Newsletter April 2017
Margarida Sampaio @
I love the Algarve and Carvoeiro, however there is no denying that the place looks a lot prettier when the sun is shining and has been fantastic to be able to enjoy some long sunny days already this year. The weather here now has really picked up and I am not ashamed to say that I have dug out the shorts and flip flops to try and get a head start on that summer sun tan, luckily the beaches are all still empty so there is nobody to witness the glare of my pasty body yet!
Now we are in to spring the days are longer and with this warm weather it is lovely to be able to sit out in the evenings with a beer or wine or both! With Easter just around the corner almost everything is now open again in Carvoeiro, so if you are considering a quick break in the sunshine- book your flights now, this really one of the most beautiful times of the year to come to the Algarve.
LINKING CARVOEIRO WITH ROCHA BRAVA
The works all around Carvoeiro continue on with diggers and workmen all over the place so watch out as you drive about, however there has been an exciting announcement that there will now be a new pedestrian path to link Carvoeiro with Rocha Brava!
Anyone who has tried to walk between the town and Rocha Brava will know that you feel like you are taking your life into your own hands as you wind along the hills and dips. So many people walk between the two thanks to all of the hotels and developments along the route but it has always been a dangerous walk.
The actual road between Carvoeiro and Rocha Brava takes in some beautiful views along the way and should be celebrated rather than feared and now it looks like this will actually happen thanks to the approval of a project by the local council to improve the route for pedestrians.
Not only does it look like we are going to be getting pavements, we will also have some view points, seating areas and proper lighting to go with it!
The project which has been approved covers 2.2kms and represents a total investment of 190,000 euros by the council and will basically cover the cost of new seating, lighting and a safer and more enjoyable walking route.
While the plan has been approved by the council, there is still no date as to when the works will begin as no company has been awarded the contract as yet to complete the works. Let’s just hope that it won’t be long before they start with this one and that it proves to be more useful than the ampitheatre they built up by the church which we are all still waiting to see what they will do with…
BLACK & WHITE NIGHT
It may seem a long way off but it’s never too early to start planning a party and the biggest one of the year in Carvoeiro is without a doubt the Black and White night which has become bigger and bigger every year.
The local council have announced that this year the Black and White party will be held in Carvoeiro on June 17th to coincide with summer solstice celebrations, with the organisers expecting more than 25,000 people to “flood” into Carvoeiro for the free annual event.
During the evening there will be numerous acts and performers, with a full list to be announced soon, while many of the local businesses keep their doors open later to allow visitors to see what we have to offer in Carvoeiro.
Over just three years the Carvoeiro Black and White night has grown to be one of the most popular events of the Algarve calendar and to help keep up with the demand, the council have confirmed that they will be increasing the number of park and ride buses to help bring people in to the event and to cut down on the never ending parking problems, as well as a number of new car parking areas which will be announced.
Other new features for this year will be the general expansion of the event to move the party into other areas of Carvoeiro including along Rua dos Pescadores (the in road), further up the O Farol (restaurant hill) and up to the ampitheatre up by the church too. There is also going to be an extension of a huge dance area from the square down to the beach with screens showing all the entertainment in both areas – sounds like it is going to be an amazing party so make sure you save the date!
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Black and White night may be the biggest event in the calendar but there is always something going on in and around Carvoeiro and this month we have the return of the Carvoeiro Easter Fair.
The fair will be taking place on 14th, 15th and 16th April between 10am and 7pm each day in the little square by the main square in Carvoeiro. This is not exactly a huge event but it is a lovely way to see and buy some local handicrafts, try some local produce and pick up some truly local gifts, while there is also always entertainment of some sort taking place so you can practice your dance skills.
If you have never been to Portugal during Easter then don’t worry about everything being closed as it can be in other countries. Some businesses will be closed on the Sunday but on the whole everything runs as usual at this time of the year and there are also usually lots of people about thanks to the school holidays, helping to create a great atmosphere around the town.
Probably the most exciting thing to happen over the past month in the Algarve was the opening of the new IKEA down in Loulé near to the Algarve Stadium. The store opened on time (unlike the new look Tivoli hotel in Carvoeiro which has not met its deadline of April 1) on March 30 and already half the Algarve appears to have dropped in to pick up their strangely named furniture before enjoying a plate of their famous meatballs.
Thanks to the store being so enormous even though thousands of people have already been to shop up for their home, it has not been overly busy, with those who have already been saying that the only really busy area was the restaurant at lunch time where there were queues.
The rest of the shopping centre and the designer outlet is still not open yet but it looks like they have done a good job with the IKEA store, despite the very sad news of deaths on site and rumours abound of unpaid workers…
If shopping is not your thing or you would rather find something else to do this month than spend 9 hours walking around a warehouse (true story I promise!) then there are plenty of other things going on in the Algarve.
One of the most spectacular has to be the flower torch festival which takes place on Easter Sunday, 16th April in São Brás de Alportel. It may be a bit of a drive but if you have never been before then this is one that is worth seeing at least once as the streets are paved with flowers and amazing floral tributes. There are religious ceremonies to celebrate Easter and the festival but there if you are just keen on seeing the flowers then be sure to get to the town for the opening of the viewings of the streets at 9.30am. The main parade to the church then takes place at 11am with mass being held again at 1pm.
Loulé also holds a huge religious celebration on 16th April and again on 30th April in celebration of the Sovereign Mother. This is a massive tourist attraction and includes a huge procession through the streets and finishes with fireworks and celebrations.
Away from the Easter celebrations, if you want to watch some sports for free then the Algarve is the place to be.
Look up to watch the Sequential Games – a skydiving event being held in the skies above the Alvor aerodrome between April 5th and 9th or watch the opening race of the F1H2O World Championships as the powerboats race around the riverside area of Portimão on April 22nd and 23rd.
Many new fun cars: Fiat 500c Convertible, VW Beetle cabrio, Citroen C1 Cabrio, Fiat 500L, Fiat cabrio 124 Spider. 7 & 9 seat mini buses, also automatic! Book early and avoid disappointment!
Please visit www.algarvedriver.com
My search for the pretty fishing boat at the entrance to the village has still yet to yield results, we do however have a newly painted sign with a correctly proportioned dot on the letter “I” – don’t tell me that didn’t bother a lot of other people too..
Also the boat trips have begun from the beach in Carvoeiro – so if you want to see the famous Benagil cave then this is a good time of year to get there before the queues of boats at the entrance begin for the summer months…
Until next month