Newsletter July 2017

Margarida Sampaio @

Is it warm outside or is it just July?  If you are in the Algarve right then you will know just how hot it has been recently and while I am aware that it is summer, and this is the Algarve, I still feel that I can moan a little bit about the weather mainly because it has been ridiculously hot!

We can all joke about melting down here in the Algarve, however the reality is that these extreme temperatures have had deadly consequences in Portugal and June was a terribly tragic month with an enormous forest fire tearing through Pedrogão Grande area of central Portugal on June 17.

The fire, which was only put out a week later, killed 64 people and injured over 200.  It also destroyed 81% of the area’s forests, according to a report drawn up by the Commission for Coordination and Development of the Central Region (CCDR).

The loss of human life as people tried desperately to escape the fires, and in some cases were caught in their cars on roads in the area, led to three days of national mourning in Portugal.

It is hard to imagine the situation for those left in the area or to comprehend the bravery and tireless work of the local Bombeiros who fought for a week to put out the fire and to save as many people as possible.

According to a report by the Portuguese news agency Lusa, direct losses caused by the forest, total €193 million, with investment in prevention measures and efforts to re-launch the economy in the area expected to cost €303 million.

The fires also destroyed or damaged around 500 houses, 169 of which were permanent homes, 205 were second homes and 117 were empty. Almost 50 companies were also affected, along with 372 jobs.

At this time of the year much of Portugal is often on maximum fire alert so if you are in the country then do be aware and take precautions to prevent fires from breaking out unnecessarily and if you do spot a fire then be sure to call the emergency services as soon as possible to try to prevent it from spreading further and faster than it needs to.

If you would like updates on fires in the local area or want information about how you can help with relief efforts or fundraising for the Bombeiros then join up to the Alerta de incêndio florestal / Forest Fire Alert! Group on Facebook.

So Black and White Night came back to Carvoeiro again on June 17 and without a doubt it was the best edition of the summer party that has been held in the village to date.

This year they were expecting lots of people but thanks to them opening up more of the streets for pedestrians and putting on the park and ride facilities it actually felt less crowded than in previous years.

What was a particular highlight had to be the Capoeira demonstration up in the amphitheatre by the church.  This is the first time I have seen this area used for anything and it was a truly magical spot to enjoy the martial arts in the moonlight – they even had a place to buy a beer at the top to quench your thirst after the walk up the hill in the heat!

The organisers think that there were some 35,000 people at the event and it certainly felt like that on the beach after 1am when the DJs came on and the beach filled up until there was hardly any space at all!

All of the local businesses really got into the spirit of the event with decorations, special menus, drinks, promotions and expanding the terraces out way into the streets and I think a big shout out has to go to all the people who worked on the evening – there were a lot of people constantly trying to get a beer and despite the crowds there was generally a very fun and warm atmosphere (if not a little bit too sweaty thanks to the heat wave) – and this was largely down to the people who worked to make the event amazing.

From the live music performances, to the fire shows, DJs, dancers and living statues – Carvoeiro Black and White Night will go down as one of the best events of the year in the Algarve as a whole - so if you missed it then book your next trip to Carvoeiro to coincide with the summer solstice and you will be able to experience it for yourself!


I had felt that the flurry of activity in Carvoeiro to seemingly finish of works before the Black and White Night might actually result in finishing the works but I guess I was wrong!

New parking spaces keep on popping up here and there while others are taken away for bus stops, pavements are being constructed and holes in the road filled and then promptly dug up again – I think you can feel my confusion levels…

We now have a new pick up point for the hop on – hop off bus service that travels locally along the coast each day.  This can be found on Rua do Barranco right beside the kebab shop.  They have kindly included a bench at the stop and a couple of trees in the pots, sadly there is not a lot of shade here so bring a hat if you are going to wait there – or pop into the kebab shop for some shade and a cool one.

The spaces that have been removed in front of the sop have been replaced by new ones a little further up on the same side of the road – so parking has not been adversely affected, however they have now place poles all along the right hand side at the end of Rua do Barranco so now nobody can park in this area that used to be a very useful extra area during the summer months.  It looks like some more pathway will be put in this area now which begs the question – where will all the local people now take their dogs to do their business each day and leave it in the sunshine??

If you think the works in Carvoeiro are bad – then do not go to Lagoa where the constant improvements that appear to never improve, continue on the EN125.  Even if you use the A22 motorway you still have to pass through Lagoa so be prepared for delays from every direction and at all times of the day.

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This is the time of the year when the Algarve really comes alive and while we welcome thousands of visitors to our little strip of paradise we also put on a whole host of events for them all to enjoy too!

It can be hard to remember to enjoy all the fun stuff happening in the Algarve in the summer as we moan about the busy supermarkets, lack of parking, bad driving and packed beaches – but the Algarve really is a great place to be in the summer and sometimes you just have to get out and enjoy it to the full – I know I will be!

So whether you are here on holiday or are a resident looking for something to do this month then take a look at some of these suggestions…

Alameda beer Fest – Who doesn’t love a beer festival?  This one is taking place in Faro in the Jardim da Alameda between July 7th and 9th from 5pm each evening.  It is a free entry event and you can sample over 100 different types of beer – although you may want to attempt that over a couple of the days.

Festival Al-Buhera – Head over to Albufeira to the square by the Pescadores beach for this arts and crafts fair being held from July 26th until July 30th.  Watch as craftsmen make their items live and buy up your favourites for a truly unique souvenir.  The event starts each evening from 7pm and is free to walk about and enjoy the local food, music and crafts.

Ria Formosa Festival – If you like your seafood then you can’t miss this festival being held in Largo de São Francisco in Faro from July 27th until 6th August.  Truly local seafood and speciality dishes are served at this event in the regions capital which will take place each night from 7pm until 1am with the usual live musical performances for entertainment while you eat.

Sweet festival – Lagoa hosts the annual sweets and pastries fair from July 19th until July 23rd at the Convent in the old part of the town.  If you have a sweet tooth then you will be in heaven here with all the traditional sweets available to try at this free event that take place from 6pm until 1am each evening and includes live entertainment.

International Bike festival – Be ready for a motorbike invasion in the Algarve between 20th July and 23rd as the 36th International Bike festival takes place.  Every year thousands of bikers come to this event which this year also includes live music from Ugly Kid Joe, UHF and The Gift.  ON the last day the bikes head to the streets of Faro and it is an amazing sight to watch!

Candlelight culture market – this may not sound all that exciting but it is actually a great event with the streets of Lagoa around the convent being filled with candles – some 12,000 in total.  This event is all about embracing cultures and religions and is free to visit with some great entertainment also put on each night.  The event takes place from July 6th until July 9th from 7pm until 1am – it is obviously best to go when it is dark to really get the feel for this one!


You don’t have to leave Carvoeiro to enjoy live entertainment and music with entertainment every night in the main square topped up by live bands in many of the local bars, Fado evenings in restaurants, karaoke, quizzes and much more.  Have a walk about the time to see what is being advertised for each evening and enjoy those long summer nights in Carvoeiro!

Until next month…