We’ve recently returned from our second trip to the Algarve in Portugal. I’d written a list of places I thought would be fun to visit on this trip and the first was The Sand City FIESA – International Sand Sculpture Festival. Situated north of Pera, close to the A22 and N125, the event is now in its 15th year and I was looking forward to seeing my son’s reaction when we arrived.
There’s plenty of free car parking available across the road from The Sand City FIESA, children under 5 visit for free and the festival is open from 1st March until mid November.
Portugal, as with most of Europe, has suffered with bad weather over the last few months, and we were advised that there was some rain damage to the sand sculptures, but that it shouldn’t ruin our visit. Yes, there was some damage to some of the sculptures, but overall the site was pretty intact and certainly didn’t leave us feeling anything other than impressed.
The Sand City FIESA covers 15,000 sq meters and you wind your way along pathways from one genre of sculpture to the next. There are musical icons from across the era, film characters, dance, painters as well as tv and literature.
I’ve seen sand sculptures before, but never on this scale, and it was a first for my son. He was totally fascinated by them all, even if he didn’t know who the character was he was looking it, it really didn’t matter. Although the Minions and Kung Fu Panda might just have been his favourites.
The pathways are sandy, but flat and easy to navigate around. It’s worth baring in mind that there is no shade, so sunscreen is a must on a warm day.
We arrived just after The Sand City FIESA opened at 10am and it was fairly quiet, so we could go round as many times as we liked. It’s worth knowing that it’s also opened until late at night and I should imagine a nighttime visit with the site illuminated would be a totally different experience too.
Even my son got to see the funny side of this particular image.
The skill involved with making the various sculptures really does have to be admired. We were all really impressed with what we saw.
The animals really were rather beautiful and we both loved seeing the Penguins from Madagascar too.
It took us over an hour to explore The Sand City FIESA and we could probably have spent longer looking at every detail. I’d certainly recommend a visit if you are looking for something a little different.
There’s a cafe selling food and drinks, portaloo style toilets and even a fish foot spa if you fancy giving that a try. I did also notice a children’s play area that actually has a cover to keep the kids in the shade, which would be perfect for little ones to enjoy.
Have you been to The Sand City FIESA on the Algarve, or somewhere similar?