Newsletter April 2012

Margarida Sampaio @

Spring has officially sprung, although I am not sure there has actually been a winter here in Carvoeiro this year.

We have had the most beautiful few months of weather and now the clocks have changed we now have long, warm evenings too – I can't complain!

This winter has not felt quite so long thanks to the sunshine, however it is great to see the return of people to the town with the Easter holidays fast approaching.


With summer now almost here Carvoeiro has been busy tarting itself up with new shops opening, old places getting a lick of paint and general works going on all month.

Now pedestrians trying to cross the O Farol can pass without fear as the white lines have been repainted on the road giving motorists a fighting chance of stopping in time.

Other white lines have also been painted with all the lines that mark out the car parking spaces on the O Farol and along Rua do Barranco (the out road) being either redone or in some places put down for the first time.

The white lines have not those who feel the need to double park at every point but they have given some sense of order in preparation for the masses in the summer.

Unfortunately, as with most things here, the job has not gone ahead without its hitches so we have some places with spaces wide enough to fit a camper van convention and others that are so snug the drivers can't open their doors properly (and if you have a rather round tummy you are going to be car bound).

Last year Jorge Pardal from the Junta said that there would be parking meters put in along Rua do Barranco and he said that they would first put the new lines in and then put in the meters however there has been no sign of these as yet and the Junta can't say when they will be brought in so we will have to wait and see.

Away from the new white lines and digging up of the roads for electricity cables we also have the usual round up of new businesses opening and changes happening in the town.


This time of year we always see changes in the bars as staff move about and new businesses open and this last month has seen lots of changes.

Firstly we have said goodbye to Lawrence and Ivy who have set off on their travels to Sweden. Lawrence had been working in Harrys Bar and has now been replaced by Aaron who had previously been working in Safari Bar.

Anyone who knows Aaron will be happy to see that he has finally managed to get himself above ground after many years working in caves around Carvoeiro!

Meanwhile, Cabeck and Aida have taken over the running of Charlys Bar (next to the GNR station).

Aida had been working in Boa Vida and if you don't know who Cabeck is then you probably have never been to Carvoeiro! Cabeck is the guy with the camera who takes all those photos you would rather forget when you are out and about in Carvoeiro and will be around in the evenings at the bar to give you a warm welcome.

The pair have decided to open the bar from 3pm each day and this has to be the best bar in the town to sit and watch the sun set and is a great summer spot. Not a lot of changes have been made to the bar, however they serve up some of the best free olives!

Down the road, Hemingway Bar is now running a weekly quiz night on a Monday evening with Eric taking to the mike and setting the questions, so put on your thinking caps and go and prove how clever (or not so) you are on a Monday.

We also had some celebrations last month with Bistro 72 celebrating their first birthday with Mike and Sally and Innside café celebrating their fifth birthday – congratulations to both, lets hope we see many more years for both bars.


We may not be the Ayia Napa of the Algarve but Carvoeiro does have a great bar scene and our very own little club on the beach (possibly the best nightclub views ever) is going to be reopening with new management on April 5 with an opening party featuring live music from a band called Morangotango. This band is going to be playing at Rock in Rio this year so it should be worth a visit just to se what they are like.

The Bote has come under a lot of fire in the past for its questionable pricing and entry fees but hopefully this new management team will make sure that it returns to being a real draw for Carvoeiro. All I hope is that they manage to clean up the little piles of beach pizza that are found each morning and of course that they keep up the foam party – the one where you need a snorkel to swim your way through!


It seems you can't be a self respecting metropolis these days without having a fish spa and now Carvoeiro has its very own on Rua do Barranco where the Europcar shop used to be.

The shop has not opened fully yet but new businesses are always welcome and this one should do well if the popularity of the ones in Luz and Albufeira are anything to go by.

The shop is called AquaZen and is offering massages, reflexology, manicures, pedicures and waxing as well as the fish sessions.

The fish are expected to come into the shop before the end of the month and a session will cost €20 for 15 minutes of fish cleaning followed by a 15 minute foot massage.

