Paderne is a quiet
village located at the northern end of Albufeira.
The village has a
population of around 5,000 people and can be easily reached by car or by a
local bus from Albufeira.
The Castle of Paderne is the most important landmark in the village and it’s one of the castles featured on the national flag of Portugal. Dating back to the 12th century, it was built by the Moors and later conquered by the Portuguese in 1248. Today the castle is left in ruins and you can only observe the fortress walls and a ruined church from the 16th century. There is a walking trail leading to the castle that takes around two hours and passes through other interesting sights in Paderne, including a medieval bridge, an old mill and a fountain that used to supply water to the village.
also has a small contemporary art gallery named Côrte-Real. The gallery is established in an old
farmhouse in Paderne and exhibits a diverse collection of paintings from
international and national artists. Besides the exhibition area, there is a
patio with tables and chairs outside where you can grab a drink.
The village comes alive with the annual medieval fair, Paderne Medieval. This event usually occurs from the 30th of December to the 2nd of January and always attracts a large crowd of locals and tourists who chose to celebrate New Year in Paderne.
During the fair, the streets are
occupied with food stalls and street performers that recreate the medieval
era. The highlight of the event is the historic parade on the 1st of January
which celebrates the delivery of the Letter of Donation of the Paderne Castle.
The parade is the only part of the fair that has a paid entrance.