Newsletter December 2017

Margarida Sampaio @


The festive season is upon us in Carvoeiro and the Algarve!  To be honest you can’t really tell that Christmas is coming unless you visit a shopping centre where you can find all the lights and tinsel but for me that is what makes this time of year in the Algarve so amazing.

We have had some rain which caused some local flooding in certain areas of the Algarve but was nowhere near enough to help us to fill up the depleted reservoirs across the region, and now the blue skies and sunshine have returned making it hard to feel that it is winter at all!  During the days the temperatures are warm and up in the mid-teens but at night you need your blanket on the bed as it drops down to below 5 degrees – and that’s decidedly cold when you don’t have a carpet or any central heating!

The locals may be all wrapped up in their boots, scarves and voluminous jackets but you can still spot a hardy visitor or to on the beach in their shorts and t-shirt and last month I even saw some very brave souls venturing into the waves!

FESTIVE SEASON IN CARVOEIRO

So we haven’t exactly won the Christmas light lottery this year in Carvoeiro, with our decorations being limited to one at the entrance of Carvoeiro but I guess it is better than nothing – and if you want to see more decorations and don’t fancy going to a shopping centre then you can go and have a look at the roundabouts in Lagoa too.

This is a traditionally quiet time in Carvoeiro but there are a few bars and restaurants still open and if you are looking for a special meal then it is a good idea to have a look at the local resorts to see what they are offering in terms of Christmas and New Year’s.

I haven’t heard about any fireworks coming back to Carvoeiro for New Year so I think we can be safe in saying that it is very unlikely we will have any on the beach.

If you want to see fireworks then your  best bet is to get yourself to a highpoint on the cliffs if it is a clear night and you will be able to see the fireworks along the coast, especially if you look in the direction of Portimão and Lagos.  There will be parties in Praia da Rocha and the biggest night in the Algarve is always in Albufeira where there is a concert on the fishermans beach each year and always an impressive fireworks display to welcome in the New Year.

If you are in the Algarve over Christmas and New Year be aware that in Portugal most people celebrate Christmas with their family on the night of December 24th so lots of places will be closed on this evening, there is also no bank holiday for boxing day (December 26th) so it really is back to business as usual straight away!

CHRISTMAS MARKETS & ACTIVITIES

There was a time when you struggled to find anything on during December but it seems that everyone in the Algarve is now a fan of a good old Christmas Market and they are literally everywhere during December.

Everyone has their favourite Christmas Markets but to be very honest they all serve the same purpose – an opportunity to drink mulled wine and look at sparkly stuff.  Here are just a few of the local ones going on this month for you to choose from and if you only pick one then make it the Carvoeiro one – we all need to support our local businesses!

Carvoeiro Christmas Market – Come down to the square in Carvoeiro to stock up on your Christmas cheer while listening to local entertainment and picking up some last minute gifts.  The market appears to grow in size and popularity each year and will be held between 15th and 17th December.

Lagoa Christmas Market – there will be a Christmas market in Lagoa near to the auditorium between December 7th and 10th from 10am until 8pm daily.  The organisers promise around 50 stalls at this market as well as a living nativity scene and a huge Christmas tree so this one could be the biggest in the local area. 

Vila Vita Christmas Market – German owned Vila Vita have brought out the wooden huts at the Biergarten again for their annual Christmas Markets.  This one is held over the weekend of December 9 and 10 and again on 16th and 17th from 1pm until 8pm.  If you are looking for a market as close to one you may find in Germany then this is your best bet with a chance to buy Glühwein, Lebkuchen, sauages and handicrafts from the traditional style stalls.  Parking can be tricky when you come to these events so try to get their early if you want a space in the main carpark.

Christmas at the Gallery – until December 9th you can visit the Galeria de Arte in Lagoa (located in the old winery near to the Pingo Doce supermarket) and pick up handmade gifts and local produce between 10am and 6pm.  There will also be a Christmas party taking place at the gallery on Sunday, December 10th with live music, mulled wine, Santa, hot chocolate and workshops!

Living Statues – Not quite a Christmas market but this one is always a great event and worth visiting.  Marvel at the living statues this festive season with a special mini festival being held on Rua 25 de Abril and the Largo 5 Outubro on December 15th from 3pm – 6pm and on December 16th from 10am until 1pm.

Christmas land in Silves – Just because we don’t have sub-zero temperatures doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a spot of ice skating in the Algarve!  Visit the main square Al-Muthamid (the first square you see as you cross the main bridge into Silves).  The 400 square metre artificial ice rink is the main highlight here but you can also find Santa’s house and some artificial snow too at this attraction which is open on weekends and bank holidays from 10am until 8pm and on week days from2pm until 8pm until January 7th.

CHRISTMAS CONCERTS

If you are looking to enjoy a traditional Christmas then you can join services at the All Saints Church in Lagoa.  Services are held every Sunday at 11am in the convent in Lagoa (there is parking around the back) and they will be holding a traditional carol service on Sunday, 10th December with a choir and even mince pies and mulled wine after.

Those who would rather let others do the singing can listen to Christmas carols in the church in Porches on December 20th from 9pm or alternatively there will also be a Christmas concert held in the Capela do Convento de São José on 17th December at both 5pm and 7pm – entrance for this one has a fee of €6.


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BAH HUMBUG

So December is not all about Christmas and New Year but we all know that it is the winter and to be honest things do tend to go a little quiet around here at this time of the year (perhaps an understatement).

If you are looking for other things to do in Carvoeiro this month then have a look at what is going on in the darts league by popping into a local bar to find out the fixtures.  We also have netball for players of any and all levels every Thursday evening up at the Carvoeiro Clube de Tenis, while there is always something going on at the Vale do Milho golf club – pop in to see what is happening there!

AND FINALLY...

Perhaps the most exciting thing going on in Carvoeiro at the moment is the big move of the Taste restaurant team up the road on Rua do Barranco (the out road).  Massive refurb works are going on in their new location and it appears to be a mjot topic of conversation most days here – that’s what happens in the winter in Carvoeiro…

I’m off to get the tinsel out and to deck the halls and all that jazz – wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – Boas Entradas!

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