Personally I have never subjected any poor little fish to nibbling at my feet but I am told that after the initial shock it is a pleasant experience and is great for making flip flop feet look good.


With the Easter holidays on the way and the number of people in the town increasing we have lots going on in Carvoeiro this month so come down and join the fun!

Firstly we have the first ever Gastronomy Fair of Carvoeiro.

The good people at Vozes Intensas along with the Junta and local restaurants the town is hosting a Gastronomy fair along the lines of similar ones seen in Portimão and further afield in the Algarve.

The concept is pretty simply, 13 restaurants have signed up to serve a special dish throughout the two weeks and it is hoped that this will encourage visitors and residents to try new restaurants for the special priced meals.

The dishes are all traditional Algarve offerings and the price has been regulated to make this accessible to as many people as possible.

The restaurants taking part and their dishes are:

TIA ILDA - Arroz de marisco

ONZE - Polvo á lagareiro

A VELA - Ensopado de borrego

JOTA- LITA - Cataplana de peixe

O TASCO - Lombo de porco recheado de grelos

MARISQUEIRA- Feijoada de buzinas

O STOP - Prato de peixe com camarão

A FONTE - Bacalhau á costa

A GALè - Pato assado no forno com laranja

OS 3-JOTAS - Atum á Algarvia

TASTE - Bacalhau fresco com grelos salteados

ELE & ELA - Caldeirada de peixe

PIMENTA PRETA - Bochechas de porco com migas á Monchique

Visit any of the restaurants between March 31 and April 8 to take part in this initiative.

Vozes Intensas have also organised another Easter Fair to take place in Carvoeiro. Last year the fair was very successful (despite the weather) and organisers hope that this can be repeated this year.

The fair will take place in the space in front of the Soares shop with tents and stalls selling local produce, cakes, drinks and handicrafts.

The bunny girls will be back (not the Hugh Hefner type) and there will be music throughout the fair which will be taking place between April 5 and April 8 from midday until around 6pm each day.


Another community project taking place this April is a planned litter picking session to take place on April 15.

This was meant to happen in March but organiser Cabeck Castro has been working with the Junta to have a date that suits everyone. If you head down to the beach are on the 15th then you will hopefully find the litter pickers.

There are not many details available at the moment for this but it is a really worthwhile event to try and clear up the cliffs and other areas of all litter to make Carvoero a more beautiful place for all of us.

If you want to take part then nip into Charlys Bar to ask about the plans nearer the time.


We had a good St Patrick's day in Carvoeiro in March with a group of suitably green looking revellers partaking in the odd compulsory glass of the black stuff in celebration. There weren't too many people taking part but those that did made enough noise to make sure that everybody knew that something was going on!

In April St Georges day will be celebrated in Harrys Bar on April 22 with a tug-o-war competition that is sure to be worth watching if not taking part in.

Harrys Bar are also organising lots of events this month including a belly dancing display on April 7th from 6pm - who says nothing ever happens in Carvoeiro!!


And finally...I spend a lot of time plugging all the businesses in the town and letting you know about what is going on here on the ground but sometimes a little self promotion is needed!

For all of you who are familiar with you may have noticed that some changes have been taking place on the site recently.

Myself and the webmaster have teamed up to try and improve the content on our favourite site to make sure that there is plenty to read for newcomers and regulars alike.

Have a look at some of the newest pages we have created including new what to do suggestions like Portimão museum and Arte Algarve in Lagoa.

This month I will be looking at adding a little extra to the beach pages with some updated pictures and information about the local beaches in the area and further beyond.

If there is anything that you would like to see featured on the site then let us know and we will do our best to update the site according to what you are looking for.

As well as new details about fun things to do in and around Carvoeiro we have also updated lots of general information so now you can read about Carvoeiro for the disabled and also a bit about local charities and charity shops.

Look out for the little or "updated" signs next to the pages that have seen changes.

I hope you have a great April and when you are not enjoying the sunshine then don't forget to have a look at all the new features on, not only could you learn something new you will also be putting a smile on Steen's face and that can't be a bad thing!