The Algarve expects over 100,000 visitors on the World’s largest Sand Sculptures Exhibition

May 27th, 2015



There are about 100 thousand people expected at the 13th edition of FIESA, the World’s largest Sand Sculptures Exhibition, which runs until October 20th in Pera – Silves – Algarve

FIESA has as its theme “Music”, with a hundred works from sculptors from various countries, most of them from last year, which illustrate people, objects and scenery spread over 15 thousand square meters enclosure.

Mariza, Pedro Abrunhosa, Xutos e Pontapés, Mozart and Michael Jackson are some of the artists played on sand sculptures that reach 15 meters in height.

In the central area of ​​the enclosure, Amalia Rodrigues occupies a prominent space with a work dedicated to Fado – musical style – that in 2011 was declared by UNESCO as Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

“Music, as a universal theme, enjoyed by adults and children, is very comprehensive”. This led the Organization to keep most sculptures from the previous edition, including a few changes,” quoted Filipe Martins – producing assistant – to Lusa agency.

Filipe Martins added that the decision of keeping the theme and most of the works from last year, has to do with the change of location of the event, to an area that will cover wider areas, with the creation of another infrastructure.

“The goal is to try to be able to create something that is maintained throughout the year, given that the 2016 edition will have another location,” stressed the Producing assistant – avoiding revealing more details about the future project.

Over the six months of the exhibition, the organization estimates to repeat the number of 100,000 visits recorded in 2014.

“We have had a stable number of visitors with little oscillations a couple of months, but overall, balanced,” he said.

The nearly one hundred sculptures occupy an area of ​​15 thousand square meters  for which 40,000 tons of sand have been used 40,000.

During the exhibition, the public can experience and show their creative abilities in this form of artistic expression, a play area available for the making of sand sculptures.

FIESA, located between the E.N 125 and the A22 motorway, and between Pera and Silves, will be open until October 20th, running from June 1st, between 10am and 7pm.

Between 2nd June and 14th July closing time is 10pm. Between 15th July and 15th September closing time will be at midnight, and between 16th September and 20th October, it will be open from  10am to 8pm.

Audi chooses the Algarve for International Launch of its new R8 design

May 26th, 2015



Audi chose Portugal to perform a dynamic presentation to International Press of the new generation of the Audi R8 sportscar. Between the 8th and the 25th of July over 350 journalists, from around the world, are expected to drive the new Audi R8 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão.

The second generation of the Audi R8 is equipped with a V10 engine of 5.2 liters available with two power levels – 540 horses and 610 horses – named R8 V10 and R8 V10 Plus, respectively. The automatic transmission S tronic and the new all-wheel drive system ‘quattro’ are highlighted in this supercar that will also have an electric version: the R8 e-tron.

The atmospheric engine with dry character of the R8 is mounted in a central position and has direct and indirect injection, which enables increased power and decreased consumption. The version of 540 horses, the R8 V10 accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 323 km/h. However,  the most powerful R8 V10 Plus accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.2 seconds and the top speed is 330 km / h.

Both versions of the R8 are equipped with Start/Stop system and the new box dual clutch S tronic 7-speed is positioned behind the engine and has the “Launch control” (to achieve maximum acceleration as from “start”). The wheel drive system ‘quattro’ shows changes compared to the previous generation.

The driver of the R8 has three driving modes: comfort, auto and dynamic via Audi drive select. Each has a specific configuration that determines the response speed of the pressure engine on the gas pedal, steering, transmission and traction as well as the operation of the suspension when the vehicle includes the Magnetic Ride system. There is also a fourth mode called ‘individual’ which allows a custom fusion of different regulations.

The new Audi R8 has a length 4.42 meters, width of 1.94 meters and a height of 1.24 meters, being lighter than its predecessor. This weight reduction is possible by the use of lightweight materials in its construction, being aluminum and reinforced plastic with carbon fiber main components. The reduction in total weight reaches 50 kg.

In front of the driver’s compartment, is the virtual Audi ‘cockpit with a digital screen of 12.3 inches.

In 2014, the Audi Group delivered to its customers around 1,741,100 cars of the brand.


New rules for passengers drop offs and pick ups in Faro Airport

May 21st, 2015




The car access rules and temporary parking for passengers drop offs and pick ups will be changed starting today, Thursday 21st May.

All private users who want to drop or pick up passengers at the airport are entitled to 10 minutes free in the area known as “curbside”, located opposite the terminal.

