Carvoeiro newsletter August 2018

Margarida Sampaio @

It is hard to be upbeat right now in Carvoeiro because while the sun is shining and the ocean is sparkling, only a few kilometres away we have an enormous fire still raging in Monchique and the Silves municipality.


The high temperatures in July and August often mean that we have wildfires, especially in the more rural areas of Portugal and the Algarve, however this latest fire, which started in Monchique on Friday, August 3 at around 1.30pm, is one of the largest in recent years in this area of the Algarve. At the time of writing this on August 8th, there are still 1,445 personnel, 448 vehicles and 14 air support trying to get the blaze, which has now consumed more than 21,000 hectares of land, under some sort of control.

Weather conditions have not helped the entire situation, we have had scorching temperatures heading towards the 40 degree mark and high winds which have been making the fire uncontrollable and the job of the brave firefighters even more dangerous than it already is.

The situation is being monitored by the Civil Protection agency in Portugal and you are able to see updates on their website by following this link. This site only gives you basic information but does alter and will show when the fire is coming under control. There has been a lot of confusion about where the fires actually are because mapping them changes constantly with the wind. Due to the size of the fire the European Commission has been called in to help map the fire and you can see maps on their site if you zoom in to the Algarve and then check off the boxes to see active fires and burn areas. Follow this link for more information 

We already know that properties have been burnt, however so far there has only been one serious injury reported and no fatalities, largely thanks to the tireless work of the Bombeiros firefighters. In Carvoeiro so far all we have had is thick smoke in the air and ash falling which is very little in comparison to our friends in the hills, some of whom have literally lost everything.

The only positive to the entire situation has been the incredible response from local residents to the situation with many of the bars and restaurants and local people all working together to help in any way they can. Atlantic View, Carvoeiro Bar, Bar Six, A Vela, Mungos Bar, Harrys Bar to name but a few, have all been pulling together to collect water and supplies for the Bombeiros and deliver them to the stations to keep everyone going as much as possible.

If you would like to see how you can help if you are in the Algarve then join the Facebook group associacao alerta de incendio florestal / forest fire alert. In this group you can get updates on the status of the fire and also read about how you can help. So far over 200 people have been evacuated and need assistance – any little help really is appreciated massively and information on the group is all available in English.

If you are not in the country but would still like to show your support to the Bombeiros (many of whom are volunteers) then you can make a donation either by bank transfer or by PayPal. People can donate to the Associaçao via the paypal or the Iban: PT50-0033-0000-45499091213-05. You can read about further details of the association by visiting their site Now all that we can do is hope beyond all hope that this fire comes to an end as soon as possible and that nobody else is hurt in the blaze.


While getting the fires under control is the greatest priority right now we have to all try to get on with life in the Algarve in general. It is vitally important that we continue to make the Algarve a welcoming place for visitors as they really are the lifeblood of the region and while it may seem as if people are being heartless continuing with parties and events, the reality here is that we have to go on. One of the biggest events of August is the Blessing of the Sea celebrations and the end of summer party on the last weekend of August.

Every year on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month (which this year lands on Saturday, August 25th and Sunday, August 26th) Carvoeiro marks the end of the summer with a big party on the beach on the Saturday night and then the religious procession and fireworks take place on the Sunday at midnight. The free beach party starts at 8pm and will begin with live music in the square and then is followed by DJ sets down on the beach until 3am. This is a great one for the entire family to get involved in and is often a highlight of the summer season in Carvoeiro to finish off the month.

The following day we have the Blessing of the Sea. This involves several religious ceremonies up at the church, followed by a procession through the town with members of the community carrying a large statue on a bed of flowers through Carvoeiro. It is essentially a very somber parade, complete with marching band but it is very beautiful to watch as it comes down from the church, past the GNR and then along Rua do Barranco before looping back on itself. No times of the parade have yet been published, however it usually takes place around 7pm in the evening so be sure to be around the centre at that time to not miss it. After the parade we have more live music in the square and then everyone heads down to the beach to watch what are usually very impressive fireworks which are launched off both sides of the cliffs across the cove at midnight. Take a seat on the sand for the best views of this one.


There is no denying that everyone loves a fireworks display over here and on Wednesday, August 15th we have the return of the Algarve Jazz Orchestra who will be performing a show accompanied by fireworks down by the beach. The music is due to start at 10pm and continue to 1.30pm but be aware that last year nobody was allowed on to the beach to watch this show as this is where the fireworks were located. For the best spot you will need to get down there early – and remember August 15th is also a national bank holiday so expect it to be extra busy! The jazz concert is part of a wider festival taking place in Carvoeiro between August 11th and 15th every night from 10pm in the square. The Sounds of the Atlantic Festival will feature a mixture of musicians including the ever popular “ca-ca-ca-carvoeiro” band Beto Kalulu on August 14th.


August is always the busiest time of the year in the Algarve and there are plenty of great events going on to visit this month. Silves Medieval Fair – At the time of writing this event was still planned to take place, despite the fires nearby, please check for updates on this before planning to visit. The Medieval fair in Silves is one of the very best family evenings out in the Algarve, especially if you are on a budget as it only costs €2 to enter the main part of the fair with entry to the jousting show and additional €5 if you want to go and watch it. Every year the fair gets bigger and better with new areas to explore, plenty of food and drinks and the chance to dress up for the whole event! Look out for the fire eaters, belly dancers and medieval rock band that parades through the streets every evening and be sure to wear some sturdy shoes as those hills are not only steep but also very slippery in places on the well worn calçada. Get down to Silves early for a parking space near to all of the action, the best place to park is near to the municipal pools where there is a small fee that is donated usually to the Bombeiros.

Fatacil – This agricultural show, come live music venue, come arts and crafts fair is back in Lagoa at the Fatacil showground between 17th and 26th of August. It is one of the largest events that takes place in the Algarve each year and has something for all of the family from horse shows, to handicrafts, hotdogs and traditional foods – it is all there. Each night there is also a big name act playing with highlights this year being Fado diva Mariza who will be performing on 18th August and Amor Electro who are playing on 23rd of August. Get there early for paid parking in the field opposite where there is a small fee and be aware that the fair gets busier as the night goes on, especially when there is a big band playing that night.

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You don’t have to leave Carvoeiro this month to have plenty of fun as there is always live music, karaoke, quizzes and entertainment on throughout the town every night thanks to the local bars and restaurants. Just have a look at the boards outside the businesses to see what is on and to plan your evening of fun in Carvoeiro. Well I’m off to sort out more collections for the Bombeiros and to check if they need any other volunteers. Remember – you too can help from wherever you are in the world by donating to the Associaçao via their Paypal or the Iban PT50-0033-0000-45499091213-05.

Until next time