10 Best Summer Music Festivals In Portugal 2018

1. Rock in Rio Lisboa 2018

Rock in Rio is one of the biggest festivals in the world and this year it’s coming back to Portugal (this only happens every two years). Headlining the festival are Bruno Mars (tickets already sold out), MUSE, The Killers and Katy Perry.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 23/24-29/30 June📍 Lisbon     🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

2. Nos Alive 2018

This is one of the most famous festivals in Portugal. Its proximity to Lisbon and the big names it consistently brings on stage have contributed to making it so popular. Pearl Jam, Queens of Stone Age and Artic Monkeys are some of the bands playing this year.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 7 to 9 July 📍 Passeio Marítimo de Algés   🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

3. Super Bock Super Rock 2018

This festival has changed location a few times but, nonetheless, it’s still one of the most popular festivals in Portugal mainly for hosting some of the biggest rock stars in the world.  This year they will be hosting a more eclectic mix of musical styles and bands like The XX,  Justice, Travis Scott and Julian Casablancas & the Voidz.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 19 to 21 July 📍 Lisbon     🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

4. Boom Festival 2018

Boom Festival is the biggest psytrance festival in the world. It features live music performances and a broad variety of visual art exhibits. It happens bi-annually, during August’s full moon, in Idanha-a-Nova and although it’s been sold out for ages now, you can either try to get tickets through other means a.k.a forums and facebook groups or just start planning for the next one.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 22 to 29 July 📍 Idanha-a-Nova     🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

5. MEO Sudoeste 2018

MEO Sudoeste is one of the biggest Portuguese summer festivals and it happens in the coastal town of Zambujeira do Mar, in Alentejo. Electronic music is the Queen at this festival but worry not, if this is not your style there are always other types of music being played on the different stages around the festival. J Balvin, Hardwell, Marshmello and Shawn Mendes are some of the artists performing this year.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 7 to 11 August 📍 Zambujeira do Mar     🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

6. Vodafone Paredes de Coura 2018

It’s all the way up north, by Praia do Taboão in Paredes de Coura, that one of the biggest festivals, together with NOS ALIVE and Sudoeste, takes place. This festival is known for bringing into the limelight bands on the brink of worldwide success. This year Big Thief, Fleet Foxes, Skepta and Arcade Fire are the headliners at the festival.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 15 to 18 August 📍 Paredes de Coura     🛏 Where to Stay  🎟 Tickets

7. Vilar de Mouros 2018

Vilar de Mouros is the oldest rock festival in Portugal and it’s still one of the cheapest to attend, €70 for three days. It happens in Caminha, northwestern Portugal, and it was organized for the first time in 1965. When it was first launched, Portugal was still under a dictatorship regime so the government police would walk around the venue compiling the names of the forbidden songs being played.  Elton John, U2, Neil Young, Ben Harper have all played in Vilar de Mouros. This year you can see Human League, The Pretenders, Los Lobos and Public Image Limited.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 23 to 25 August 📍 Vilar de Mouros     🛏 Where to Stay   🎟 Tickets

8. NOS Primavera Sound 2018

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, LORDE, A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator are just some of the artists and bands performing at NOS Primavera Sound.  This eclectic and alternative music festival takes place in Porto’s urban park and it’s the youngest sibling of a festival with the same name in Barcelona.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 7 to 9 June 📍 Porto     🛏 Where to Stay   🎟 Tickets

Festivals Starting to Get Noticed

9. Sumol Summer Fest

Joey Bada$$, French Montana, Vic Mensa will be taking the stage in Ericeira, a beach and surf destination where famous hip-hop names converge for a two-night festival. You can buy a two-day pass with camping included.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 6 to 7 July 📍 Ericeira     🛏 Where to Stay   🎟 Tickets

10. Meo Marés Vivas

David Guetta, Rita Ora, LP, Goo Goo Dolls, Joss Stone, Jamiroquai and many more artists will be bringing the house down with incredible performances at this urban festival located in Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto.

🎼 Line-up 🗓 20 to 22 July 📍Vila Nova de Gaia     🛏 Where to Stay   🎟 Tickets

Looking for something different?

¤ Check out the best music festivals you won’t want to miss this summer!

¤ Make the best of your trip to Portugal by booking some of these tours.

