Newsletter November 2017

Margarida Sampaio @

It’s sometimes hard to remember just how busy it is in Carvoeiro during the summer when it gets to this time of the year and after a busy start to October things really have gone distinctly quiet in Carvoeiro…not that we are complaining though!

With all the commotion regarding the cancelled flights from Ryanair and then the folding of Monarch it feels a lot like summer came to a rather abrupt end in the Algarve, not that the warm weather did!

We have had a couple of those massive rain storms over the past weeks but apart from that lots of us are still in our flip flops with temperatures only dropping in the evenings when the sun goes down.  It I still more than warm enough to lay on the beach and soak up the rays…not so sure about venturing in to the sea although I have been told that the water is still warm (I will leave that to others to test).


The rain was massively welcomed in Portugal last month, not only to help us to top up the reservoirs that are at terribly low levels but they also came at a time when the country was being ravaged by fires once again.

More than 30 people died during October as more than 500 wildfires were raging, leading to some 6,000 firefighters being called once again to try and extinguish the flames which not only took lives but also destroyed property, livelihoods and left many people homeless.  There have been a number of fundraising initiatives to help those who have lost everything in the fires while there have been many more to raise funds for the Bombeiros firefighters also.  If you want to help out then perhaps consider joining the Facebook Fire Alert group here there is always information about the fires and also charity initiatives.

The continuing warm weather and high temperatures in the summer may be great for those of us who are able to enjoy it but it is important to realise just how hard it is to keep the country safe when everything is so dry.  If you are in Portugal then remember to keep fire safe and to not do anything that could potentially start a fire – even during the winter months.

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With less people about it comes as no surprise that many of the local businesses have now closed for a break, particularly the bars, restaurants and coffee shops that have not closed their doors for months!  But don’t let that put you off coming out over the winter because there are still plenty of places to enjoy a great meal, a cup of coffee or a drink or two.

During the winter months the weekends tend to be the busier times as this is when the people who live here all the time often come out for a drink or two.  It also helps that the darts season is back underway with matches being played on Friday evenings in many of the bars.  If you want to know more about the darts or just want to see which team is playing where each week then pop into Hemingways or Harry’s Bar for more info.  There are also open competitions scheduled into the timetable, with singles, doubles and triples usually planned for the winter months – so if you know your darts then this is your time to shine!

November is a popular month for lots of businesses to close just for a few weeks to give staff a break after the summer so look out for information about your favourite places to see when they will be reopening their doors again – lot’s will be open for Christmas for those of you who are looking for a relaxing time in the sunshine on the big day.


I know, I know, it’s only November but they have all the sweeties in Iceland already over here so I think I’m ok to mention the C-word now.

Christmas in Carvoeiro is usually a quiet time.  Over here the main family meal and present opening happens on December 24th and lots of local businesses will be closed on that night but Christmas day usually sees things going back to normal and there isn’t even a bank holiday on Boxing Day!

We have been lucky enough to have some Christmas lights in Carvoeiro over the past couple of years and fingers crossed we will be allowed a few this year too.

The biggest festive event in Carvoeiro will be the return of the Christmas Market coming to Carvoeiro between December 15 and 17 in the square.

There are of course loads of Christmas fairs and markets at this time of the year, including one taking place in Lagoa by the Auditorium between December 7 and 10, but I always like to try and support the local Carvoeiro market and the stall holders who come out for the event.

Any small businesses who might want to take part in the market can now apply for a stall by emailing, with priority being given to those coming from the area first.  It is free to take part in the fair and a great chance to show off your handicrafts, art, jewellery, cakes or anything else that would be great for Christmas!  The closing date for applications is November 20 so make sure to sign up today!


It may in the mid 20s here at the moment but that won’t stop us from getting into that Autumnal feel that appears to have been hijacked by Starbucks and some sort of spiced pumpkin latte thing (which you can now actually buy in the new shopping centre in Loulé net to the IKEA).

Over here autumn is all about St Martins, chestnuts and a strange sort of wine drink call água pé – all a lot nicer than I am making it sound!  Carvoeiro will be once again hosting their very own St Martins fair on November 12 in the square between 2.30pm and 6pm and if you fancy trying the chestnuts and wine then go down during the afternoon to give them a try.  There will also be a few stalls and some live music to keep everyone going throughout the day.  On November 11th there will be another St Martins Day festival but this time it will be held in Lagoa near to the municipal market between 9am and 1pm.

The other sure sign that it is autumn is the return of the Feira São Martinho in Portimão.  This is the oldest popular event in Portugal and dates all the way back to 1662 and has grown from being a traditional fair to being a combination of fairground rides, chestnuts and lots of socks on sale.  The fair is held by the fairs and exhibition centre n Portimão (next to the building that looks like a slug) and is open from Sunday until Thursday from 10am until midnight and on Saturdays from 10am until 1am until 12th November.  If you are going to make the trip down then make sure to take lots of change with you to pay for the rides and the chestnuts and also try to get there before 7pm when it gets really busy and parking can be problematic!


I have a sneaking suspicion that white paint for the roads must have been on special offer last month because white lines on roads have started to appear all over the place – some in more useful locations than others, but all much appreciated for those of us who drive here – especially at night when it is pretty hazardous on some of the roads.  As well as lots of white paint going on around the place, the works to create a safe walking path and decking areas along the road between Carvoeiro and Rocha Brava are coming along very well, with some areas already offering pedestrians the opportunity to walk without so much fear along this stretch of road.  Looking forward to seeing the finished results of this one which is sure to be a great bonus to the local area and to encourage more people to take a walk into town rather than use their cars and spend most of the evening looking for a parking space.


Nobel International School Porches will be holding their annual Christmas fair on Saturday 11th November from 10am-4 pm. A host of fabulous festive stalls, food, a spectacular prize draw and, of course, Santa's magical grotto! Fun for the whole family. Come and enjoy the day! All proceeds are donated to a local Portuguese children's orphanage. Free entrance, easy parking. Located on EN125 at Porches. For more details, call Alan Sheppard on 914952299 or e/mail 

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Well, the days may be warm but those chilly evenings mean it’s time to time to get the fire on, so I’m off to fill a boot and get cosy for the rest of the month…

Until next month


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