Celebrate your favourite type of spud in Aljezur, Portugal at the annual Sweet Potato Festival.
- When? TBC November 2017
- Where? Aljezur, Faro District
- Price: Free
If you’ve jumped on the health bandwagon lately (let’s face it most people have at some point this year) then you’ll be familiar with the sweet, orangey purple cousin of the jacket potato, otherwise known as the sweet potato. Well in Aljezur, Portugal the sweet potato has its very own festival, so if you’ve become a fan of the healthier spud recently listen up.
Running since 1998, the Festival da Batata-doce de Aljezur (Aljezur Sweet Potato Festival) is a popular event in the Faro District social calendar with locals and tourists coming from far and wide to celebrate the delightful little tuber. The action takes place in Espaço Multiusos de Aljezur, a multipurpose centre in the heart of the city, where you'll be able to buy locally grown produce from farmers, chow down on mashed, baked and grilled sweet potato dishes or try one of the many alternative sweet potato options if you’re feeling adventurous.
The Aljezur sweet potato can be differentiated from its potato cousins due to its purple/brown skin and yellow flesh. It is sweeter than other varieties and said to have a special flavour due to the sea air it grows in. Be sure to try the local delicacies such as Feijão com batata-doce (beans with sweet potato) and Polvo assado com batata-doce (roast octopus with sweet potato) for a truly authentic Aljezur experience.
Why celebrate the sweet potato we hear you ask? In 1249 the Knights of Santiago, overwhelmed by the invasion of Aljezur by the Moors, were in need of a vitamin supplement to give them strength and sustenance for the battle. They apprehended a miracle ‘potion’ which led to their victory and what was the main ingredient in said potion? Yes, you guessed it, sweet potato.
The festival also hosts a number of handicraft stalls, so once you’ve had your fill of potatoes you can explore the products on offer from local artisans. You’ll come across unique jewellery, unusual trinkets, intricate mirrors and spooky masks that will make a great gifts or mementos from your time at the Sweet Potato festival.
You'll also leave with a few new recipe ideas up your sleeve for when you get back on the health bandwagon for the post-holiday diet. You might even rival Joe Wicks with your 'sweet' potato making skills.
- Get there: The nearest airport to Aljezur is Faro Airport (FAO), just over an hour from the city.
- Stay: Book accommodation in Aljezur to enjoy the beautiful Algarve post-festival.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!