Newsletter August 2012
Margarida Sampaio @
Some call it the sunny season and others the silly season but August is here and Carvoeiro is now at its busiest and hottest.
The weather in July was crazy hot with the hottest day of the year so far and temperature gauges tipping towards the 40ºC mark on a few days but the weather seems to have settled now and we are at a steady 30ºC most days now with clear blue skies and long warm evenings making all the visitors to Carvoeiro smile each day.
With bad weather in many other parts of Europe many people come to Carvoeiro and the Algarve for some much needed sunshine and there is nothing worse than seeing unhappy faces trudging around the town in their shorts and flip flops trying to huddle together for warmth!
Luckily the weather has been great here and could have a lot to do with the sudden increase in people about the place during July.
What the weather wasn't great for during July was helping to control the terrible fires that raged in the east of the Algarve during July.
Although this newsletter is primarily about the comings and goings in Carvoeiro the fires in the east of the Algarve that began on July 18 were so huge that they deserve an important mention.
In total 5% of the Algarve has been burnt in the fires that spread through the Tavira and São Brás areas of the east and the largest fire fighting operation in history was set in motion with more than 1,000 people on the ground, 200 vehicles and 13 aircraft in support of the operation.
After days of the fire being out of control it final came under the control of the Bombeiros on the Saturday but it was soon evident the huge destruction that had taken place in the area.
The Algarve community and visitors all came together to donate food and bottles drinks for the fire fighters and those who had lost property in the fires so a big thank you to anyone who helped in the efforts and lets hope that lessons have been learnt from this tragedy that luckily did not claim any human lives but has devastated the local environment.
The fire risk in the Algarve is always very high during the summer months so be careful while in the area to extinguish all fires properly and to be vigilant while out and about.
It wouldn´t be August in Carvoeiro without the annual blessing of the sea parade that takes place each year and this year it has been confirmed that this will once again be taking place on the last Sunday of the month.
There will be religious ceremonies during the day followed by the traditional parade through the town from 7pm.
This party in Carvoeiro is for Nossa Senhora da Encranação and was traditionally a time when the fishing boats on the beach were blessed. Now there are no working boats catching fish from Carvoeiro beach but the ceremony still continues with main points being the procession through the streets and finishing with fireworks at midnight.
I have been assured that the fireworks will be taking place on August 26 and there will also be live music in the square for the evening.
This is a lovely event in Carvoeiro and in the past has attracted lots of people to the town creating a great atmosphere so if you are about on August 26 then take the time to come down to Carvoeiro and soak up the atmosphere while enjoying the firework display over the beach.
August is the time of the year when there are most events taking place in and around Carvoeiro and across the Algarve and this year is no exception.
There had been doubts as to if it would take lace again this year but the Silves Medieval festival is officially on again for 2012 and will be running until August 5 in the historic city.
This year there is an entry fee for the fair of €2 per person, for full details of the fair please click here.
Across in Portimão there is also plenty going on with the Sardine Festival being the big draw for the month including live entertainment as well as thousands of people all enjoying some grilled sardines along the waterfront. Full details about the event can be seen here.
Anyone looking to be able to dance until dawn will also be able to return to the MEO Spot summer sessions held on the beach in Praia da Rocha this August until August 25th. This temporary club on the beach is the place to see and be seen with the faces of Portugal heading down to the club during August.
For a smaller but still great beach party then Caneiros beach is also a good bet during August with parties held under the rafters of the Rei das Praias restaurant until 4am throughout the month
See full details about MEO Spot and Caneiros beach parties here.
The other big event happening locally has to be the Fatacil Fair which is taking place between August 17 and 26. This is much more than an agricultural fair and is a place to pick up everything from some ethnic jewellery to a traditional Portuguese riding hat and everything in between.
With the Fatacil being in Lagoa it is only a short drive or taxi ride to this event which is worth heading out to if you have never been to one before, have a look at the Fatacil page on Carvoeiro.com to see the full listings of who is taking part in the fair this year to be able to pick the night you would most enjoy.
