Newsletter February 2019

Margarida Sampaio @

 I’m not really sure where January went this year but we seem to already be in February and the days are getting longer and helping it to feel a lot less like winter than in most other parts of Europe.

The weather in the Algarve really is incredible, since the start of the year we have only had a couple of days of rain and while during the evenings it has been chilly, day times have mainly been filled with sunshine and blue skies for the entire month.

Sunshine during the winter is one of the best things about being in the Algarve and Carvoeiro, however while it is great to be able to top my tan in January (I even had a touch of sunburn one day!) it is always important to remember that this lack of rain has potential consequences in the summer months for us all.  The weather during January has already seen the drought threat level rise in the country and so far there are no indications that we are due for a prolonged period of rain – so try to be extra careful with you water – even if it is the winter!


I know most of you will be at saturation point with this whole Brexit thing and while I have my own views on whether or not I think Hard Brexit, the Backstop, No Deal and all the rest of it are a good or a bad idea, the reality is that if you are a British passport holder living in Portugal you do need to get your papers in order.

I personally have always resisted having official residency but even I was forced to consider sticking to my principles versus just getting the pieces of paper needed to make life easier.  So last week I went off to get my residencia to make sure that they weren’t going to find a reason to deport me anytime soon.

I have heard a lot of people talking about what you need to do to get your residencia (this is the 5 year version I am talking about here, if you have had two of these already then this is a matter for SEF) so I thought it may be useful for anyone living in or around Carvoeiro to briefly hear my experience of what I had to do and how easy it was.

Firstly, I went off to the Junta in Carvoeiro and took proof of address and my identification documents, the ladies in there were super friendly as always and have obviously been dealing with a lot of these as they were quick to go through the process.  They took my details, I paid my money and then waited to go in a couple of days later to pick up my proof of address paper – simple.

It was then off to Lagoa for my residencia.  Everyone has different circumstances so it is best to check exactly what you need, however I simply needed my proof of address from the Junta, my passport, my NIF number and my contract of work.

And this is how easy it all was: I walk into the main council building in Lagoa (the one with the glass front), go up to the desk ahead and press the button to take an “A” ticket.  Now I head right and sit on the crazy shaped chairs and wait for my number to be called.  When my number is called I explain that I am there for my residencia, they take all my documents and make copies of them while I sit at the desk with a strange red cloud cushion above my head (I didn’t ever work out why they are there to bash your head on as you it down…).  Once the copies are done they input all the data into the computer while you watch and check for any errors.  They then take my number and say they will call.

And call they did a couple of days later.  I went back in, took another ticket for “A” and waited to be seen (I went between 1pm and 2pm and it was very quiet and I only waited 10 minutes).  I then explain I am here to pick up my residencia, the lovely lady handed it over to me and told me to wait for my ticket to be called again, when it was called I went to the treasury desk, paid my €15 and walked out with my residencia.

If you live in Carvoeiro and need your residencia, this is basically all you need to do – so before 29th March I suggest this is done, because while we will have longer to complete this process, the extension is designed for people newly coming to live in the country and not for those of us who have been here for donkeys years.

If you are wondering if you need to worry at all about all this residencia business then SEF, the immigration and borders agency in Portugal, have created this handy guide -


Whether you are a visitor to Carvoeiro or live in the town itself I am pretty sure you will have needed the services of the Post Office in Carvoeiro at some point so it came as a shock to hear that there are plans in place to close it down in the town.

The post office, located on the corner or Rua dos Pescadores and Rua do Casino, has always seemed to me to be a very busy branch, I know that whenever I need to go in there to do something it appears to have a constant queue of about 5 people ahead of me…

But now it seems plans are firmly in place to close the branch down, however the local politicians are not going to let this happen without a fight it appears!

According to a report by Sul Informação, a local paper in the Algarve, the president of the Union of Parishes of Lagoa and Carvoeiro, Joaquim João Paulo has said that the parish council was by the regional director of the South of CTT (the postal service), who said that they wanted to propose a partnership between the council and the post office.

However, Joaquim João Paulo has stated that he believes: “what the CTT wanted to do was pass on to us the responsibility to maintain its profitability every month, a situation that, after considering, we did not accept.”

So we are left in a situation where it looks like we are going to lose our post office, leaving people having to travel to Lagoa instead.

Joaquim João Paulo said that the closure would mainly affect tourists and the elderly in Carvoeiro, revealing that the Carvoeiro branch pays out a total of 20,000 euros each month in pensions, while he also noted that many foreign residents also still use regular mail.

A “precautionary measure” has been tabled by the councils of Lagoa, Lagos, Aljezur and Vila do Bispo (where other branch closures have been announced) to try to stop the closures but at the moment this case is still very much up in the air…

On average the Post Office of Carvoeiro serves 75 customers a day, to send parcels, postcards, letters and deal with other matters, so we will all now have to wait to see what possible alternative the politicians and the post office can come up with to salvage the situation which is sure to negatively affect many people in the town and indicates towards an increasing trend of a reduction in services actually available in Carvoeiro, compared to retailers aimed at the tourism market.

I understand just how important it is for us to be able to cater to all the tourists and visitors who come to our beautiful Carvoeiro but anyone who is here in the winter will see that when the tourists are not here in force, the town has very few amenities still open.  We still have the local bank branches, the pharmacy and the parish council office but there are actually very few service available for those living and working in the town, so the closure of the Post Office would be a terrible blow, especially when you consider what would potentially be placed in to that space instead.

Car rental: Sunny Algarve promotion! - prices starting at just 24,65 euro per week
-15% low season until March 31st & November 1st to March 31st 2020
-20% mid season April 1st to June 30th 2019

Discounts are deducted automatically, this offer is only valid in February 2019.
Delivery and collect directly at your accommodation possible. No Airport fees -


I’ve never really understood the way the calendar works with carnival and Easter, however this year it turns out that our beloved carnival, which usually takes place in February will instead be happening in March this year – although it is going to be early in the month so I thought I would give you all a good chance to get yourself prepared!

Carnival itself takes place on Shrove Tuesday, 5th March this year and because we like to leave everyone guessing there has still not been any official announcement if there will be celebrations taking place in Carvoeiro itself this year yet…

If the past few years are anything to go by then we can expect to have a parade through the town, complete with floats and costumes of varying degrees of political incorrectness, taking place on the Sunday, 3rd March and then it will all be repeated again on the Tuesday.  The parade usually starts around 3pm and in the past we have had a little beer truck in the centre of the square, a hog roast to enjoy and then music and dancing after the main parade comes to an end.

Look out on social media for announcements to confirm all of this but as usual it seems that everyone has forgotten to let anyone know about this annual event, or perhaps they are doing it right and just saving time by assuming that everyone will just turn up whatever!

The only real bonus of having the carnival later this year has to be the hope that it won’t be raining and blowing a gale which has been synonymous with the event in the past!


This time of the year is not exactly packed full of events, however look out for the Volta ao Algarve cycle race which will be coming through the local area later in the month and causing its usual traffic chaos!

Last year we were on the television, so if you can’t be here in person then search for us on your sports channels wherever you are in the world!  The event will be taking place between February 20th  and 24th with the time trial of stage 3 starting in Lagoa and then coming through the centre of Carvoeiro before snaking up to Vale d´el Rei and back down to Lagoa so there are plenty of opportunities to get out there and cheer them on!

Well, I’m off to rub some more after sun into my burnt face (I’m sure you are all feeling very sorry for me!)

Until next month