Newsletter August 2013

Margarida Sampaio @

Well we have finally made it to August, also commonly known in Carvoeiro and across the Algarve as “the silly season” the reasons for which I will leave for you to fathom (but it could be something to do with people insisting on walking down the middle of the road instead of using the pavement, travelling in groups of 12 or more to buy some bread or finding it necessary to shout loudly when not being understood in a foreign language).

August is a really important month for the Algarve as basically this is the time to make hay while the sun shines and the masses are here.  In recent years the winter season has extended from six months, to seven then eight and now the financial winter seems to drag on for around nine months of the year so while those of us who are lucky enough to live here all year may curse quietly (or sometimes loudly) about all the people in the town at this time of year, without them there would be much more to curse about!


Last month saw the Algarve and the rest of Portugal being gripped by a heat wave.  While everyone back in the UK was celebrating temperatures finally allowing the barbecue to legitimately be whipped out, we over here were literally melting as the temperature in the sun tipped the 40ºc mark.  This lasted some time but was followed by equally freaky weather conditions that led to there being massive waves along the coast (I think I might take a closer look at this global warming thing Al Gore always goes on about).

The large waves did some considerable damage to Centeannes beach in July with not only half the beach being washed away but also the access down to the beach disappearing into the waves.  Luckily the guys from Lagoa Câmara were quickly on hand to build a new ramp down to the beach and service was back to normal so there is no need to scramble down the rocks with your umbrella and towel anymore.


With the hot weather during the day we have also been lucky enough to have beautiful warm nights which has been great for the bars and restaurants throughout the town with everyone ambling around the streets until well into the evening.

As I mentioned last month we now have live music every night in the square by the beach and also up by Mirage and Colibri and Mungos every night.  On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night there is live music by Imprevisto and up in Monte Carvoeiro there is live entertainment on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I am sure there are lots of other places too but these are the main open air places for music in the town throughout the month.

The Bote has now reopened also under the previous management and the younger readers of will be pleased to know that the infamous foam parties are back on for Wednesday nights.  The mother in me wants to remind everyone to take a little sandwich bag to put your phone, money and valuables in to make sure they stay safe and dry but I do realise that nobody looks good walking around a nightclub in a bikini covered in foam with a sandwich bag in their hand – it’s your call.


Being as it is August the local council has put on a couple of great nights of entertainment in Carvoeiro during the month.

The first is a performance by the Algarve Orchestra which will be taking place on August 10 from 10pm in the evening.  This promises to be a fantastic evening of music even for those who are not fans of classical music and there are not many better settings for an open air concert than by the beach in Carvoeiro!

The following night (August 11) there will be an open air cinema session with a screening of the family friendly film Rock of Ages.  Bring down a blanket to sit on and enjoy a free cinema session by the beach this month – a great one for all the family and a really good idea for the town.


August is also the month for the annual festival in Carvoeiro which takes place on the last Sunday of the month (August 25 this year).

This is the one where about ten men struggle to carry a very heavy religious statue around the town with it covered in flowers.  Hats off to the guys who manage to keep the statue aloft, especially when they are climbing up the hill to the church and the sweat by this time is dripping off them!

Last year the streets were absolutely packed with people who came out to watch the procession which goes on at around 7pm and it was a fantastic sight to see with the local scouts, a marching band and many members of the community following the religious icon through the streets.  If you are around at the end of August this is certainly one to make time for.

After the parade and religious service there is then live music in the square and a real party feel with everyone out for the night and then at midnight (if all goes to plan) there is a great fireworks display.  Make sure you find yourself a good spot to sit and watch the fireworks as they go off between the cliffs above the sea.

Every year this special Carvoeiro festival seems to sneak up on everyone so you have been given plenty of warning to make sure that you don’t miss it this year!!


Being as August is the month where everything happens there is plenty going on for everyone in the coming weeks – the only problem may be that you won’t be able to fit everything in while you are here!

Firstly we have the Fatacil fair, a fantastically strange mixture of stalls and items that sees the worlds of farming colliding with pop and rock music – but it does seem to work because every year thousands of people attend for this fair held at the Fatacil showground in Lagoa.

The list of the live acts does not include many familiar names this year (as featured in the July Newsletter) but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth a trip down to the fair anyway as there is still plenty to see and do.  Make sure you are first in line for the runny cheese and presunto sandwiches and make a beeline for the Caipirinhas and you will be able to face anything for the rest of the night!

This year the Fatacil is taking place between August 16 and 25 and tickets cost €5 per person with a family ticket available for €15.

In August we also have one of my personal favourites – Silves Medieval fair!  This is a chance to dress up in ridiculous clothes and for nobody to bat an eyelid as you run about the town chomping on pig sandwiches and guzzling mead looking liquids from pottery mugs.

The medieval fair will be taking place between August 2 and 11 and tickets cost €4 for adults with free entry for those under 130cm (so I guess if you duck a little…).  It is worth getting there a little early to get a parking space within a 5km radius of the city and the jousting show also comes highly recommended.  Just make sure you don’t wear your best Jimmy Choos for this as the cobbles will certainly be a challenge.

Possibly the smelliest event of the summer has to be the sardine festival in Portimão which runs from August 1 until 11.  This one is free to enter and when you get there you can sit down for sardines fresh from one of the enormous barbecues  along the water front and then listen to some live music by the old bridge.


If you were looking carefully last month you may have spotted pop star Pixie Lott enjoying her annual holiday in Carvoeiro, if you weren’t lucky enough to spot her then there will be plenty of other famous faces in the Algarve this month.

We have the British band Keane coming to the Algarve Motor Park on August 11 for the Autodrome Summer Party with tickets available to buy from €25 or if you are feeling a little more flush you could spend €75 for a cheap seat (sorry actually for this price you have to stand) at the Ne Yo concert at the Pine Cliffs!

To see some sporting stars at work then head to the municipal stadium in Portimão for a mini tournament on August 5, 6 and 7 featuring Sporting Lisbon, Braga and West Ham (tickets available on match days).

And finally, the Algarve’s most popular singing wine maker – Sir Cliff Richard will be making a special appearance at the Intermarché supermarket between Carvoeiro and Lagoa on August 2.  He will be signing boxes of his wine between 11am and 1pm so be sure to get down there early to join the queue of Cliff fans eager for a glimpse of the man himself.

AND FINALLY (really this time)…

Congratulations to the two avid fans who managed to track me down last month!  Thank you very much for your warm words of encouragement and I hope the newsletter this month is up standard!

Until next month

Margarida x