Newsletter January 2019

Happy New Year – Feliz Ano Novo!

This year I have decided not to bother with the New Year’s resolutions, primarily because I still have to try to complete the last 20 years of resolutions that I am still working towards…

However, one pledge that I have made to myself is to try to truly make the most of where I live this year and to enjoy all that it has to offer with the joy of a tourist on their first visit to our little town.  I have found that it is all too easy to forget just how beautiful it is here when you drive past the beach each day on the way to work, how lucky we are to live in such a safe place as I leave my car unlocked and feel happy walking home at night alone at 2am and how incredibly privileged I am to live in a place with so many friendly, welcoming and supportive people. Carvoeiro really is an exceptional place to visit or to live in and I will actively be reminding myself of this throughout 2019. 

I believe that those of you who read my newsletter (and I think some of you even make it to the end of it occasionally!) generally also love Carvoeiro as much as I do and I would encourage you all to fly the flag for the town on every occasion you get this year!


As you can probably tell, I am feeling in a very positive mood right now and this was certainly helped by starting off the new year on the right foot – namely with family and friends down by the beach in Carvoeiro at midnight.

I was trying to work out when the last tie was that we had fireworks at midnight for New year in Carvoeiro and after chatting with friends we think it was at least 7 or 8 years ago – maybe more (answers on a postcard please!).

When the fireworks first stopped in the town everyone still went down to the square to watch them, only to find that nothing happened at midnight (I was included in this!).  Sadly, as people realized that there was not going be any entertainment in the square for the new year, people slowly started to make other arrangements…

Fast forward a few years and Carvoeiro was far from a hub of fun for new year, with people opting to go basically anywhere else to enjoy the evening because there was nobody about.  It was all a bit of a knock on effect; no fireworks led to less people, less people led to fewer restaurants opening, fewer restaurants led to even fewer people, which in turn led to many businesses choosing to close their doors and ultimately leaving Carvoeiro firmly off the new year map.

But this has all changed!  And now things really are turning around!

It has helped a lot that the new owners of the Carvoeiro Sol hotel in the centre of Carvoeiro have chosen to keep the hotel open for the winter – it was very hard after all to try and encourage people to come over for the winter when there was no hotel to stay in by the beach!

Now with the hotel open, the fireworks planned and entertainment in the square we finally have encouraged people to return to Carvoeiro to see in the new year and it appears to have worked because the restaurants and bars that were open for the night all had a great turnout while there was a wonderful atmosphere down in the square for the fireworks.

Thanks has to be given in no small part to Jan from Piú, O Patio and Jan in the square.  Without his involvement and support I am not sure that anything would have actually happened this year either.  His businesses were also instrumental in giving the town a truly festive feel thanks to their bright lights and decorations throughout the festive period.  So a big thank you Jan!

I am not sure why it was decided to launch the fireworks directly from the sands of the beach, I can only assume that someone finally realized that is not a good idea to launch them off the very unstable cliffs, but it turned out to be a great place to put them all.  It would have been nice to be able to sit on the each to watch the show but to be honest the waves are pretty big at this time of the year and it probably isn’t the best idea I the world to head to the shore after a couple of glasses of bubbly!  The fireworks themselves were really great and went on for about 10 minutes in total, accompanied by just the right amount of “ooohs” and “aaaahs”.

The only let down of the evening had to be the idiots who decided to let of flairs right outside the GNR station while the fireworks were going off.  There were a good few people stood in the area minding their own business when the bright red flairs were set off leaving children crying and people generally annoyed.  This was a small stain on the evening and when I think of problems in many places when dealing with groups of people on new year, then this really wasn’t much to shout about and was resolved quickly.

All in all, it was a New year to remember for all of the right reasons this year and I only hope that the great turnout and support by the local people will help to ensure that we have more entertainment for the next new year!  Congratulations to all that were involved!

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This is traditionally a slow time of the year in the Algarve, however the exceptional warm and sunny days without the slightest hint of rain has helped to make everyone who is in the town this month, to be able to enjoy all it has to offer to the full.

I have never seen so many people on the boardwalk, rambling along the cliffs and generally out and about in January before.  No, it’s not busy but there still is a great atmosphere in the town and plenty of smiles around as we sit back and enjoy the winter sunshine.

Of course, there are many businesses that have closed for their annual break but we do have a good few still open so there is still a choice of restaurant for the evening or cafes and bars for during the day and into the evening.

So if you are considering a winter break I can highly recommend it – especially if you would enjoy taking a picture of yourself on the beach sitting in 20 degrees of sunshine!


There are not so many things going on at this time of the year, however the tourism board has been working over the past couple of years on their Algarve 365 programme to try and make sure that there is something to do, see or visit during the winter months and we have a good few activities happening in the coming month.

Firstly, we have a New Year Concert taking place on Saturday, 12th January in the Auditório Municipal Carlos do Carmo.  The concert begins at 7pm and tickets cost €8.50 perp person.  If you have never seen the Classical Orchestra of the South then this is a great opportunity to see them live, led by maestro José Eduardo Gomes.  The concert promises to bring out some of the big favourites from classical music and is one that the entire family can enjoy.

If you are a fan of world music then you will be very happy to hear that we have the return of the Al-Mutamid music festival and this year they will be featuring a concert by the Iranian band Novan Ensemble.  The event will be held at the Centro Cultural Convento S. José on 25th January from 9.30pm – tickets will be made available soon and you can find out more information from the Lagoa Council.

For those of you who are looking to run or walk off a few of those extra kilos you may have accumulated over the festive period then why not sign up for the Marcha/Corrida de Estômbar.  This will be taking place on February 3rd, starting at the beautiful Sítio das Fontes at 9.30am with a welcome reception for participants.  It doesn’t matter whether you choose to run or walk the route, it is a lovely place to spend a morning and a good excuse to explore the local area at the same time!

We also have the usual markets taking place in the local area as well as darts being held in the local Carvoeiro bars on Friday evenings, netball up at the tennis Club every Thursday evening, weekly quizzes and live music in the bars and restaurants and if none of that appeals then you can just sit back and enjoy this wonderful sunshine!


Any of you who have been visiting the town for the past few years may have at some point bumped into Dave at Hemingways.  If you have popped in recently you may have noticed he has not been there and this is because he has officially retired from the bar leaving it now in the very capable hands of Sandro and the team.

If you are in Carvoeiro this week and would like to wish Dave a happy retirement, then visit Hemingways on 11th January to say farewell.  I wish Dave the best of luck in the future and I am happy to be around to support Sandro in this new adventure!

So, I’m off to go and take in the sunset, smell the sea air and marvel at the beauty of Carvoeiro while I am still in a good mood, before I revert to type and start to complain about the weather all over again…

Until then,