Newsletter September 2017

Margarida Sampaio @

I know it happens every year but I can never quite get over the exodus that takes place on August 31.  One minute you are tripping over people on the beach – the next you can’t even listen in to the conversation of the family next to you because they are too far away.

Of course there are still plenty of people in and around Carvoeiro but now the children are back to school in most of Europe (not Portugal of course, we still have weeks to go to make sure the kids have forgotten absolutely everything they may have previously learnt) and all those who popped down to the Algarve to enjoy the month of August have disappeared back to work the town is feeling at least a lot calmer.

September has to be one of my favourite times of the year in the Algarve.  We still have the gorgeous weather but I don’t have to fight over the last bunch of bananas in Aldi (I didn’t win by the way).  All the bars and restaurants are still open but I don’t have to wait until 9.30pm for a table to become free and all the events and concerts are still taking place but now I can get close enough to be able to actually see what is going and to get a car parking space within 5 kilometres of said event.


The figures are not yet in but a quick look at the packed beaches and busy streets would indicate that August was a successful one for most in the Algarve and Carvoeiro.  I have read reports that have said that the Brits are not choosing to come to the Algarve this year but anecdotally I can honestly say that this has not appeared to be the case.

It is true that we have had a lot of Portuguese and Spanish tourists in the Algarve this year and good fair few French too but it’s never been more than 10 steps until you hear English on the streets – at least in Carvoeiro this has been the case.

The temperatures over the past couple of months have been incredibly hot with it staying close to 30 degrees even at night but I think this has helped to boost the season – after all it is more pleasant to sit out on a terrace enjoying a cocktail or two when its 30 degrees at 11pm than it is to try and sleep in a sweat box, which I feel aptly describes my home at the moment.


The best place to be when it is so hot has to be on the beach in the Algarve, as here you have a slight chance of enjoying a small breeze and can at least cool down in the Atlantic.

The official bathing season in Portugal continues during September which means that the lifeguards are still on duty for the rest of the month.

While the lifeguards are great in helping to keep people safe we all have a responsibility to try and be safe while we are at the beach and usually this just involves some common sense.

There are signs at all of the local beaches where there are cliffs to warn visitors about the dangers of cliff falls yet I can’t count the amount of times I have seen people on Carvoeiro beach – where the cliffs are unstable – actually sitting below the danger signs!

The need to capture the perfect selfie has also led to jaw dropping moments on the top of the cliffs in Carvoeiro with people getting exceptionally close to the edge in search of that picture – again not a great idea…

There have also been reports of jellyfish washing up on the local beaches recently and these can sting – if you see one then let the lifeguard know and perhaps don’t poke it with your flip flop as I have also seen first hand this summer!

Lastly, there was a very sad incident in August which involved a swimmer being killed by a boat locally.  In this case the swimmer had been at one of the hidden beaches and the boat had not seen her until there was a collision.  It is safe to swim here along the coast but precautions do have to be made to keep yourself safe and if you are concerned then it is best to keep to the beaches with lifeguards and clear boating lanes.

TOP TIP: Save the airport fee and get a rental car delivered - and/or collected - at your accommodation at no extra charge (6+ day rental in Carvoeiro or Alvor) at low on-line prices
No prepayment required - no cancellation or amendment charges - fair fuel policy -  in Faro airport the car is just 50 meter from the terminal building: no shuttle bus! The price you see is the price you pay.
Please visit for car rental & airport transfers. Car rental prices start at just 35 Euro per week in the low season!


Sat here now it really doesn’t feel like the summer has ended but technically the end of August is seen as the end of the summer in the Algarve and to mark this Carvoeiro had a beach party at the end of the month.

The beach party took place on the Saturday night before the traditional celebrations of Carvoeiro in the Nossa Senhora procession.

We had some live acts on the main stage and then as the night drew on the action moved on to the beach where there were two DJ sets finally finishing up at around 3am.

