair - Night falls and the streets packed
Silves Medieval Fair - Night falls and the streets packed
Silves Medieval Fair - Wooden African Masks
Silves Medieval Fair - Wooden African Masks
Silves Medieval Fair at night
Silves Medieval Fair at night

Video of opening Procession

If you have been to the fair or are planning your trip to the Algarve please don’t forget to leave a comment!

Alternatively, if you are not in Portugal I would love to hear about your favourite local event – you never know it may attract some extra visitors!

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46 thoughts on “Silves Medieval Fair: 9th – 15th August, 2011

Add yours

  1. Hi Thorny Rose,
    I love this event so I thought I would make a post about it before rather than after.
    We look round the stalls before all the crowds arrive then go to a little restaurant by the castle for a meal. We look down on one of the squares while we eat, and as darkenss falls it’s a really magical evening!

    Do you have anything similar in Chile where people dress up?

    PiP

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      1. Hi NR,
        We have been to the fesitval several times now and really enjoy it πŸ™‚ so thought it would be nice to give advance warning for those looking to visit Portugal. I think it is so nice because Silves is an ancient town.
        πŸ™‚

        Like

  2. Very cool! Wish I could go to it but as I am in Texas, it would be a little too far!
    We have a Renaissance Fair within a few hours, I believe, of where I live….about 3 months every year…between Sept. and Nov., I think. I have never been to it but always wanted to go!

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  3. PiP,
    That looks like a blast. I love Street Events, whether it’s a fair or musical event. I’ve never been to a Medieval Fair and we have them all the time in the States….really big ones that go on for weeks. There are so many events here in NYC that I can’t choose which is my favorite. On Tuesday I’m going to the Make Music New York Event. Thousands of musical performances will be happening in the streets of NYC that day. I’m going to see as many as I can. Have a great time at the fair!

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  4. Hi PiP! I’m not sure about Chile. I’ve been here such a short time that there’s a lot I haven’t discovered yet.

    @Sharon–That Renaissance Fair in Texas is huge and fun. I used to live in Austin and I’ve visited it. GO!!! πŸ™‚

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  5. Wish I could be to see it for myself; I love street events, particularly when they are steeped in history, and involve the whole community. This one looks good, lots of events going on, stalls selling their wares, etc.
    We have a local Street Festival coming up at the end of this month so I will write a post on it. It’s to celebrate the life of P.L.Travers, the author of Mary Poppins who was born near where I live.

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  6. I think we might take the kids (or one, if they don’t both want to go, I suppose!) to this. My youngest will definitely dress up!
    We didn’t go last year because we had visitors and not enough car space for us all but I’d love to go this time!

    Like

    1. Hi Tracy, the youngsters love it. They dress up in some really lovely arabic costumes with beaded hats and tops – like the belly dancers. Did not take any photos of these in case people got the wrong impression 😦 But they looked lovely!
      There is so much to do and see – don’t forget to wear non slip shoes though as the steep calΓ§ada streets are like an icerink ..

      Hope you have a great time
      PiP

      Like

  7. That looks fab! Ace pictures! If I could get there I’d go for a full suit of chain mail, shield, big old hog roast and gold coins! It looks very lively, hope everyone who goes has loads of fun!

    Like

      1. Cool! I can hardly wait to hear of your adventures this year. πŸ™‚

        There’s no rush on the photo, just whenever you get time is fine. πŸ˜‰

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  8. Hey PiP, you are tempting me more and more to come to Portugal, looks fab and very interesting – my kind of thing.
    By the way (and off subject) I mentioned the frozen u know whats to my midwife sister and she said she’d never heard of that before, so I shall send her the link to your blog if you don’t mind.

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  9. This is why I dream of one day to be able to visit other countries ! This is so cool ! and filled with plenty of fun and action – great photos ! Thanks for sharing ! πŸ™‚

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  10. We have this type of fair here in the US. They’re usually called Renaissance Fairs, but it’s basically the same. Lots of great food & drink, dressing up, Shakespeare plays, jousting, lots of period type crafts. We’ve been to ones in Maryland and Texas. And yes, PiP, we did dress in costume!

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  11. How fun! If only I could afford the time and money to take a nice vacation, I think I would very much enjoy this. Loved all the pictures. It almost felt like I was there. Thanks, PiP. Jackie

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