Sardines on the grill

It’s Sardines Festival in Portimão again!

It is sardines time in the Algarve again! This delicious history tradition is celebrated each year with the Sardine Festival of Portimão. The festival marks the Algarve summer and takes place in the Ribeirinha Zone. 

For five nights the best of Algarve cuisine will once again be added to the best Portuguese music. Between August 7 and 11, the town will be hosting the 25th Sardine Festival. We will enjoy local restaurants serving the traditional char-grilled sardines.

Sardines have a special place in the heart of the people of Portimão. We even dare to say these salty morses are synonymous with the Algarve and its people. Algarvarians have been celebrating fish for decades during summertime, thanks to this festival.

25th Sardine Festival of Portimão

As we already said, the festival is the main gastronomic icon in the Algarve. You will find the aroma of the traditional sardine, and we assure you, it will open up your appetite. You will also find a joyful celebration environment with music to sing and dance with your friends.

A day before the festival officially kicks off; various local theatre groups will team up to reenact the famous unloading of a fishing boat filled with sardines. There will be grilled sardines for lunch with a celebration which start at 10 am. In this sense, television channel RTP1 will be filming the performance. This traditional performance will be followed by a big sardinhada (a sardine party).

Sardines baked in the plate and bread

The festival attracts thousands of visitors annually. One key to its success is to associate with the oldest and most traditional restaurants in the Riverside. It ensures food quality and safety.

Sardines and bread with olive oil
Sardines are served with bread and olive oil. Photo: alalgarveconmigo.com

In this way, the restaurants Ravessa, Casa Bica, Dona Barca, Strong and Ugly, The Meco, Baked Fish Retreat, Ú Venâncio and Zizá will display the badge “Here there is Sardine!”, the identification that ensures their participation in the Sardine Festival. Visitors will be able to taste the best Portuguese grilled sardines of the city. They come accompanied by boiled potatoes and the traditional Algarvian salad. Baked sardines will also be served in these restaurants.

There is no problem if you don’t like fish. In case you are looking for alternatives to the grilled sardines, you will find several different menus.

Fun for the whole family

The Sardine Festival of Portimão is a very familiar tradition. There are a lot of activities for adults, but there will also be plenty of entertainment for children such as bouncy castles and floats.

This year’s musical line-up features Amor Electro (August 7), Bárbara Bandeira (August 8), Marco Rodrigues (August 9), C4 Pedro (August 10) and Expensive Soul (August 11). Check out this year’s program and book your sardine and party nights in one of the most entertaining parts of the city of Portimão.

In this sense, there will be musical animation throughout the festival. Also with various sounds ranging from Fado to Popular Music and Music of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Sardines Festival logistics

On the other hand, like usual, there will be plenty of parking spaces. However, take notice that the festival draws crowds from across the region and beyond. Therefore, it can be hard to find a space. It is best to arrive in the late afternoon to find a spot. You can also consider parking on the other side of the river in Parchal. Take into account that you can either walk across the bridge or take a taxi in to save parking stress.

If you are in a group, you can divide into groups and send a couple off to get the food while the rest reserve a table. Although there are over 2,000 seats available, when it comes to sitting down once you have your food, there won’t be a seat in sight.


The Sardine Festival Portimão is one of the most significant events held each year in the city. It is a must for anyone keen to experience traditional food from the Algarve in a fun-filled environment. Sardines are fresh from the sea and put on the hot coals prepared by the “master” cooks of Portimão’s traditional restaurants. Grilled sardine is the queen in any restaurant in Portimão. The carousel of flavours will make every part of the meal delicious.

The grillers are back to work filling the Riverside area with the most traditional aroma of grilled sardines. Take a look at our full range of grills from the best brands in the world and start grilling this delicious fish.

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