Newsletter February 2018

Margarida Sampaio @

After more than a decade of living in Carvoeiro I have come to the firm conclusion that we have only two seasons in the Algarve – Summer and Winter and right now it feels very much like winter thanks to the temperatures dropping regularly below 5 degrees at night!

OK, so we do have spring and autumn but those 4 days of the year are so fleeting I don’t really count them – that leaves us with summer and winter.

I know for those of you who are used to snow and freezing temperatures that 5 degrees may not seem all that chilly but for some reason nobody thought to build homes that were suitable for temperatures below 25 degrees over here – so it feels very cold.

Not that it doesn’t still look beautiful most days, we still have blue skies despite that biting northerly wind, but as soon as the sun goes down or you find yourself in the shade you will be zipping up your coat and looking for the nearest bar to warm up in with a glass of wine or two.

We actually could do with a good deal of rain down here in the Algarve, it might be winter but because we have had so little rainfall we are still on fire alert here!

Luckily, because this is the Algarve I now the weather will be warming up soon enough and I will wake up in a couple of months to find we have two days of spring before summer arrives in full!

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The cold weather at the moment has to mean just one thing – that carnival is on its way again!

Nothing says carnival more than scantily clad folk braving the bitter winds while dancing about to frantic music and it looks like we will be having a traditional Algarvian carnival again this year in the reigon.

The biggest carnival celebrations take place in Loulé.  Here you buy a ticket which costs two euros per person, to give you access to the main street which is closed for the parade that starts at 3pm.  This is the oldest carnival in the Algarve and the one with the most floats, colour, music and general madness!

Carnival celebrations take place on the Sunday (11th February) with the main parade then being on Tuesday 13th February.

While in the UK I was happy with a couple of pancakes and some of that lemon juice in a plastic lemon shaped bottle, over here it’s all about the party.  It may not by Rio but the Algarve certainly gets into the spirit of the celebration and if you don’t head off to Loulé or to another of the larger parades then you will be able to still enjoy everything in Carvoeiro where we have our very own parade on the Sunday and the Tuesday from around 3pm (we can never be 100% sure of the times as usual!!).

The roads around the centre of Carvoeiro are closed while the carnival parade is on with the parade coming down from the municipal market to begin with and then circulating around Rua do Barranco and Rua dos Pescadores (the in and out road).

Those taking part in the parade all dress up to match the themes of their floats but there is no reason why you can’t dress up to watch if you want to – and don’t forget to bring your coloured paper to throw at the floats as they pass – you can buy the bags of what I am sure is hole punch left overs in supermarkets and local shops to be part of the fun.

There will also be a small parade from the local school children of Carvoeiro on Friday, February 9th during the morning – so if you are about then head to the streets to support the youngest members of our community.


Works are taking place in lots of places in Carvoeiro at this time of the year, updating businesses to have them ready for the start of the new summer season.

If you have been in the town recently then you would have noticed that the shop that sells lottery tickets up near to the GNR station, has been closed with some major works going on there.  If you still need to buy your lottery tickets and don’t want to drive to Intermarché, then don’t worry because the shop has now moved into a new location on Rua do Casino (just up from the Post Office) and you can still buy all you beach toys and inflatables from there too.

One of the biggest changes to a local business this month has been the reopening of Taste restaurant which has now moved up along Rua do Barranco to just next to the Moto Rent shop.  The team have been working non stop since leaving their old location and opened with an enormous party which included live music, cocktail demonstrations and a fire dance show!

There was a massive turnout by local residents and visitors to the new restaurant and it was wonderful to see so many people supporting Ciprian and Nichola in their new venture.  A quick look around the restaurant and you can see the care to detail that has gone into the new location which includes an ingenious wall made of glass and displaying the wines on the menu around the bar.  If you were a fan of Taste before then you will be happy to hear that the core team remains the same as well as their popular music nights and steak nights but now they have a great bar area for cocktails and a bright, modern and comfortable dining room which has helped to raise the bar in Carvoeiro for our restaurants – congratulations to all who made it happen!


I know, I know…this is a newsletter for Carvoeiro but we have very close ties to Ferragudo and it has been announced that some major redevelopment is going to be taking place in the pretty fishing village.  The project is still in its planning stage but there is a budget of between seven and eight million being put forward to improve the main square, demolish the concrete water channel and replace it with a more natural solution and the pedestrianisation of the down town area.

Ferragudo is such a beautiful and picturesque village and it looks like the plans to change the village will only improve the overall look of the area and hopefully the changes to the water channel will also stop the regular flooding that occurs in the main square at high tides.


Don’t forget with have the Volta ao Algarve cycle race taking place across the region this month with the time trial stage in Lagoa and passing through Carvoeiro on 16th February – you can see further details at

We also have the second edition of the Silves Orange Capital festival between 16th and 18th February held near to the swimming pools in Silves and featuring live music, handicrafts and everything relating to citrus fruits!



I try to keep these newsletters light and fun but sometimes it is impossible to ignore the sadder things in life here.

In January, one of the most loved local residents of Carvoeiro, Arjan van Zanten, passed away, leaving family, friends and anyone who ever knew him lost for words as we said goodbye to one of the kindest funniest and most generous people to have been part of the Carvoeiro community.

It has been a very hard time in Carvoeiro following his death, thanks to him having touched the lives of so many people over the decades; whether you knew him as a surfer, from his time working in bars such as Anteak or Oficina, as a father of his two beautiful children or playing darts on a Friday evening with his dad – Arjan truly was a very special person and my words will never be enough to do him justice.

A memorial ceremony was held in Algar Seco for Arjan while there was also a paddle out at Praia de Molhe by his surfing friends and a minute of clapping before the darts kick off around the town. 

Arjan was an exceptional person and Carvoeiro will shine a little less brightly without him, however his positivity will forever remain.  Rest in peace Arjan.

Wishing you all a safe and happy February, wherever you are in the world,

Until next month