While the beach party was nowhere near as busy as the one we had for the Black and White night in June, it still had a good turn out with lots of local residents joining in the fun and children dancing in the sand way past midnight!

Carvoeiro appears to be getting quite proficient with these beach party events and once again we had a bar set up on the beach, great lighting and sound system and even some advertising to let people know it was going on.

On the Sunday, those of us who had been dancing until the early hours were jolted awake at 9am with the annual cannon noises (not actually cannons anymore but incredibly loud!).

The last Sunday of August every year involves the cannons, a very moving procession in the early evening, religious services and live music at night.  The main event however is always the fireworks display and this one did not disappoint with fireworks being launched off both sides of the cliffs.

The local council really have managed to put on some great events this year and generally improved the ones that have always taken place so I think we can congratulate them on the organization!


As always August saw the Algarve stage many events and festivals and the ones I went to this year were all fantastic!

The Fatacil was what you expect a strange country far to be but I am hoping for great things in the coming years as massive investment and more plans to upgrade the showground have been confirmed – so watch this space.

Silves Medieval festival was also a great night out with the organisers opening up more of the city for the event and giving a little bit more breathing space for those who attended.  One of the highlights had to be the fire show which took place in the castle right at the top of the city – well worth the extra couple of euros to watch and I would highly recommend looking in to watching the show next year if you missed it – I have never seen so much fire breathing, throwing, dancing and clothing in my life and was pleased to see the bombeiros on hand in case of accidents!

Finally, the Algarve Jazz Orchestra came to play on the main stage in Carvoeiro and performed a concert accompanied by fireworks – hard to explain but truly beautiful and some impressive fireworks were launched right off the beach for this one in time with the music.  Every August the council puts on at least one big show in Carvoeiro so look out for posters and information if you are in the town next year.


August was a blast but the Algarve has not gone to sleep just yet and for many of us this is the very best time of the year.

If you are into your sports then this is a good month for you in the Algarve and if you are not – then watching live events in Portugal is great, mainly because usually the ticket prices are very low compared to other parts of the world and also because we never seem to get the crowds either so you can get as close to the action as you would like!

Portugal Masters - One of the big events this month is the Portugal Masters golf competition which is being held in Vilamoura on the Victoria course between the 21st and 24th September.  Three-time Major Champion Padraig Harrington will return to Vilamoura to defend his title alongside Andy Sullivan, who took the title in wire-to-wire fashion in 2015, and 2012 winner Shane Lowry, who is returning to the scene of his first European Tour win as a professional.2016 Masters Tournament Champion Danny Willett brings further Major-winning pedigree to the event. He is joined by two exciting young talents – both already multiple European Tour winners – in 2016 Ryder Cup team mates Matt Fitzpatrick and Thomas Pieters. – If you follow golf then this will mean something to you!

Superbike World Championship will be returning to the Autódromo do Algarve near (ish) to Portimão.  All the action will be taking place between 15th and 17th September and this is another event that is very reasonable to attend with full weekend passes costing €35 and many other cheaper options available including free entry for under 16s when accompanied by a paying adult.   You can book your tickets online if it is easier with details available here 

There are actually more than 100 events taking place over September in the Algarve and if you would like more information about what is going on during the month then have a look at the Algarve Tourist Boards handy guide which is in both English and Portuguese!  Click here to read it[1].pdf 


If you enjoy eating your way around the Algarve (I know I am a fan) then you will be pleased to know that the Rota do Petisco is back.  This is a great initiative where local restaurants put on either a small tapas dish or a dessert for a small cost, giving people a chance to sample new foods in different places for not much money.  You can get a book with all of the places on the route listed and try to eat your way through as many as possible for the chance of a prize too!  The Rota takes place from 8th September until 15th October in Portimão, Monchique and Silves and is a firm favourite with me!

So I’m off to not sit under a crumbling cliff on the beach…

Until next time,