Portimão Sardine Festival: Portugal

Sunday, 13 August 2017

On Saturday 5th August, my family and I, along with our good family friends, took a trip to Portimão for their famous Sardine Festival. All of us had been many years ago when we were much younger, but over the last few years we have never managed to have our holiday and the festival coincide, so when we heard that the festival was taking place when the four of us and our friends were all out there together again this year, we knew HAD to go!

Us being British and cautious, we decided to get there for 7pm which was when the festival started, however, that was probably still a bit too early - most of the stalls weren't even open yet! Luckily, none of us had had dinner yet so we decided to stop off at a well-known and very popular restaurant in the area, just round the corner from the festival itself, called 'Peixarada' where we enjoyed an array of meats, including Octopus! (FYI, they do the BEST sirloin steak you could possibly eat.) It was a beautiful setting and the staff were super lovely.

After we finished dinner, we eventually made our way to the festival, and to some people it may seem like nothing special other than a fair few stalls selling sardines, cakes and jewellery, but there was a nostalgic feel for all of us so it was really lovely to be walking through those streets again seeing and what the authentic Portuguese stalls had to offer.

Once we'd had a quick look through the busier stalls towards the performance stage at the end of the street, we headed up along the harbour where there were hundreds more classic foreign market sellers that we were unaware of. We were really enjoying just seeing what they were offering, ranging from original, home-made Portuguese pieces to fidget spinners. Even though we were buying anything in particular, the overall atmosphere was very uplifting.

However, as great as this all of this was, there was only one thing on our minds... cherry liquor in mini chocolate tea cups!

The youngsters of the group (me included) also remembered our mums drinking cherry liquor from handmade, tiny chocolate cups the first time we visited years ago, but obviously, being 5, 6, 7 & 8 at the time, we weren't exactly allowed any - all we wanted was the chocolate, to be honest! But now, 12 years later, we were all on a mission to find and have our own cherry liquor filled chocolate cups.
However, whilst continuing to walk along the sea front, we began to think that because it was over 10 years ago since we were last at this festival, they wouldn't necessarily have any. 

...then we found them.

My mum and I really enjoyed our chocolate cups, liquor and all. My sister on the other hand, not a fan, but that wasn't going to stop her having it after 12 years of waiting!

Finally, after indulging on liquor and chocolate, our next mission was finding dessert, and we can't go to a festival or market without buying some churros.
We ended up finding this amazing churro van with many different types of churros that I didn't even know existed, including huge Nutella stuffed churros! (Heaven!!)

Overall, I whole-heartedly recommend the Sardine Festival, Portimão. It was really great to go back as it brought back a lot of childhood memories with plenty of food and gifts for the whole family to enjoy. We had such an amazing holiday and this was the most perfect way to finish it off.

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