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Discovering the Past: The Magical Medieval Festivals of Portugal in May


May in Portugal isn’t just about spring flowers and warm breezes; it’s a portal back to the days of knights, damsels, and court jesters. Every year, several towns across Portugal transform their streets into vivid reenactments of medieval life, offering both locals and travelers an immersive historical experience. This blog post will guide you through some of the most enchanting medieval festivals happening across Portugal this May.

Feira Medieval de Benfica – Lisbon (1st to 5th May)

Kicking off our medieval journey is the Feira Medieval de Benfica in Lisbon. This festival turns the quaint district of Benfica into a bustling medieval town for five days. Expect to see artisans, merchants, and performers dressed in period costumes. The highlight? The grand medieval parade, where knights and nobles march in their finery, accompanied by the sounds of traditional medieval music. The complete schedule is available online.

Santarém Medieval – Cortes e Lendas (9th to 12th May)

Mid-May brings us to Santarém for the “Cortes e Lendas,” a festival that delves into the legends and courtly intrigues of medieval Portugal. Santarém, with its rich history as a former Moorish stronghold, provides the perfect backdrop. The city’s ancient walls and cobblestone streets come alive with dramatic reenactments, showcasing the pivotal events that shaped the region’s history.

Marialva Medieval – Marialva, Mêda (17th to 19th May)

In the historic village of Marialva, the past is honored with the Marialva Medieval festival. This event is particularly special due to its location in one of Portugal’s historical villages, known for its preserved medieval ruins. The festival includes a recreation of a medieval market, jousting tournaments, and a series of plays and storytelling sessions that illuminate the local legends.

Feira Medieval de Odivelas – Odivelas (16th to 19th May)

Not far from Lisbon, Odivelas hosts its own medieval fair, where the focus is on family fun. The festival features workshops where children can learn about medieval crafts, and adults can try their hand at ancient cooking techniques. The evenings are reserved for torch-lit dances and theatrical performances that bring medieval stories to life.

Braga Romana – Braga (22nd to 26th May)

Towards the end of the month, Braga takes a slightly different turn with its “Braga Romana” festival. Although not strictly medieval, this festival celebrates Braga’s Roman heritage, transforming the city to reflect its ancient past as Bracara Augusta. The streets are filled with Roman legionnaires, senators, and citizens, offering a glimpse into life during the Roman Empire.

Why Visit These Festivals?

Visiting these festivals is more than just a cultural outing; it’s a deep dive into the heart of Portugal’s rich and tumultuous history. Each festival not only entertains but also educates visitors about the medieval period through interactive experiences, from archery displays to traditional medieval banquets.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast eager to learn more about Portugal’s past, a family looking for an entertaining and educational outing, or a traveler in search of unique experiences, the medieval festivals of May offer something for everyone. Don your best medieval attire and step back in time to explore the rich tapestry of history that Portugal proudly preserves and celebrates.

Join us next time on EnterPortugal as we continue to explore the vibrant festivals, hidden gems, and cultural wonders of this stunning country. Until then, embrace the adventure, and let history be your guide!

Explore More Medieval Merriments Across Portugal

In addition to the highlighted events, there are many more medieval festivities taking place across Portugal in May. Each offers a unique blend of historical reenactments and festive celebrations:

  • Feira Medieval de São Pedro da Cadeira in Torres Vedras (3rd to 5th May)
  • Feira Medieval da Portela in Loures (9th to 12th May)
  • Feira Medieval Ibérica de Avis in Avis (10th to 12th May)
  • Pernes Medieval in Pernes, Santarém (10th to 12th May)
  • Feira Medieval de Odivelas in Odivelas (16th to 19th May)
  • Feira Medieval de Corroios in Corroios, Seixal (16th to 19th May)
  • Festival Histórico Setecentista de V. R. Santo António in Vila Real de Santo António (17th to 19th)
  • Recriação da Batalha do Mirandum in Miranda do Corvo (17th to 19th May)
  • Mercado Quinhentista de Moure de Madalena in Campo Viseu (18th to 19th May)
  • Dias Templários de Moncorvo in Torre de Moncorvo (18th to 19th May)
  • Mercado Medieval de Vila de Rei in Vila de Rei (18th to 19th May)
  • Feira Medieval de Penela in Penela (18th to 19th May)
  • Torneio Arco Histórico de Leiria in Leiria (19th May)
  • Braga Romana in Braga (22nd to 26th May)
  • Termo de Payalvo in Tomar (24th to 26th May)
  • Feira Renascentista de Terras de Algodres in Fornos de Algodres (25th to 26th May)
  • Feira de Época de Torres Novas in Torres Novas (29th May to 2nd June)
  • Mercado Oitecentista de Arruda dos Vinhos in Arruda dos Vinhos (31st May to 2nd June)
  • Feira Medieval de S. Paio de Figueiredo in Figueiredo Guimarães (31st May to 2nd June)
  • Feira Renascentista de Vila Viçosa in Vila Viçosa (31st May to 2nd June)
  • Feira Medieval de Pinhel in Pinhel (31st May to 2nd June)
  • Torneio e Feira Medieval de Ansiães in Carrazeda de Ansiães (31st May to 2nd June)

This comprehensive list provides your readers with an extensive choice of medieval festivals to visit, enhancing their cultural exploration throughout Portugal in May.


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