Please follow this link for concerts and festivals in August (LMFAO, Kool and The Gang, Tony Carreira & Sudoeste Festival)
In Carvoeiro itself there are still plenty of things to do without ever having to leave the town this August including a moonlight walk organised by the Lagoa Câmara taking place on August 10.
These moonlight walks have been taking place in the municipality of Lagoa for the past month and will come to Carvoeiro on August 10 with anyone interested needing to be in the square at 8.35pm to start the walk in the area.
If you prefer to take part in activities in the daylight then you may be interested in some free aerobic sessions which will be taking place throughout August on Carvoeiro beach every Tuesday and Thursday at 6.30pm.
These aerobic sessions see an instructor standing on the stage facing the beach and then going through a routine of around half an hour for anyone on the beach to take part in. The instruction is all in Portuguese but it is basically a case of copying the moves to be able to take part!
Get down a little earlier than the start of the session to be able to stake out your place on the sand as theses sessions get pretty busy during August. Just remember to take plenty of water with you and a very supportive bikini to prevent any wardrobe malfunctions.
NEW NEW NEW
Every month I like to bring you news about new businesses that have opened in the area in the past month and July was no exception with many businesses opening their doors in the town.
Up in Monte Carvoeiro we have a new bar opened, Tiffanys which can be found near to the Jazz Club in the resort. The bar is open during the day and the evening and serves up snacks, meals and drinks while also has a very large games room area.
The Jazz club itself has also seen changes with the club now open in the evening for some tapas and for people to be able to enjoy an early doors happy hour on the sunny roof terrace of the famous club.
Back down in the main town of Carvoeiro a new shop selling bikinis, beach wear and accessories has opened next to the Atlantic Sud shop on the O Farol hill (just up from the taxi rank on the right hand side).
This new shop, Kióchic, has some good promotions and offers and a great selection of bikinis but if you are looking for more clothes then you will be pleased to see that a new clothing shop has opened on Rua do Barranco near to the Gelados and Companhia ice cream shop.
L´Atelier is easy to find thanks to the enormous heart hanging on the wall outside and is a treasure trove of beautiful dresses, shoes and accessories. Not the cheapest place on earth but the items on sale are all very desirable and they already seem to be doing very well mainly thanks to their irresistible window displays that seem to pull every woman and girl over the age of two towards the door!
Also new this month is the multi purpose centre for Carvoeiro which is located in what used to be the Centro Saude health centre on Rua do Barranco near to the Junta offices.
This area is now open to the public and is being used for exhibitions of local art work while there are also rooms that are available to be rented out through the junta for use for everything from condominium meetings to classrooms for arts and crafts lessons.
The first exhibition to be held in the centre is one of photographic work and this will be open to the public until August 16.
If you need further information about this new centre or would like to rent out the space for a meeting or a class then please contact the Junta directly to make arrangements.
The more people who use the facility the more likely Carvoeiro is to see funds directed this way by the Câmara in Lagoa for other projects!
Carvoeiro is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit but it is not just the beaches and the scenery that makes it so wonderful, it is largely due to the amazing people who live and work here and make this one of the most welcoming places to come.
Carvoeiro said goodbye to one of its much loved characters in July when António, known for working in the Round Up Saloon, sadly passed away at the start of the month.
A funeral was held for António in Silves on July 7 and was very well attended by both residents and visitors who came to pay their last respects to António.
Lastly I would like to congratulate Smilers on their 25th anniversary which was celebrated on July 25th. There are not many businesses that have stood the test of time in Carvoeiro but Smilers is one of them and simply staying open for so many years deserves a congratulations in itself!
Don´t forget this month to have a look at the new pages available on Carvoeiro.com, this month I have put together lots of information about the events taking place in the local area and beyond for August so you can start planning your agenda now!
Well I am off now to put on my bikini and make my way to an aerobic session on the beach - perhaps not on second thoughts, we don't want to scare the children!