A Detour On Our Travel Day
Our first views of the Algarve had given us a great introduction to the cliffs and beaches of the Algarve. On our way to the eastern side of the Algarve we had one stop planned. In my investigations into the Algarve, I came across a mention of the great sand building festival that was held in the Algarve from April to October. As we drove around the Algarve, we saw lots of signs for this FIESA event. Walking in Sand City Algarve proved to be far more amazing than we expected.
It was a short hop from our hotel and the route was well signed. We were not sure about parking but we need not have worried. There was a large lot and it was virtually empty. We paid our admission (about 9.50€) and entered a wonderland!
The FIESA Sand City
While we had done a bit of research in advance. But we were not really prepared to walk through the gates and see the massive set of sand sculptures we found. This was the 15th year for the festival. Each year there was a different concept.
The Sand City Algarve park was set up to allow you to enjoy your day visit. There was food available, a playground for children and lots of shady areas with benches. There was a gift shop. And even a place where you could get your feet treated by fish nibbles! As you walked in the sand city, there were benches to sit and admire the art.
Walking in Sand City Algarve we moved through different themed areas. In front of each sand sculpture there was a plaque identifying the statue and artist. Most countries were represented.
Walking In Sand City Algarve
At several spots you could look out and get a sense of the vista of sand sculptures. The sand path took us from exhibit to exhibit.
Whole Scenes In Sand
We strolled slowly through Sand City Algarve and looked at the sand sculptures. Some sculptures depicted whole scenes. Johnny Depp was displayed with a whole Alice in Wonderland theme. Luxury brands Chanel and Manolo were showcased. Gandhi was displayed with the Taj Mahal. It was amazing to see full scenes created.
There was arts theme to the show and every genre of music, art and theatre were represented. Modern music icons like Michael Jackson we created in sand sculptures. There were tributes to jazz and greats like Ray Charles. Classical composers like Bach and Mozart were represented. Ballet and opera art forms were recreated from the most famous pieces. No matter what kind of arts you were interested in could be found in the larges sand sculpture displays.
Detailed Sand Sculptures
Some sculptures in Sand City Algarve recreated individual characters. David liked the action photographers. More modern art drew you in to try to understand the message. Chameleons and gorillas were realistically portrayed. We found something for everyone.
Some of the sand sculptures even made political statements. It was not hard to recognize the sculpture of Donald Trump and his hair!
When we looked close at the statues, we were amazed to see the intricate detail that had been created with sand.
Stop and Play In The Sand
If you visit Portugal in April through October, consider a trip to the Algarve for the FIESA Sand City. It is truly an artistic journey walking in Sand City Algarve. You will surely find a favourite sculpture or two!
We visited in early May. There was some wind and weather damage to some of the sculptures. We were not sure how much mlaintentnance happened through the 5 months that the display was up. So you may want to plan to visit early!
This was a great artistic start to our day. Little did we know our day excitement was just starting. When we arrived at our hotel for our next stay in the Algarve, we found we were staying in a palace! It was an extraordinary way to experience Portugal!
Have you visited Sand City Algarve? What was your favourite sculpture?