Traditional customs: music, dance and costumes of the Algarve

Folklore groups

A vivid tradition in many villages and cities in the Algarve

The Algarve has a very active folklore scene. In many cities and villages there are folklore groups (rancho folclórico), preserving traditional costumes, dances and music, especially on the accordion. You can enjoy performances of these charming colourful groups at many local events.

One of the most active of these groups is Grupo Folclórico de Faro, founded in 1930, which celebrated its 84th anniversary in the summer of 2014.


International festival of folklore in Faro

Since 2003 folklore groups from all over the world have accepted the invitation of the city of Faro and the Grupo Folclorico de Faro to present authentic folklore to a enthusiastic public in the Algarve. During 9 days hundreds of artists from annually changing countries, musicians, dancers and actors are performing on various stages in and around Faro. The concluding worship service, held on the last Sunday in a church in Faro, is always the emotional apogee of that great event.


Musum of costumes

In the Centro Cultural António Bentes, São Brás de Alportel

In many locations in the Algarve you will find smaller ethnographic museums with interesting displays of local and regional costumes and habits. One of the best known is the cultural centre in Sao Brás de Alportel (Centro Cultural António Bentes), once the home of a goat breeder (other sources report that he was a muleteer) who became rich from the cork trade.  It is home to the museum of Algarve costume (Museu Etnográfico do Trajo Algarvio) that displays costumes used in the Algarve during the nineteenth and twentieth century. It is also a good example of the architecture of those times.