Newsletter May 2013
If you are on your way over to Carvoeiro in the next couple of weeks and are wondering what to pack in the way of clothes then I would have to suggest, thermals, a bikini, blankets and sun cream because the weather in the past month has been unpredictable to say the least!
For many of us the wellington boots and thick coats were being tucked back into the wardrobes last month as temperatures tipped the 30º mark in the sun. We had a good few days of very hot sunshine and it appeared that we had skipped straight from winter into the summer season almost overnight. We all should have of course known better because no sooner than you can say “shove the duvet in the cupboard” the clouds were back and the temperatures were down again – although the sun is still shining on the whole!
Anyone looking for some early summer sun should really be happy at this time of the year with 4 out of the 7 days of a week being good because summer hasn’t started in fairness even though most days it is warm enough to sunbathe on the beach (although it is still far too cold to dip more than a toe in the sea!)
If you are heading to the beach this month in the Carvoeiro area then remember that the official bathing season has not yet begun in most parts of the Algarve and because of this you will not find lifeguards on the beaches.
Down in Albufeira and in some places in the Golden Triangle the beaches already have lifeguards on them but over here the official bathing season begins on June 1 and only from then will the lifeguards be around to increase the safety on the beaches here.
The bathing season traditionally runs in the Algarve from June 1 until the end of September and it is usually from these times that you will also find all the sunbeds on the beaches and water sports options.
While the summer season hasn’t truly begun yet the tour boats on the beach have begun thanks to the great weather we have had.
A trip on one of these boats out to the caves or along as far as Benagil and the amazing cave there is one that you will never forget and really shows a different side of Carvoeiro that you will not have seen before.
In the summer months these boats are very busy so if you are about now then book your place on one of the boats for a trip before the rush!
If you are more keen on being on the land than on the seas then the Lagoa council invited members of the press and those working in the tourism industry to walk the seven hanging valleys walk along the cliff tops in the Carvoeiro area.
The point of the walk was to guide people along the route so that they could go back out and tell their clients all about this fantastic walk right on our doorstep in Carvoeiro.
It was good to see the local council trying to work with local businesses to give added value to people who come to Carvoeiro for their holidays and those who went on the walk really enjoyed it.
The hanging valleys walk has been written about on the site here with details about how to start the walk and the route to take and it really is a beautiful walk and worth taking a camera along for for some pictures of the amazing views along the way.
Again, this is a really great time of year to do the walk before it gets too hot and there is also plenty of flora and fauna to look at along the way and a fair few birds too for those who know what they are looking for!
All quiet on the Carvoeiro front…
The weather might have perked up but the early date of Easter this year seems to have done nothing to help trade pick up a little earlier in the town.
I went out on both the bank holidays around Carvoeiro and to be honest the town was VERY quiet with many people putting the quiet bank holidays down to the lack of people coming down to the Algarve from Lisbon for the long weekends.
There are a couple of businesses in the town that seem to be doing well, the usual suspects, but on the whole trade does seem to be down for this time of year in Carvoeiro.
The town being quiet is a joy for many who come here to relax and if you are looking for some space on a beach or the best table in a restaurant then on the whole you will find that you will be spoilt for choice at the moment in Carvoeiro but these are worrying times for business owners, especially the new ones who I expect were counting on some trade during April to help them to cover costs.
I have to say that I was recently in other areas of the Algarve and on the whole Carvoeiro is a pricey destination compared to other places. I found that some of the bars and restaurants have prices very similar to those down in the Golden Triangle of Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago and this seems crazy to me because although Carvoeiro is a fantastic place to come it has never really been seen as a “luxury” destination.
Carvoeiro has always been a favourite for families and most of the families I know have much less to spend than they used to so their money is not going so far in Carvoeiro.
There are still of course plenty of really good value places to go in Carvoeiro but often if you are not in the know they can be hard to find so let’s hope that people coming on holiday to the town will take the time to have a look at this site and at the forum to find where the best places in the area are for them.
I still believe that Carvoeiro is an ideal place for families, couples, groups and everyone in between and I can assure you that I am spreading the word as much as I can so let’s hope that June promises to be a much better month for everyone.
Things to do…
Of course it is not all doom and gloom in Carvoeiro at the moment and we pretty much have everything open for visitors now with live music and entertainment now starting in earnest in many of the bars and restaurants around Carvoeiro.
We have also had some lovely events taking place in the area recently with a highlight for me being a surprising performance by the Conservatório de Música Lagoa and Lagos.
I was dragged along to this with some very excited children and to be honest hadn’t actually even read about what it was going to be before I went and just assumed it would be some children singing from local schools with me trying to look enthusiastic.
I have never been more wrong about an event and what proceeded was an orchestra performance aimed at children and at introducing them to the music and instruments of an orchestra.
The musicians all wore costumes to follow the theme of the piece which was based on a “Friendship Farm” with the strings as bees, the percussion as clouds, the trumpet as a pony and so on. A short story formed part the music to help to explain to the children why the music changed in tempo and style and it was a truly magical performance.
I never realized that events such as these even took place in Lagoa at the Auditorium and I was more than pleasantly surprised and would highly recommend any parents or grandparents to take children along to a performance in the future as every child who left the theatre were smiling from ear to ear and without the need for high levels of sugar to induce the happiness!
All the fun of the fair
One of the best events held at the Fatacil through the year is the International Algarve Fair which last year was a great day out for all the family and a good way to meet up with familiar faces you probably haven’t seen since the year before!
This year the fair will be taking place over the weekend of June 1 and 2 so I am letting you know about it a little early to make sure you have time to plan!
The fair is a favourite in our household mainly because we all get to eat pies and cakes before playing with the firemans hose (all in the name of charity!).
There are always also plenty of events taking place in and around the local area with some of the more interesting and diverse happening at the auditorium in Lagoa. Not everything is for everyone but you can be sure that most of the events are pretty reasonable to attend and if in doubt then there are always the cinema sessions for adults and children held each month.
For full details of all the events being organised or supported by the local Lagoa Council have a look at their website www.cm-lagoa.pt. The site is all in Portuguese but it is well worth having a look at for anyone who is interested in local initiatives and events. It also has loads of information there regarding council issues if you are that way inclined!
The only bonus to there being so few people about at the moment is that accommodation rates at the moment are as good as they will ever get so why not book a flight and come over for the weekend!
I am off now to work on my tan before the next cold snap, have a great May,