February is in full swing, and we think everyone’s planning to celebrate Carnival the best way! And we feel you should too.
Portuguese people adore to party whenever they can. As Carnival festivities approach, it’s time to plan where will you celebrate, and Portugal might have some good regions for you to explore.
From the most traditional to the most contemporary, in this article, we will share some of the best regions for you to enjoy Carnival! Let’s proceed.
Weather is quite cold up the north and centre of the country, but we guarantee you that temperatures will rise due to the upcoming festive dates!
Carnival in Portugal means music, samba dancers, extravagant costumes, famous caricatures (known as Cabeçudos and Matrafonas), plenty of food and lots of fun! Plus, it’s a great time to get to know the locals and the community.
We would say that Carnival is definitely a great time to explore nearby regions. Here are the following 4 Carnival destinations in Portugal we consider the most fun.
- Carnaval de Funchal, Madeira
- Carnaval de Loulé, Faro
- Carnaval de Ovar, Aveiro
- Carnaval de Torres Vedras, Lisbon
Carnaval de Funchal, Madeira
19th February to 1st March 2020
The Carnival festival in Madeira is one of the region’s liveliest festivals.
Funchal city wakes up on the Friday morning to the sound of brass bands and carnival parades bringing their good humour to the whole of the downtown area, which is then continued at night with concerts and shows in the Praça do Município for five consecutive days.Visit Portugal description o of Funchal city
Funchal is a fantastic destination to celebrate Carnival in the sun. It has warm weather, a city full of life and uplifting locals!
You’ll be able to experience several parades (quite often as political and social satire): Grande Cortejo Alegórico (The Big Parade) and the Cortejo Trapalhão (Clumsy Parade). During four days, streets are filled with dancers, people and music.
Carnaval de Loulé, Faro
23rd February to 2nd March 2020
Countries all over the world celebrate carnival and Portugal is no exception. Especially in Algarve, in the south of the country, you can find one of the most important celebrations.
Loulé, a bustling market town in the heart of the Algarve, holds the grandest spectacle by far in the region and is famous for its fantastic parade. People come from far and wide to participate.
If you are planning to visit Loulé’s Carnival, make sure to save a few days for a trip to nearby cities such as Vilamoura, Portimão, Albufeira, Sagres.
Carnaval de Ovar, Aveiro
21st February to 26th February 2020
The city of Ovar hosts every year one of the most important Carnival celebrations of the country.
In 1952 Carnival became an official feast in Ovar, and since then, during 10 days (yes, is that long!), the city located in Aveiro celebrates Carnival like no other. In the venue, Aldeia do Carnaval, you’ll find lots of people having fun and chilling, waiting for the numerous concerts and contests to begin.
If you are looking for authentic Carnival celebrations, Ovar is the place to be.
Carnaval de Torres Vedras, Lisbon
21st February to 26th February 2020
Only 40km away from Lisbon, Torres Vedras is considered to be the biggest and “most Portuguese” Carnival in Portugal.
The Matrafonas or Maria Cachuchas – men dressed in drag – are the stars of this party that is unparalleled in the country.
During the week everyone participates and dresses in costumes. The bars in the city’s historic centre are filled with people who want to celebrate.
Dating back to the 19th century and mixing thousand-year-old satirical traditions with Christian costumes to put on the best show possible, it’s definitely a Carnival you can’t miss.
Aside from the Matrafonas or Maria Cachuchas, you can also see the famous Cabeçudos, people dressed in costumes with giant heads.