“This way, the experience of dropping or picking up someone at Faro airport will be smoother, more convenient and faster, as users can stop right next to the terminal”, mentioned the ANA Airports, in a news release.

The Management Company from Faro Airport warned that this new rule has daily limits. “The goal is to discourage the intensive use of the curbside, charging on the third use over a period of 24 hours”, according to ANA.

As for professional users, the rules are different. Public buses are free. Taxis that drop off passengers do not pay any fee for using the Bus range in Departures. Taxi’s passengers pick ups will remain at the space currently available for this purpose, which will be accessible to people with valid authorization. Tour buses and shuttles from hotels will have their own spaces suitable for access to the airport (spaces P5 and P6 respectively). The rent-a-car Companies with no facilities at Faro airport already have appointed parking (on a retainer basis)

This new rule was adopted, according to ANA Airports, due to ‘operational constraints and environmental impacts, registered at the curbside zone mostly motivated by misuse of external private and commercial users to ANA’s airport activities.

“Given the identified congestion, the aim is to streamline the access to passenger terminals, in order to promote operational efficiency, security and environmental sustainability of its use,”

“The curbside is a space of critical and reserved utilization and should not be used as extended parking spot, which can interfere on the appropriate levels of operational safety and access to terminals. It is vital to encourage responsible use of these spaces in order to provide a better experience for all users” reinforced the ANA.

The system that will now be installed in Faro “is a concept much used in other airports in Europe and the world”, quoted “Kiss & Fly”.

Among others, this system is used in Helsinki, Prague, Marseille, Basel-Mulhouse International Airport, Paris – Orly, Geneve, Paris CDG, Chicago O’Hare, JFK, Brussels, Wroclaw, Charlotte-Douglas, Bologna, Tallinn, Dortmund, Gatwick, San Francisco, Nice and Heathrow.

Sardine is “queen” in Gastronomic Show in Praia da Rocha

May 21st, 2015


Starting tomorrow and for ten days, you can eat up sardines in all ways and shapes … except for the traditional grilled sardines in five of the restaurants located on Praia da Rocha’s Bridge.

This is the 4th Sardine’s Gastronomic Show, which offers different ways to enjoy this landmark of local cuisine, from 22nd to 31st May.

These tasty sardines can be daily enjoyed between 12pm and 10pm, at a special price and in varied and surprising ways giving the customers the opportunity to enjoy several dishes as snacks/starters and also main course.

Participating in this event, organized by the ATP – Tour Portimão Association, are the restaurants “Atlântico”, “Mar e Sol”, “Bonezinho”, “Salsada do Zé” and “Castelos”, which offer three daily snacks/starters and three main courses where sardine is queen.

There is an offer of a digestive for clients achieving a 10 euro bill.



Fine Wines & Food fair at the prestigious Vila Vita Parc Resort

May 7th, 2015


Once again, dozens of award-winning Portuguese and international chefs listed in the Michelin Guide, World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Gault et Millau and OAD (Opinionated About Dinning) and over 20 wine producers from around the world, will come together for a unique gastronomic event in Portugal, from 6 to 10 May 2015.

Following the event’s resounding success in 2013, when VILA VITA Parc launched a totally innovative concept, promoting the direct interaction between chefs, winemakers and other producers with the public, the Fine Wines & Food Fair welcomes back to Portugal a prestigious cast of actors of the gastronomic and wine world together with some other surprises.

Host to the event is, of course, Ocean restaurant’s resident two Michelin star chef, Hans Neuner.

Event calendar

  • 6 May 2015
    Dinner with Chef Jonnie Boer
    3 Michelin Stars – Netherlands
    5-course tasting menu with wine-pairing. Maximum capacity: 30 persons.
  • 7 May 2015
    Dinner with Chef Gert De Mangeleer
    3 Michelin Stars – Belgium
    5-course tasting menu with wine-pairing. Maximum capacity: 30 persons.
  • 8 May 2015
    Dinner with Chef Klaus Erfort
    3 Michelin Stars – Germany
    5-course tasting menu with wine-pairing. Maximum capacity: 30 persons.
  • 9 May 2015
    Kitchen Party with over 20 Guest Chefs & Wine Producers

Stand-up dinner concept with interactive live stations for Chef’s and Wine Producers.

Live music & DJ Cigar & Chocolate Lounge. Gin After-party.  Maximum capacity: 400 persons.