¤ Book a mini break in Alentejo and sleep inside a convent


Podence – A Carnival like you’ve never seen

A Carnival party you will either love or hate

Deep in the North of Portugal, traditions are still being kept and this is one of the oldest. From 10th to 13th February, some of the bachelors of Podence, also known as the Caretos of Podence, take over the village and distribute mischieve everywhere they go. If you want to discover one of Portugal’s oldest traditions this really is a party you should try to be part of.

10 facts you didn’t know about Caretos of Podence

1. This is a Celtic tradition which has been going for hundreds of years.

Carnival Podence

2. Caretos usually appear when you least expect.

Carnival in Portugal 2018

3. They walk in groups.

Carnival Podence

4. They’re totally unpredictable.

Head Caretos

5. They whistle and shake their bell rattles while they spread mayhem around the village.

chocalho podence

6. “Robbing” people’s wineries, tricking the unsuspected, shaking single girls, are some of the things they love to do.

7. In the past, Caretos would throw ash and manure to people as well as whip people with pig bladders but don’t worry, these days they are very tame.

Carnival Party

8. Their faces are a representation of the devil.

Mask Podence

9. At the end of the three days, two giant effigies will go up in flames, not before the “marriages” between some of the single people in the village.

10. Back in the day, Caretos would break down doors in order to get to the single girls and shake them. Single girls would either have to hide or dress as matrafonas the only people exempt from the Caretos passion.

Where to stay:

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Casa do Avô César: A rustic and comfy accommodation a mere 10 km away from Podence.


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Casas de Campo da Quinta Entre os Rios: You can instead choose to stay in a traditional house in Mirandela, a city known for its cuisine (try the alheiras), and beautiful landscapes.


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Quinta Rota d’Oliveira: Stay in the countryside, in a 17-century house, completely renovated, and with the most idyllic views around you.

More info:

Discover the whole party program here.


Carnival in Loulé, a party you can’t miss

A Carnival celebration with 100 years of history

If you thought the real Carnival experience only happened in Brazil, then you’re in for a surprise if you end up visiting Portugal this time of the year. It’s been more than 300 years since we took this tradition to Brazil and we’re still proud to host one of the most brilliant, fun and crazy Carnival parties in Europe. Carnival, also known as Entrudo in Portugal, is a pagan festival which is always celebrated in Portugal on a Tuesday, 47 days before Easter Sunday. It marks the beginning of forty days of fasting, just before Easter. In the past, people would get together and have large feasts with lots of meat which wasn’t allowed by the Catholic church during Lent. Nowadays, this is an opportunity to dress up, dance like crazy, play pranks and eat and drink with your friends and family.

Carnival parade in the centre of Loulé

In Portugal, Carnival is an optional holiday and every municipality will have different ways to celebrate it. Throughout the week we will look at the different celebrations around the country. We will start with Loulé, a city in the Algarve known to throw one of the most traditional parties.

Every year, huge crowds flock to Loulé making this Carnival celebration, one of the busiest in the country. Carnival in Loulé is known for its fun social comments on society. A few years ago the Corso’s motto was Troika, with many satirical figures portraying the political context of Portugal at the time. This year, the theme will be the Web Summit and the entrepreneurial and technological world. There will be around 14 floats that will parade through the streets of Loulé, along with samba schools and the traditional Corso of Carnival. Around the city, there will be many parties and sports activities for you to join.

When is it happening?

From 11th to 13th February | Start: 3pm | Entrance: €2 | Address: Avenida José da Costa Mealha.

Where to stay

We don’t want you to miss the chance to have a unique experience in Portugal. Here are some of the hotels where you can stay if you want to come and enjoy a winter break during the Carnival celebrations. 

If you’re on a budget, you can stay at Dom Fernando II, a family run B&B, right int the centre of Loulé. It’s €180 for two people, for 4 nights, with breakfast included. If you’re travelling with a bigger group you can always rent this villa for €400, it accommodates 6 and it has a small garden where you can enjoy some much-needed vitamin D.  This villa is also very nice. The price is €600.

We’re already a bit too close to Carnival, at this point in time it might be difficult to find accommodation right in Loulé, but fear not, there are plenty of other cities and smaller villages only a few mile away from the party hub where you can have a more luxurious stay.  Vilamoura is only around 6 miles away, and you can stay at Vilamoura Garden, a 4-star hotel, for €216, garden view and breakfast included. For considerably less you can stay at your own villa for only €96 for two.

