February on the Algarve is Carnival time! This year, Carnival falls on February 16 but the celebrations will last over 3 days from the 14Th to the 16Th. All over the Algarve there will be parades and celebrations. It is a particularly special time for children who dress up in elaborate costumes and have special parties in school and in kindergarten. As you walk the streets in Silves at Carnival time you will meet fairies and princesses, witches and wizards. The quality and details of some of the costumes are amazing
The biggest Carnival celebrations on the Algarve are always in Loulé and this year is no exception. The Loulé carnival dates back to 1906 and is a colourful display of floats, bands and scantily clad girls.This years theme ‘The world of show business’ promises to be as colourful and as creative as ever. Caricatures of politicians and satirical views of current affairs are also represented in this general atmosphere of fun and relaxation. Loule is about 25 minutes drive from Duas Quintas guesthouse.
Carnival is also a great time for families to eat out together. It is a national holiday so many people are off work and there is more time to relax and enjoy the wonderful traditional meals.
Eating out is great at any time of the year but in February you will still find many of the more wintry meals on the menus. Stews and casseroles play a big part in traditional cooking. Borrego ensopado (mutton on a bed of bread) and Javeli estufado (wild boar in a stew) are well worth a try.
In Silves, Recanto dos Mouros is one of the many restaurants that has a good selection of traditional meals as well as some excellent house wine and a tempting dessert display.
The hills around Silves provide a wonderful base for walking. In February, the earth is getting ready to burst into its full spring glory. The Barragems (reservoirs) are full and at their prettiest and this is one of the best times to do a lovely 3 hour circular walk from Duas Quintas to the Barragem do Arade. A little further afield the fontes at Alte are strong and gushing and there are many walks to choose from including the spectacular Rocha Da Pena. This is one of the walks included in the inclusive package provided by Algarvewalkingholidays and is a good example of the diversity of rural Algarve as a walking holiday destination.
For those who prefer four legs to two, horse riding is also a popular activity for this time of the year. The nearest riding stables to Duas Quintas is the Country Riding Centre , www.countryridingcentre.com a 5 minute drive away. Here the English speaking owners will makes sure you have a very special experience on horse back in the Serra or hills around Duas Quintas.
The number of sunshine hours will be increasing so some time on the beaches is a must. Probably not warm enough for a swim but a wonderful contrast to the cold, grey weather in Northern Europe.
Check out the low cost flights to Faro airport this February and prepare to party!