Carvoeiro newsletter July 2018

Margarida Sampaio @

I have lived in Portugal for so many years now it is hard to even think about living anywhere else. People often ask me if I consider myself to be Portuguese or British and my reply is that I don’t really consider myself to be either – I am far too foreign to be Portuguese but I also feel too foreign to be British either, so I am content at just being somewhere in the middle-ish.

But this has all changed in the past couple of weeks all thanks to the World Cup – suddenly I find myself as English as fish and chips - if that is how it feels – and I am actually very happy about the entire situation, mainly because of the results that have been coming the way of the England football team recently.


If you haven’t noticed recently, the football World Cup is on and a good few English people have become more than overly excited by the situation (myself included who has been spotted jumping up and down and singing three lions – don’t judge me!).

We may have said goodbye to Portugal, Germany, Brazil and well we won’t speak about Holland but by some sort of miracle we still have England in the tournament and it has really lifted the spirits in Carvoeiro, with bars packed full of happy fans keen to cheer on their team.

The World Cup is always a busy time in the town and is an important event for many of the bars who are able to have some good sessions depending on how the score lines go.

It would have been brilliant if Ronaldo had managed to work some more magic and helped Portugal through pretty much by himself but having England progress so far has also been wonderful to see in Carvoeiro with many people getting behind the lions.

Who knows what the outcome will be in the end, I wasn’t even born when they were last in such a good position so I would not be able to offer any wisdom here – whoever comes out on top the final is certainly going to be a good one to watch – just make sure you get down to your favourite watering hole well before kick off if you want to be sure of a seat and a view of the TV.


Summer started with a bang in Carvoeiro last month with the return of the annual Black and White party and it was a huge success once again!

The local council said that 30,000 people came to Carvoeiro for the evening to enjoy all the free live music, beach party, fire shows, DJs and street entertainment that took place throughout the streets and it certainly felt that you were in the middle of an enormous crowd at different times during the evening!

All the local businesses pulled out the stops to make the evening run smoothly and it is fair to say that making the O´Farol (restaurant hill) and the in and out roads (Rua do Barranco and Rua das Pesacdores) pedestrianised was something that a lot of people were enjoying, especially those with young children who were not in constant danger of almost being hit by a passing car as the festivities took place (we won’t talk about the Halloween parade right now).

There really was a great mixture of entertainment all over the town, we particularly enjoyed the shows up by the church which were less crowded and included a really good covers band “The Bottles” and also an amazing fire dance show which was also a massive hit.

A DJ on the beach shouldn’t really be a family night out but it really does work on Black and White night, with all ages bouncing about in the sand to the tunes well into the early hours.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the night – it is such an important event on the calendar for the town and one that I sincerely hope we can keep going for many years to come. I am already on the look out to save the date again for next year!


There is a lot going on in Carvoeiro and the town is seeing lots of the existing businesses getting a bit of a makeover with new owners and places popping up all over the place.

While I am not so happy about chains such as Ale Hop coming to the town, it is always great to see some new small businesses open up and add their influence to Carvoeiro.

We had Chef’s Kitchen open up recently and it appears to be a big hit with everyone who has gone there, although there was one tale of someone trying to have a table for one but being turned away because they were taking bookings only, this may well have changed since they first opened though – I would be interested to hear all of your experiences if you have been there.

We also have Gurkha Kitchen open up on the steep hill past The Wolf and up towards Algar Seco. This is a new Indian restaurant but specialising in Nepalese food which is a little different and the family who run it have moved to Carvoeiro from Armação de Pêra and the guys in the restaurant are lovely so it’s worth a look – especially if you like spicy food!

What used to Flamingo’s, on the O Farol, up the steep hill by Brady’s Bar, is now open as a restaurant called Gum Tree. The restaurant is set in a beautiful location away from the main road and with its own swimming pool and is open for lunch and dinners. I have heard differing reports about this one but the burgers at lunchtime are delicious and it is great to see someone making a go of a place that has always struggled, possibly because of that hill climb up to it!

There is also a new upscale Indian restaurant due to open very soon up on the coastal road past Sully’s, tucked just behind Tia Ilda restaurant. The owner has spent a lot of time and effort to make this place look amazing and the views are second to none – let’s see how the food measures up when it opens – as a fan of a good curry I will be there for sure!


I love the summer time, it always reminds me just why I choose to live here and while I moan about the crowds and the lack of parking I love all of the events and activities that are taking place at this time of the year – many of which are free to attend or have a very low ticket price.

Moonlight walks – Get to know the local area a little better and find new paths and routes around the place during the moonlight walks, which you can also choose to run if you feel particularly energetic. The Lagoa council have organized various walks over 5km and 10km distances over the next few weeks with one in Porches on 12th July, then in Parchal on 26th July, in Ferragudo on 2nd August and finally in Carvoeiro on 9th August. The walks all start at 8.45pm and are designed to be a family affair, so slip on some trainers and get walking about the place this month in the cool of the moonlight!

Snail Festival – Before you say you don’t like them, I urge you to try snails in the Algarve, they are tiny and when they are cooked well are truly delicious with some warm buttery toast on the side! A great place to try them out is at the annual snail festival held in Porches, next to the sports centre in the village. The festival takes place on July 13th, 14th and 15th with free entry, live music, dancing and of course plenty of snails (to buy). If you don’t fancy the snails then go along for the great atmosphere which is a true taste of the Algarve.

Pirate Week – I have never really understood this one but I am told it is great fun and is basically a few days of partying and fun through the streets with lots of people dressed up as pirates! This year there will be two pirate weeks, with the first being held in Senhora da Rocha between 20th and 24th July and then they will do it all over again in Alvor between 24th and 28th August. The event is free to take part in and there is plenty of entertainment throughout the streets to keep everyone happy on a summers evening.

Motorbike festival – This one is over in Faro but it is worth getting on your bike (or into your car) to go down and celebrate at the largest bike festival in Europe which is now taking place for the 37th year. Thousands of bikers come from across the continent between 19th and 22nd July and gather at the festival site but if you don’t want to actually go to the event itself then head over to Faro city to watch the parade of the bikes on the final day – it has to be seen to be believed!

If you have ever wondered what the inside of the lighthouse out past Rocha Brava looks like then you now have a chance to have a nosy around yourself!

The Farol de Alfanzina in Carvoeiro is going to be open to the public every day except Mondays, between 2.30pm and 6.30pm until the end of August.

Currently with regular staffing the lighthouse is only open on Wednesdays but thanks to young volunteers the historic landmark will be open to visitors this summer time, making it an ideal opportunity to visit.

This volunteer initiative was first tried out last year at the Santa Maria Lighthouse, which saw some 55,000 people visiting and it is hoped that the Carvoeiro lighthouse will prove just as popular.

Well, I’m off now to reserve my place for the next big word cup game…let’s just I won’t be needing a box of tissues….