We’re already a bit too close to Carnival, at this point in time it might be difficult to find accommodation right in Loulé, but fear not, there are plenty of other cities and smaller villages only a few mile away from the party hub where you can have a more luxurious stay.  Vilamoura is only around 6 miles away, and you can stay at Vilamoura Garden, a 4-star hotel, for €216, garden view and breakfast included. For considerably less you can stay at your own villa for only €96 for two.

What To Do This Weekend in Lisbon: 18 and 19 November 2017

Saturday 18 November

Street Art Lisbon

STREET ART TOURS: Lisbon is one of the top places in Europe to see street art. Go for a tour around the city and learn about the different styles and techniques. This is a name-your-own-price tour. It starts at 3pm. Book your spot here.

Safarka Escape Room

AN ESCAPE ROOM WITH LIVE ACTION: There’s a brand new escape room in Lisbon. It’s called Safarka Escape Room, it has 4 different sets for you to explore and most exciting of it all, actors interacting with you. The adventure, with a grade 7 difficulty level, starts at Samuel Nathan’s office. While he’s out you’ll have to find a way to get into the research lab. He will be home soon so you’ll have to be super quick and careful. The price is €75 and you can book 2 up to 5 people. The adventure takes up to 60 minutes to complete. Book it here.

Pop Up Book Workshop

MAKE A POP-UP BOOK: At this workshop, you will learn the basics of making a three-dimensional illustration pop up. By practising the basic concepts of paper engineering, folding, glueing and cutting paper. The course lasts 180 minutes, starts at 3pm, and it’s €18 per participant. Sign-up at info@aldeia.com.pt


LEARN HOW TO DO YOUR MAKE UP: Have you ever struggled with brushes, not knowing which ones to use for what? Or decided to buy foundation a few colours higher than you should be wearing? And what about that smoky eye effect? Can you do it without messing it up? Learn all the make-up trips with Sara Taborda at Metro Studio. 4 hours, €50, sign up here.

Forro Brasil

BRAZILIAN DANCE: The triangle, the drums and the accordion are the key elements of Forró, a type of music originally from Northeast Brasil. Couples hold each other tight, sometimes barefoot and move and spin at the rhythm of this happy dance. Entrance is free. The party starts at 8pm. The address is here.

Sunday 19 November

Farmers market lisbon

FARMERS MARKET: Try the regions’ best fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. Every Sunday, farmers descend to LX Lisbon with homemade bread, fresh vegetables, fruits, sausages, honey, compotes, all traditional and collected or made with love. Free entrance. Located here

santini chestnut

CHESTNUT ICE-CREAM: Taste the new chestnut ice cream at the best Italian ice cream store in Portugal: Santini. This particular flavour is a special edition and this weekend is your last chance to try it. Visit the Lisbon stores, there’s one in Belém and another in Chiado, and discover the many other original tastes they have available. If you’re feeling lazy you can always have it delivered to your home, you can order it here.

AQUA YOGA: Practice Kundalini Yoga in Campo de Ourique municipal pools. Movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and chanting mantras are the main features of this style of yoga. Its goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness. Starts at 12pm, price €3. Bookings: Luadiaterapias@gmail.com

DO THE SWING: Doesn’t matter if you already know this dance or if would like to learn it. Logradouro – Aromatic Grocery and Living Room welcomes all the swing enthusiasts for a night of dancing, drinking and eating at a unique place infused with the most exciting aromas offering liquors, wine, and delicacies such as goats’ cheese, smoked salmon, anchovies, cookies and crackers. It starts at 6pm. Free entrance. Details here.

WATCH MAD MAX: In the third instalment of the movie, Max (Mel Gibson) drifts into an evil town ruled by Turner. There he becomes a gladiator and gets dumped in the desert where he is rescued by a band of feral orphans who have been looking for help for years.  Have fun watching this 1985 Australian, post-apocalyptic action-adventure film at Cine-Pop. Starts at 4pm, tickets are €4. The sessions are always in English.


Monte Beato – A peaceful rest in deep Alentejo

With summer insisting not to be over and a bank holiday on its way, my partner and I decided to take some time off and continue exploring Alentejo. The idea was to find a location where we could rest, eat well and have some peace and quiet while lounging by the pool. All on a budget. And that’s what we found in the town of Almodôvar in a little agro farm called Monte Beato.

