The Medieval Festival of Castro Marim

Travelling back to the Middle Ages

This year’s Medieval Festival of Castro Marim takes place from 23 August to 27 August and is one of the Algarve’s most popular festivals, offering an unforgettable journey back to the Middle Ages and life in one of Portugal’s most important garrison towns.

Over five entertaining days and nights, you get a real sense of what life must have been like in Portugal during the Middle Ages. There are street entertainers, pageantry, music, dancers, parades, livestock, arts and crafts. The plentiful supply of food, beer and wine also adds to the enjoyment!

Having had the benefit of visiting on two previous occasions, I know an arrival time of around 6 pm can work well. Parking is still freely available, and you have a chance to see the street parades and get a sense of how this magical town must have been as the dark of the night descended. Were the streets safe? Unlikely. Was there a danger of attack from foreign invaders? Almost certainly. Was the food, wine and mead in plentiful supply? Usually.

The spectacular grand banquet is a particular highlight. On each of the five evenings, it brings together hundreds of diners inside the old castle who delight in luxurious food served in the atmospheric light of numerous torches and to the sounds of the classical guitar. As the local tourist board states, “Supper was one of the most important moments for our ancestors and they did not tread lightly. It could last all night.”

The details of this year’s festival are still to be announced but typically, visitors are welcome from 3 pm daily. Tickets providing access to the town and the street entertainment usually start from just €3,50. Other tickets are available, providing access to the castle grounds (and its torture chamber!) and the grand banquet.

Castro Marim is approximately 60 kilometres east of Faro and 10 kilometres from the border with Spain. Its mediaeval festival is one of the highlights of the summer season here in the Algarve and well worth a visit.

Facebook: diasmedievaiscastromarim


Share this edition