Newsletter June 2012
Margarida Sampaio @
Summer has returned to Carvoeiro, I know this because I saw a low loader with more hire cars being dropped off in the town this past week which has resulted in there now being no spaces in the town again.
It's a good job that the weather has been so great so you don't mind strolling into the town to visit the beach or to enjoy an ice cream while walking about.
May actually saw a heat wave hitting the Algarve and the thermometers around town were hitting the 40ºC mark for a good few days. The very high temperatures have led to the region now being classed as being in an extreme drought and also having an elevated fire risk.
The high temperatures have been great for all the visitors to the town who have been walking around with big smiles (and a fair amount of pink skin too) and the beaches in the area have been filling up each day as everyone heads for the beach.
June 1st is the first day of the official bathing season for the local beaches in the area and is long overdue as most of the beaches have already seen people on them from 9am each day.
The bathing season basically means that from June 1 there are lifeguards on the beaches. The beach concessions that have also been closed for the summer all generally open from June 1 too so there are the sun beds and ice cream sellers and pedal boats all available for anyone on the beach.
The beaches in the local area that have lifeguards are Praia do Carvoeiro, Benagil, Marinha, Caneiros, Ferragudo, Carvalho and Pintadinho.
Look out for the lifeguards when you go on to the beach – you can't miss them – they are those very bronzed, fit looking people wearing red shorts (think Baywatch) and yellow t-shirts. It always good to know where they are in case you ever get into any trouble as they are able to help.
Some not so good news has been the removal of the Blue Flag status on the beaches in the Lagoa area, including Carvoeiro beach. Blue Flags fly on beaches that have passed a rigorous set of conditions including the water quality, cleanliness of the beach, information for visitors and access. There are no Blue Flags for the area this year with the rumours around the town circulating that it was because the Câmara in Lagoa who were unable to pay for the registration of the beaches into the programme. This can not be proved but what is certain is that the beaches in and around Carvoeiro are still brilliant places to spend the day and are some of the most beautiful in the Algarve so Blue Flag or no Blue Flag, I will be spending a lot of my summer looking at them from beach bars (all that sand in your socks, shoes, flip flop, shorts, bikini bottoms and elsewhere is just not fun for me).
INTERNATIONAL CHILDRENS DAY
Back on the beach, June 1 will also see celebrations for international childrens day with inflatables on the beach and the local children from the schools coming to spend some time playing on the beach.
The children will be out in the morning so if you are looking to lie quietly on Carvoeiro beach on that day then probably leave it until the afternoon or skip it altogether as that many children combined with bouncy castles is bound to result in a fair share of excited screaming!
Inflatables on the beach are looking like being a permanent fixture this summer if plans proposed by the local community and business group Vozes Intensas go ahead for the summer months.
The group has been in talks with local businesses and there are plans to have paid for inflatables (similar to those seen at the Easter fair) on the beach every evening during the summer from 6pm until midnight.
The inflatables will be away from the businesses in the town so the noise will be kept to the beach area and it could prove to be a great draw for people coming to Carvoeiro and looking for some different way to entertain their children either before or after dinner (probably best before now I think of it).
As well as the activities on the beach there are also plans to turn the small square in front of the Soares shop into a permanent summer area of activities.
This area (which was also the focal point of the Easter fair) is hoped to have some permanent tents for the summer erected in the square. Organisers hope that the tents will show case local handicrafts and work by local artists on a rotational basis with stall holders able to display and sell their goods from here.
As well as the stalls they have applied for a donut stall to be there all summer and an ice cream stand and an area to show off different species of animals not sure how this will work with the donut stand).
I would love to see activities in the square all summer long and if there will be live music again then I will let you know in the next newsletter although I know that licenses have been applied for to have live music in the square on the O Farol in front of Mungo's Bar and Mirage pizzeria. Plans have also been submitted to once again have live music a couple of evenings a week on Rua do Barranco opposite the Oasis restaurant although no permits have been given yet.
WHAT'S GOING ON IN JUNE
Now that the summer season is underway there are far more activities taking place in and around Carvoeiro to cater for the residents and thousands of visitors who come to the area in the summer months.
International Algarve Fair
We have the International Algarve Fair (see the what to do section for further information) taking place on June 2 and 3 at the Fatacil ground in Lagoa. This is a place where you can pick up some deals r enjoy entertainment with the Stars dance school performing on June 2 from 11.30am.
Also part of the fair is the Algarve Dog Show with pet owners encouraged to enter their dogs into the various categories.
There will be a chance to buy and view different handicrafts at a summer fayre to be held at The smokehouse in Boa Nova (outside Sesmarias) on June 25. Stall holders pay to be at the event with half of the money then being donated to the Algarve animal charity the APAA and the other half being donated to an orphange in Portimão.
The event is free to enter for guests and if you have never been to The Smokehouse it is a good opportunity to have a bit of a nose about!
Although not in the local area, festival MED is an event not to be missed if you enjoy live world music. The festival takes place throughout the streets of Loulé in the old town and thousands of people gather every year to soak up the atmosphere.
If you are able to make it down one night then be sure to go early to find a good parking space and prepare for a long night of music in the streets on June 29 and 30.
We may not be in the UK, however the amount of British residents and visitors in Carvoeiro means that the Queen's Jubilee is not going unnoticed in Carvoeiro this June.
The bunting will be out at Rascals Bar where they are holding an event on their sunny terrace while at Harry's Bar on Rua do Barranco a mini street party has been arranged for June 3 with fun for all the family during the day time and karaoke in the evening.
The Vale de Milho golf club will be holding a special celebration lunch on June 5 and Ma-Ja's will be hosting a Jubilee dinner also on the Tuesday.
There will also be celebrations at the International Algarve Fair to mark the Jubilee while many other places across the town will also be getting into the spirit of things so expect to see plenty of bunting and a fair share of red, white and blue over the first weekend of June in Carvoeiro.
Finally I can now announce that the new bank on Rua do Barranco has actually opened its doors. The Credito Agricola bank has moved from its previous little home further up the street to the new larger bank just after Belissimo café.
It seems like work to transform what was a bank into another bank has taken months (which it has) but it is now finally operational and the building works have stopped. The new multibanco point for the bank is now at the back of the bank on Rua dos Pescadores, opposite Jomar and Doce e Mar cafes.
Also new this month we have a change in management at Chrissys restaurant in Lagoa.
Many people will know the restaurant next to the market in the centre of the old part of Lagoa which had been run by Debbie and Louis but is to be taken over by the chef and head waiter as of June 5 so go and show your support to this great local restaurant just a five minute drive away – a great alternative during the busy summer months when everywhere in Carvoeiro is packed full.
Sadly Carvoeiro said farewell to a well known face during May with the very sudden death of Jack - known to most simply as Jack the golf.
A memorial to Jack was held by his family who travelled to his summer home in Switzerland earlier in the month while here in Carvoeiro those who knew him and wanted to say their own farewell gathered on the cliffs by the church on May 31 to hit some golf balls into the ocean in celebration of his life.
Jack was a well loved Carvoeiro character and will be missed by all he knew here.
And finally I would like to point out to anyone who hasn't yet noticed that the trees have returned to the square in Carvoeiro after clearly hibernating for the winter. The removal of the trees was another one of those Carvoeiro mysteries – where did they go, how did they spend their winter months.... but it seems we will never know the secret life of the trees.
I Hope you all have a brilliant, sunny and warm June and if you have an extra five minutes this month then have a look at the new updates on the Carvoeiro.com site including information about the International Algarve Fair on the What to do section, updates to the beach sections and new pictures and details of a walk down the escadinhas.
See you next month