Monte Beato Farm is actually a working farm, but they’ve opened it to the public and built two lovely typical farmhouses with cosy modern rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, for guests who want to do some cooking, a massive living room and an amazing pool.

We ended up never using the pool because it was windy and overcast but we did go for walks and even took the bikes, which you can get there for free, and went for a spin around the small lakes in the farm.

There’s a lot of farmland to explore and it was, even more, fun to do it with an Alentejo Mastim dog, the owner’s pet who insisted on following us on our tours.

We walked around the recently planted cork trees, they will take 10 years to mature, and we also saw the growing almond and pomegranate trees. The owner has planted all of this so he can start selling in the future. The whole farm is 100% run on clean energy. The solar panels provide all the energy for the houses on the farm and all the water comes from a well, which is purified, making everything clean and safe.

Almodôvar Highlights

If you want something more to do than just relax by the pool, the centre of Almodôvar is only 2 km away. Almodôvar is a relatively big town with a few restaurants and bakeries which you should definitely try. There are also beautiful churches to visit and a theatre that also works as a cinema.

The highlight for me though was something that is very beloved in Portugal, the roundabouts. We love our roundabouts and we don’t miss a chance to have something emblematic in the middle of them, may it be a fountain or a piece of art. And this one is certainly one you can’t miss. It’s a homage to all the shoemakers of the village. There was a point in time where there were more than 200 artisans working in the region. The design was made by the sculptor Aureliano Aguiar who made the statue with recovered pieces of metal.

Sapateiro de Almodôvar

Where to eat 



Start with a visit to the village’s best bakery Pastelaria Sarita, try their delicious apple custard cake. You can thank me later.

Lunch and Dinner Almodôvar

Tasquinha O Medronho – €3.50 for a 1-liter jar of sangria, €6 for fried chicken, octopus salad, crispy cod with a marvellous onion sauce, black pork cheeks, grilled spicy quail, cuttlefish and many more petiscos (appetizers).

O Moinho – We went to this restaurant for dinner. The tuna steak with pepper sauce was marvellous but I would encourage you to try any other of their specialities. And don’t forget the dessert, this restaurant has served me the best Baba de Camelo of my life. This very typical Portuguese dessert, made of caramel cooked with cream was special. Why? They added cookies to the mix which made it divine.

What to do

Explore Beja, 50 minutes away. Next to Santarém, in the Ribatejo Region, this city had the biggest Jewish community in Portugal in times. There’s a lot of history to discover out there.

The medieval Beja castle

Spend a day in Mértola, strategically located on a hill over the Guadiana River. It’s only 40 minutes away from Almodôvar.

Have a beer in one of Mertola’s many cafes while enjoying time go time.

As you can see, there is so much you can pack into a single weekend. Take a mini break and discover the best of Alentejo. You can book a weekend in November for only €104 in Monte Beato with breakfast included.  Book your mini-break here or save the link, think about it and book it later!




Escape room – Saw – The review

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I love immersive experiences. In London, I went crazy with Secret Cinema, Future Cinema, Edible Cinema and different types of immersive theatre. And in the midst of all this, I also had to try escape rooms.

jigsaw escape roomAfter trying one escape room when I lived in London, which I loved, and another one in Lisbon when I first arrived, which I found lacklustre, I kind of forgot about it all until some friends invited me to go again. This time I tried a franchise: Saw from Escape Game Over and I really liked it. We were taken blindfolded into a room and were then handcuffed to a pipe or a chair or something in the set. Once the door closed we could take the blindfolds and from then on we had 60 minutes to free ourselves.

saw escape rooom
Image source

I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I have to say it was great fun and scary, after all, we were ‘reliving’ the Saw experience and we even got to see Jigsaw. The set was very realistic and impressive. In terms of gimmicks, there weren’t as many as in London. In here most of the challenges involved opening a padlock first which isn’t to say it wasn’t fun. I was genuinely scared in some parts and time passed too quickly although we did manage to escape around the 51-minute mark. As for everything else, the waiting room is quite cosy, there are free coffee, water and even some candy. The people working there were really nice and fun. As for the location, Bairro Alto, it couldn’t get any better!

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Would I go back again? For sure. They’re potentially opening two new rooms, one being themed after Game of Thrones!

Regarding the price, it was €13.50 per person, we were 6 so it was pretty reasonable.

You can book your tickets here.