Fiesa is the world's biggest sand-sculpture contest. Artists are given 45,000 tonnes of sand to sculpt, and their truly amazing creations (up to 12m high and illuminated at night) can be admired throughout the season. It's 13km northwest of Albufeira, just off the N125 in the inland area of Pêra.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Albufeira attractions

1. Praia da Galé

3.29 MILES

Beginning 9km west of Albufeira, Praia da Galé is long (5km), sandy and less crowded than many other beaches in the area.

2. Museu de Arte Sacra

5.16 MILES

This tiny museum is housed in the beautifully restored 18th-century Chapel of San Sebastian and exhibits sacred art from surrounding churches that…

3. Museu Municipal de Arqueologia

5.24 MILES

Excavated from the municipality and its surrounds (such as the castle in the village of Paderne), pieces dating from the prehistoric era to the 16th…

4. Praia da Marinha

5.28 MILES

One of a few nearby beaches with karst rock stacks, Praia da Marinha is among the most beautiful. It's 7.5km east of Carvoeiro; the nicest way to reach it…

5. Benagil Caves


One of the Algarve's – and Portugal's – most emblematic sights, this huge natural seaside cave has a hole in its ceiling through which streaming sunlit…

6. Museu Municipal de Arqueologia

7.24 MILES

Built tight against the defensive walls, this archaeological museum has a mix of interesting finds from the town and around. The modern building was…


7.27 MILES

Just below the castle is the sé, built in 1189 on the site of an earlier mosque, then rebuilt after the 1249 Reconquista and subsequently restored several…