February in the Algarve, on the way to the orange fruit and almond blossom

Things to do, outdoors& indoors experiences to try, away from overtourism 


While, practically everywhere in Europe, the cold is looming quite severe and widespread, there is a small corner where February can hold a pleasant surprise: mild weather and mostly sunny days, practically like an early spring.So if you are lucky enough to spend time in the Algarve and think there is not much to do in a month like February, you are wrong!There are, in fact, food and wine tours and activities that are perfect at this time of year; from orange picking to 'medronho' distillation and to walks to discover all the beauty of the almond blossoms. The 'Rota das Amendoeiras' is something very similar to the blossoming of the cherry trees in Japan, but in this case it is the blossoming of the almond trees, whose blossoms take on snowy white and pink tones and brighten up the winter landscape. We don't want to be too banal by telling you the now well-known legend of the sad Nordic princess who was wed to a prince of the kingdom of Silves and who, afflicted by nostalgia for the Scandinavian snow, was honored by her consort who 'gifted' her with the splendid whitewash of almond blossoms that cloaked the winter landscape in the same way as a heavy snowfall (but we did it anyway).The 'Amendoeira Trail' develops in the so-called Algarvian 'Barrocal', that portion of land between the coastal area and the 'Serra', ideally joining the districts of Loulé, São Brás de Alportel, Silves and Monchique under the common 'pomar algarvio', a land of dried fruit trees (almond, fig and carob) and cork oaks. Many 'aldeias', the small villages of the inland algarvio, hold a daily activity with lunches based on local gastronomic products, such as 'Nave do Barão', a small municipality near Salir, which dedicates an entire day to almond blossom on 24 February 2024. As well as the village of 'Almeixal', in the township of Loulé, which is an ideal starting point for walks in the still authentic and enchanted nature of the Algarvian interior and to observe the almond trees in blossom. For more information on routes and activities, please contact the QRER cooperative, which energizes the area through various initiatives, one of which is 'Walking Festival Almeixal'.

Then, following the Via Algarviana towards Sagres, we arrive at Silves in the heart of the inner Algarve. Silves is known for its splendid dark red walls that frame the town set on a rise, at the apex of which is the medieval castle of Silves with a 360-degree view of the Serra. Known for the famous 'feira medieval' in the middle week of August  that attracts thousands of tourists, few know (for now!) that in February the 'Feira da laranja de Silves' is held, now in its eighth edition; this year 2024 it will be held from 16 to 18 February. Alongside the classic programme, there will be local gastronomy and entertainment, including music at FISSUL. City restaurants will join in the celebration of Silves' famous 'laranja' with dedicated menus ranging from appetizers to desserts, and even orange cocktails.

For those who are passionate about nature and organic farming, there is the special seasonal activity of orange picking at a small ‘Quinta’ that grows oranges and citrus fruit exclusively organically. The landscape of the 'pomar de citrinos' is something unique, and in this season, the green foliage and fresh, irrigated grass light up the bright orange tone of the oranges that ripen abundantly on the trees even more.  

Drinking a juice of oranges freshly picked from the tree and immediately squeezed at the moment, so juicy and sweet as you have never experienced (of this we are sure!), drinking a warm coffee accompanied by sweet 'caseiros' carefully prepared by Maria will be something unique! Next, you will learn how to prepare an organic sweet orange marmalade (including the peel because it is organic!) and we will end on a high note with a lunch cooked with love and vegetables from the garden and eaten sitting at the table with the farmers. So everyone to the table! To book our orange picking experience click here.