  • 10 May 2015
    Dinner with Chef Jacob-Jan Boerma
    3 Michelin Stars – Netherlands
    5-course tasting menu with wine-pairing. Maximum capacity: 30 persons. 




Fitness Challenge IV Edition in Quarteira

May 6th, 2015


Quarteira promenade is the venue holding the IV Loulé Fitness Challenge that will be taking place this Saturday 9th May, from 9.30am to 7.30pm.

Through this initiative included in the “European City of Sports Loulé 2015,” the City Council of Loulé, in partnership with other agents, is intended to provide participants with pure energetic moments, with activities ranging from Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, and also Body Combat.

One of the this year’s attractions will be the TRX class that, through the installation of a 12×6 structure, will allow the placement of 70 TRX and the participation of 140 athletes.

A day well spent by the beach keeping fit!


Purchase of second homes back to enliven the Algarve

May 5th, 2015



Foreign Investment from diverse backgrounds and also Portuguese made the purchase of second homes escalate.

Data from the Association of Professionals and Real Estate Companies of Portugal (APEMIP) show that in 2013 there were 4,496 homes sold in the Algarve.  And last year, when Portuguese buyers still showed  to be cautious for the purchase of a second home, English, French, German and various other nationalities continued to buy.

In total, there were 7,350 homes sold in 2014, an average rate of 20 per day and an increase of 63% over the previous year. The municipalities of Loulé (where Quinta do Lago and Vale de Lobo are located), Lagos and Albufeira are the ones with a greater demand.

“There is a clear reversal in the market and the Algarve is again under the investor’s radar, who are aware that there are still good opportunities in Portugal and that investment tends to value” guarantees Reinaldo Teixeira – President of Real Estate Garvetur, with over a thousand properties sold last year only.

Apartments, luxury villas, building plots, rustic houses or historical center located properties, all these sales are enlivening the Algarve, however, noting the lack of product in areas along the beach or golf.

“In the case of Vilamoura, there are almost no options, as well as in the center of Tavira,” quotes the leader of Garvetur.

“Prices are still attractive and the trend is that they will rise to previous levels, although not as quickly as in the past.

I believe that we will get to the time when people turn to buy off plan again, because of the lack of  built options in certain areas of the Algarve.” Also Elsa Marques, owner of an agency in Olhão, felt the increase on the demand and recruited more staff: began in late 2012 with three members of staff and they are currently ten “What we sell most are houses in the city, but also property in the vicinity of Tavira.” In addition to English, “the French are rapidly becoming our biggest buyers.”

The British continue to lead, but in recent years the profile of second home buyers in the Algarve widened to Brazilians, Angolans, Chinese, Swiss, Belgian or Swedish, in addition to the traditional German and Dutch.

A real phenomenon are the French, “a buyer that was not traditional in the Algarve, that helped a lot in the recovery, continues to buy and is expected to increase significantly in 2015,” emphasizes Luís Lima, President of APEMIP.

Emigrants are also buying more homes in the Algarve and the Portuguese themselves, “who see their applications in banking have less and less value,” and the property market is again seen as profitable and safe investment.

The Banks are back lending ” and on their property portfolio there is upto 100% loan,” says the President of Garvetur. The recovery from the crisis began to be felt in the Algarve in 2013, but sales have skyrocketed especially in 2014 and continue to rise this year.

As the demand began, “the Pestana Group went back to Real Estate projects that were frozen: “We have projects in the portfolio, which stopped with the crisis and, thank God, that were not in stock,” says Pedro Lopes, Algarve’s Pestana Group Administrator.

In the resort of Carvoeiro, which has 550 homes already sold, the group is building 18 villas in the last phase of the village Vale da Pinta, between € 500,000 and € 1.2 million. “Due to the lack of product, we are doing resellers”, says Sandra Matos, Sales Coordinator of the project, which notes the strong presence of Swedish “who are very rational buyers regarding their investment.” In Silves, where they already have a golf course, Pestana Group will launch “a major new Resort” that will total 250 apartments and villas.  Also at old tower Torralta in Alvor there are apartments T0 and T1 between € 65,000 and € 130 000 for sale, which proved to be a hit with Portuguese buyers. “We are back to the best years in the Algarve and buyers are returning with reasonable investments,” says Pedro Lopes.

With the rise of  the demand, there is an expectation of a new wave of construction and also some nice quality refurbishing as seen most recently and especially in the Exclusive Resorts of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo.








