Newsletter January 2017

Margarida Sampaio @

Happy 2017!

I would like to start by wishing you all a very happy 2017.  If you read the papers or follow trendy Instagram accounts you will probably be feeling that 2016 was a bad year that is best left behind, so let’s hope 2017 is a much better one….if you had a fantastic 2016, then maybe keep that to yourself if you want to avoid the backlash!


Hold the press!  We had Christmas lights in Carvoeiro this year!!

Budget cuts and general doom and gloom have meant that for the past few years you were lucky to see a glimpse of a Christmas tree through a window but it’s all change now and this year Carvoeiro had their very own Christmas light display.

If you did not see the lights we had a series of angels leading down to the beach and while Lagoa still had the best displays (good enough to almost make you veer off the road as you negotiate the roundabout) it was great to see Carvoeiro is being acknowledged this year for Christmas time.

We also had the return of the very popular Christmas fair in Carvoeiro just before Christmas.  Thankfully we had some great sunny weather which helped to encourage everyone out for each of the days to take a browse around the stalls and watch the entertainment which varied from local bands, to children’s dance performances and some particularly menacing looking clowns.

Carvoeiro may not be the most festive place in the world to spend Christmas but I think that this year perhaps we got the right blend of lights and entertainment without moving into Christmas overkill.

Now we are into January we have the sales to contend with…I do not suggest a visit to Aqua shopping on January 2nd to anyone…


Being as it is the winter we have a lot of building works going on around the place (although not on the EN125 which has been left in its state of disrepair for months now and works will no doubt resume in the summer). 

Over in Lagoa they have been digging up the city for months and they have now moved on to the second stage.  If you need to go to Largo Alves Rozadas, Rua Manuel de Arriaga, Praça da República and Rua Coronel Figueiredo then be prepared for some major diversions with roads closed as works continue.

The local council assures that all diversions will be well sign posted but advises that people take care while trying to navigate their way around the place which they claim will be “brief”.

One of the biggest local projects taking place at the moment has to be the refurbishment of the Carvoeiro Tivoli hotel.

You can see the cranes from miles around and it is safe to say that this looks like being a very major refurb, if you take into consideration there is hardly anything left of the place!

Works on the Tivoli began back in November but have been moving ahead very quickly with it due to reopen again in April.

Some of the new features of the hotel are to include new rooms, a rooftop viewing area and new top quality restaurants according to the new owners, the Minor Hotel Group.

The hotel will be aiming for a five star rating with the new more comfortable rooms and new family rooms to accommodate up to four people.  These changes will see the number of rooms in the hotel drop from 293 down to 246.

We can’t wait to see how the new hotel will look and hopefully it will be another great asset for the local area.


On the 27th January we have the return of the Al-Mutamid music festival at the convent in Lagoa from 9.30pm.  If you are looking to take a trip back into the culture and history of the Algarve when it was a place filled with medinas then this is a great one to experience and shows a completely different side to the region through musical performances.

If you enjoy a bit of ballet then head over to Portimão on January 21st to the TEMPO municipal theatre where from 4pm there will be a performance of the Nutcracker and to prove the Algarve really has something for everyone there will be a performance by the Portuguese Air Force Band on January 7th also at the TEMPO theatre in Portimão from 9pm.


It is never too early to start thinking about Carnival!  This year carnival falls on February 28th and while in the UK we are busy filling pancakes, over here in the Algarve it is all about the costumes, the floats and the music!

The main day of carnival is February 28th but there are usually parades over the weekend before for anyone who has to work on the day itself to still be able to enjoy all of the fun.

In the Algarve, the main place to enjoy Carnival is in Loulé along the main Avenida in the city.  Every day between 24th February and 28thFebruary there is a huge procession with massive colourful floats, music and dancers in very tiny outfits with only a splattering of gold paint to protect their modesty.  You have to pay a small fee to be able to enter the Avenida and take your place along the pavements but it is well worth shelling out the couple of euros to get the best views – just watch out for the bo8iled sweets that are launched off the floats by enthusiastic revelers!

While Loulé may be the main attraction, Carvoeiro has seen its carnival game raised over the past few years and hopefully this year will be another winner.

Local school children, the scouts and many familiar faces from around the town all dress up and decorate their floats for the parades that usually start at around 3pm in the afternoon.  As yet we have no firm details about what will be happening and when but if you are planning a trip around this time of the year then try to get it to coincide with carnival – you won’t be disappointed.

This is also the time of the year that many of the local businesses that have been closed for the winter reopen for the coming season and if you want to get into the spirit of it all feel free to dress up for the occasion.   If you are coming with children they will love being part of the event in their own costume (look out for hundreds of superheroes and princesses walking about the place) and if you don’t have space in your case then you can find lots of costumes in the local Chinese shops or at supermarkets.


So I have decided I must try to outdo Danny this year in the carnival parade so I need to find something suitably outrageous and spend the next six weeks modifying it to be verging on the indecent ;)

Until next month