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Portugal Travel Blog

5 Things To Do When you Visit Portugal in May

5 Things To Do When you Visit Portugal in May

April 15, 2015

Portugal has some nice festivities every month of the year. We listed 5 ideas for you when you visit Portugal in May!

Although July and August are the most popular holiday months here in Portugal, festivities take place all-year-round! Here we listed some ideas for when you visit the country in May. 

Come and enjoy with us!  

1 – Queima das Fitas

Starting in the first week of May, there are the Queima das Fitas or literally, 'the burning of the Ribbons'. Students from the university of Coimbra, but for example also Porto, celebrate their graduation by organizing festivities for 8 days. The highlight is the 'Cortejo', or procession, that starts with the burning of the ribbons.

Over the last years more and more people from town, and even tourists, started to join the event and nowadays Queima looks more like a festival!

This year Queima das Fitas in Porto starts on Sunday the 3th of May, in Coimbra on Friday the 8th of May.

You can see the programs here:

Queima das Fitas Porto

Queima das Fitas Coimbra

The highlight of the event is the burning of the ribbons

2 – Pilgrimage to Fatima

Even if you're not a very religious person, it could be interesting to visit Fatima on the 13th of May. The grandiosity you feel that day is unbelievable! People from all over the world come together to celebrate the apparitions of the Lady of Fatima.

The history says that three little shepherd saw her appear on May the 13th in 1917.

The square in Fatima that gets visitors from all over the world in May

So each year on that day, the main square is overloaded by people who want to see the sculpture of the Lady of Fatima. Once you are there you should also visit the Basilica and the Chapel of Apparitions.

3 – Douro Valley Half Marathon

This is for our active readers…

On the 17th of May you can join a marathon… In the Douro Valley! You can choose between a half marathon or a fun race of 6 km. The itinerary takes you along breathtaking sceneries along the Douro river.

The route takes you along the breathtaking scenery from the Douro Valley

Give it a try, I'm sure you won't regret this! 

For all practical information, check out the program of the Marathon.

4 – 'Arte Xávega' in Nazaré

Every Saturday afternoon/ evening in the months May and June you can admire an interesting spectacle at the beach in Nazaré. Fishers come back from sea with nets full of fish. The woman, dressed in traditional clothing, try to sell the fresh catch by yelling to the audience. Probably you won't understand a word, because they use codes only they know!

At the beach in Nazaré you can witness old fishing traditions

It's very interesting to experience this because it really gives you an idea of the traditional life in Portugal!

5 – Serralves em Festa

At the end of May, the 30th and 31th, there is the event 'Serralves em Festa 2015' in the so-called museum and park Serralves, located in Porto.

The event allows you to join the biggest contemporary artistic expression festival in Portugal and one of the largest in Europe.

The program includes performance-based initiatives that illustrate the interaction between the visual arts and the performing arts, in the fields of performance, music, contemporary dance, theater and film and architecture.

Serralves em Festa is a free art festival in Porto

And don't worry! There is still a lot to do in June. If you head to the capital, Lisbon, you can join the 'Festas de Lisboa'.

This event is also called 'Festas the Santo Antonio'. Santo Antonio is the Patron of Lisbon and the main character of these festivities.

Every evening there is something to do in the different quarters of Lisbon. It's a very cosy and lively event! There are Fado and jazz concerts, film and theater festivals, expositions, parades… All different kinds of street entertainment.

Traditional image here is Portuguese people dancing, listening to fado, eating grilled sardines and having a drink together!

Come and have a good time with us!