May 5th, 2015
Explore Vale do Lobo by moonlight during an exciting 11km walk or run taking place on 22nd May from 20:30h.
Let’s Go Run Vale do Lobo is a free initiative, organised by Let’s Go Run in partnership with the not for profit Corridas á 6ª Feira running group and Vale do Lobo.  The event has been designed to encourage everyone to slip on their trainers and follow a unique trail around the resort, including sections on the beach, over the golf courses and through the woodland.
The Corridas á 6ª Feira running group has seen the number of people taking part in their regular events rising steadily over the years and hundreds of keen runners and walkers are expected to come to Vale do Lobo to take advantage of this unique route.
Vale do Lobo Let’s Go Run is open to everyone to take part in and complete at their own pace.  If you are a regular runner, then see how fast you can complete the course, while if you would prefer to take the route at a brisk walking pace, then this is an ideal opportunity to enjoy some open air exercise while passing through some of the most stunning areas of the resort.
Registration for this free event is essential for insurance purposes, for further information please visit the event’s facebook pages:
Alternatively, contact the Vale do Lobo Resort Reception to sign up and take part.
Story from: Vale do Lobo

Local Lodging

May 5th, 2015



With the new local lodging (Alojamento Local) regulations now in effect, a seminar was jointly organized by Turismo do Algarve and Safe Communities Algarve with the aim of “promoting high standards in Local Lodging in support of the Algarve as a Safe Destination.

The seminar is open to property letting agencies, property management companies and individual property owners who let their properties to encourage compliance.

Introductions at the seminar was gaven by: Secretary of State for Tourism; President of Turismo do Algarve; President of Safe Communities Algarve; President of AMAL and the Mayor of Faro.

There were presentations from Tourism of Portugal, the Authority for Food and Economic Security (ASAE), the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), the Judicial Police (PJ) and the GNR.

We wanted to make sure you were aware of a new law, Decree-Law Nr. 128/2014, which requires that all Portuguese holiday homes be registered through the Balcão Único Electrónico directed to the President of the competent Municipal Council.

Registering your property will help reassure travellers and give your listing more credibility, which will in turn lead to better performance.

The presentation papers are available on Safe Communities Algarve’s website:

April 25 Portugal “Freedom Day”.

April 24th, 2015



Since 1974 “Freedom Day” is celebrated in Portugal — April 25 –  as a national holiday to mark the bloodless military coup, supported by the civilian population, bringing democracy and civil liberties to the Portuguese people.

After almost five decades of dictatorship (1937-1974), the Carnation Revolution, ended the Estado Novo regime, the longest dictatorship in Europe, changing the Portuguese political system from an authoritarian dictatorship to a democracy.

The revolution was undertaken by the Armed Forces Movement (MFA) led by General Antonio Spinola and other prominent civilian and army figures.  In a matter of hours, General Spinola received the surrender of overthrown Prime Minister Marcelo Caetano who was forced into exile in Brazil.

Spinola took charge of a Provisional Government which promised to restore civil liberties and hold democratic general elections.  Hundreds of political prisoners were released.

In 1974, more than half of Portugal’s government budget was spent with its armed forces engaged in wars in three of Portugal’s African colonies.  The new regime implemented a swift decolonization program granting independence to Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Cape Verde Islands, Sao Tome and Principe, and Angola.

Over the course of the next decade a stable two party system was established.  Soon after, in 1980, the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores became autonomous regions to enjoy self-government.

Under the constitution of 1976, which established a parliamentary republic, Portugal has been governed by a constitutional democracy with a president, a prime minister, and a parliament elected in multiparty elections.  The Portuguese constitution was amended in 1982, 1989, 1992, and 1997.

Because the 25th April is a major event in Portugal History and to People, Loulé, with our leadership, will always celebrate the April Revolution with the greatest dignity. But, considering it is a month rich in other events which have great importance to people and region. We have to make a very special reference to the Sovereign Mother Festival, with its multiple approaches, understood as a sociological case, particularly when the religious devotion gives way to the called pagan Festival. April is also “opened” to the germination of crops and culture.

Alte receives another Cultural Week, while it hosts one of the most competitive races in the difficult sport of BTT, which is part of the sporting events related to Loulé ” European City of Sport” this year. As well as innovation, new ideas, cultural proposals, it is mandatory to look at the program of the “cine-teatro”, where music will be presented for different tastes and audiences and dance.



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