Algarve Festival – FiESA Sand Sculptures

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Last Sunday, we ventured over to the FiESA 2011 sand sculpture exhibition in Pera, in the central Algarve.

This annual event is an international exhibition of sand sculptures, and the huge scale of it is hard to describe. You really have to see it for yourself.

Animalandia is this year´s theme, and sculptors from all over the world have produced what can only be described as a town full of animal-based works touching on themes including mythology, local traditions and popular culture.

FiESA Sand Sculpture Exhibition
FiESA Sand Sculpture Exhibition

I’m not big on arty stuff. As an example of my philistine nature, a walk around the Tate Modern leaves me cold, and with little to say beyond “meh.” Despite this, I was rather awestruck, both by the scale of the exhibition and the humbling realisation of just how much work these artists must have to put into these sculptures, created using nothing but layered sand and water.

Algarve Sand Sculpture Exhibiton
Algarve Sand Sculpture Exhibiton

I heartily recommend a trip to this event, which is open right up until October and late into the evening throughout the summer. In fact, we ourselves plan to go again at night, to see the works illuminated by the array of lighting equipment which is discretely incorporated into the designs.

I was really blown away by the fact you could easily spend hours looking at each of these works and still miss some of the intricate detail, and very much look forward to my repeat visit, where I won´t feel as pressured to see absolutely everything, and can therefore spend more time concentrating on my favourites.

Given that I am saying that, as someone who doesn’t really “do” art, it should come as a strong recommendation. If you are in the Algarve between now and October, pop over to FiESA and spend a couple of hours at this wonderful sand sculpture exhibition.

Sand sculptures in Portugal
Sand sculptures in Portugal

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5 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Are you still renting in Portugal? If so any thoughts on buying? We’ve been renting for almost a year now and I wonder whether we will ever buy again and put down roots. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.

  2. Hi Dreamer,

    Nice to hear from you, it’s been a while. Yes, we are still renting. There is still a lot of uncertainly as to the property market here, with a lot of people saying prices could still come down by another 10-15%. Also, who knows what could happen with the Euro, which could change everything. Also, not helping us is that banks here tend to want at least 30-40% deposit, which we don’t have.

    All in all, these factors contribute to mean we are likely to be renting for some time. On the bright side, the recession means there is empty property everywhere, so we have a huge choice of places.

    It frustrates my wife and I sometimes, but for now I think we just have to make our peace with being part of “generation rent.”


  3. Hi Ben,

    Yep, I hear you. There are a lot of uncertainties here in the UK re house prices, its tricky trying to decide whats best to do in a falling market. In general though sellers seem to be deluded even though the market continues to drop. Watch and wait I suppose, I share your frustration with renting. I dont want to be paying rent in perpetuity though, hopefully someday we will figure things out.

    Glad to hear you are still enjoying Portugal 🙂

  4. Amazing sand sculptures! I wish I could have seen it myself.

  5. Hi there, ive just come across your blogs and love them!.. Iam that person spending endless amounts of time researching, homes, schools & jobs, ive just returned from a month out there and to come home to rain a leaky roof and all the horrific sights that is going on the uk.. mmmm where would I rather be?? your blogs have been really useful more so to ex pat sites, keep it up and thanks , Jo

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