Music, sun and sea, partying every night and 850 km of beaches: it is one of the best combinations in music festivals in Portugal. But there are other programs where the calm richness of sound blends perfectly with historical heritage or rural environments.
In addition to good music, festivals afford an opportunity to get to know these sites in an atmosphere of total relaxation and fun. Lisbon and Porto have been recognised year after year as perfect mini-break destinations and have very lively nights that are the natural continuation of the party atmosphere. In these two cities, the spotlight falls on NOS Alive and Super Bock, Super Rock, in Lisbon, and NOS Primavera Sound and NOS em D’Bandada in Porto.
Photo: Alentejo © fffbarrada
In Porto and the North region, Vodafone Paredes de Coura on the river beach at Taboão is a good example of a heavenly setting in the midst of nature. Bike rides, trekking, canoeing and river bathing are just a few of the suggestions that can perfectly complement a few truly well-spent days. In the centre of the country, near Tomar, the Bons Sons Festival shows how a village can be mobilised to organise an event that offers the best of Portuguese music and traditions.
Photo: Paredes de Coura
On the coast the concerts combine with the beaches, friendly people and nights that last until the next day dawns. The famous MEO Sudoeste festivals in Zambujeira do Mar and Músicas do Mundo (World Music) in Sines, the Sumol Summer Fest in Ericeira or the RFM Somnii in Figueira da Foz are near the beach with everything that’s good about it. It is an excellent time to take the plunge and have some surf lessons in the best spots on the Portuguese coast.
Photo: Festival Músicas do Mundo|Sines ©Câmara Municipal de Sines
In Funchal, the NOS Summer Opening unites music with nature to provide experiences the enable you to discover Madeira with plenty of adrenaline. In the Algarve, the Festival Med in Loulé and the Festival F in Faro transform the historic centres of the cities into stages for various artistic events.
Those who go for classical or jazz sounds can opt for the Festival Terras sem sombra (in English, ‘lands without shade’) in Alentejo, where classical music concerts invade churches and convents and are beefed up with programmes that showcase local activities and traditions. For jazz, go for Angrajazz which takes place every year in October on Terceira Island, in the Azores.
Photo: Festival Terras sem sombra|Beja
From shows featuring big names to important events in the international calendar there will always be a programme somewhere in the country that will suit you. Nothing like checking the schedule to see who will be here and then ... just follow the melody!