Loulé Carnival: the #1 Carnival of the Algarve
The Loulé Carnival in Loulé is one of the biggest yearly events in the Algarve. It is the most famous carnival of Portugal. The Carnival of Loulé is also the oldest carnival of Portugal, since the party in Loulé has been held every year for more than 100 years. The centre of Loulé is complete shut off for the carnival. Basically, it is one huge street party. Whether you come to dance or just to watch and enjoy, this carnival is sure to put a smile on your face.
What to expect?
The Carnival of Loulé is one big party on the streets. It features samba music, costumes, dancing and colourful parades. You can see a lot of Brazilian influences during the party. There are parades with dancers, performers and giant characters. Most of the time, the giant characters are caricatures of famous Portuguese and international politicians and celebrities. There is a competition for the best outfit as well. Every year, the carnival has a separate theme, so it is different every year. Thousands of people come to Loulé every year to enjoy the traditional experience of Portuguese carnival.
The Carnival lasts for three days. On one of those days, the party is dedicated to children. You can see many children in costumes, with painted faces. It is a lot of fun. If you want to wear a costume but didn’t bring one, don’t worry. In the weeks leading up to the carnival, there are plenty of shops in town that sell or rent costumes.
Do you wonder how the Carnival of Loulé really is? Then watch the video below to find out.
The street party is held in the centre of Loulé, near Avenida José da Costa Mealha. If you go to Loulé, you can find it easily. Just follow the people and the music. If you come by car, it can be hard to find a spot nearby. If you want to avoid a long walk to the city centre, a good tip is to make sure you arrive early. When all car parks near the centre are full, you can best park your car on parking areas at the edge of Loulé and then walk to the centre.
The Carnival of Loulé starts in February or March and lasts for three days. The exact dates are different each year. It begins at 3 PM.
Dates for 2021: February 14-16 (cancelled due to Covid-19)
What is the entrance fee?
There is a small entrance fee of € 2 to attend this event. The proceeds are donated to local charities.
If you want more information about this event, check their Facebook page.