Top Choice Carnival in Funchal


The calendar's biggest party hits Funchal in late winter when the island is busiest. One of the world's best carnivals, the main attraction is the 9pm two-hour-long procession along Funchal's seafront, a spectacle y…
Top Choice New Year in Funchal

Fim do Ano

The second biggest bash of the year (after Carnaval) with a gargantuan fireworks display that uses the entire city as a pyrotechnical amphitheatre. It's one of the most popular times to be on the island and accommod…
Top Choice Parade in Funchal

Festa da Flor

Carnaval 'take two' is an incredibly colourful celebration of Madeira's diverse plant life, with floats weighed down in blossoms and a parade passing through Funchal's city centre to a samba beat.
Top Choice Mardi Gras in Nazaré


One of Portugal’s brashest Mardi Gras celebrations, held in February and/or March, with lots of costumed parades and general irreverence. Many people dress up and the nights go loud and long.
Religious in Braga

Semana Santa

Braga hosts the most elaborate Easter celebrations in Portugal. It kicks off with Semana Santa, when Gregorian chants are piped throughout the city centre and makeshift candlelit altars light the streets. The action…
Religious in Ribeira

Festa de São João

Porto’s biggest party is the Festa de São João. For one night in June, on the 24th, the city erupts into music, competitions and riotous parties; this is also when merrymakers pound each other on the head with squea…
Cultural in Tomar

Festa dos Tabuleiros

Tomar’s Festa dos Tabuleiros – literally 'Festival of the Trays', also known as Festa do Espírito Santo ('Festival of the Holy Spirit') – is a weeklong celebration with music, drinking, dancing and fireworks. The fe…
Fiesta in Porto

Festa de São Pedro da Afurada

The fishing village of Afurada pulls out all the stops for this festival in the days building up to 29 June. Dressed in traditional fishing garb, locals parade through the streets with statue-topped palanquins and g…
Fair in Óbidos

Mercado Medieval

This two-week medieval fair – held during late July/early August inside the castle grounds and below the town’s western wall – includes live entertainment, jousting matches (yes, on horses!), plenty of grog and pigs…
Music in Foz do Douro

NOS Primavera Sound

Porto switches into party mode for NOS Primavera Sound, one of the biggest indie music festivals of the summer, drawing top-name acts to the stage over the course of a weekend in early June. In 2018, headliners incl…