Your guide to the Algarve, Portugal

MAKEOVER DAY at Fi-Line Fashions

Join Fi-Line Fashion for a day of pampering and renewal. Telma from Mary Kay with ideas to freshen up your makeup and skincare.
Alison, an English trained mobile hairdresser to help you update your hairstyle and haircare.
Susan, an artist and jewellery designer from Arts@Spa, helping to revamp your old jewellery.
Fiona from Fi-Line Fashions to refresh your style and help tweek your
own pieces to make them fit better and look more modern.

Monday 27th March 2017 10 am to 5pm
At Fi-Line Fashions,Quinta dos Arcos Roundabout, Armação de Pêra.
For more information call Fiona on 914538888 or email


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NETWORK REUNION Charity Dinner, “The Mames & Mininus Project” at the Raj

A host of Algarve’s movers and shakers, women working in all walks of life, gathered on International Women’s Day to raise money for the charity : “The Mames & Mininus Project” carried on in Principe de San Tomé, Africa. The charity provides pre-birthing and after-birth kits to the most vulnerable women.
who range in age from 13 years upward. Many of these girls are ‘married’ off at a very young age and have no knowledge of hygiene or maternity needs.
These kits can be lifesaving to the mother and child in such poverty. A delicious Indian dinner was graciously served by the RAJ Restaurant Indian Cuisine at The Holiday Inn in Armação de Pêra. The event was very well attended by previous Network Members and as everyone present agreed a resounding success.

Those present included:

Renette from Salon Elysium, Vilamoura, Linda Smith, formerly Manager of Lakeside Villages, Previously President of Network

Vicki Goode, Sales Director, Holiday Inn (formerly Hotel Garbe), Armação de Pêra, Angela Barton, formerly Lloyd & White Insurance,

Sheena Rawcliff, formerly of the Resident, Previously President of Network

Fiona Morton, Filine Fashion, Armação de Pêra

Beverly Gibbons from Pinetree Riding Stables, Almancil
a lovely Swedish Guest staying with Beverly Gibbons

Marilyn Stebbe, ‘Sweet Marilyn’ luscious desserts, previously President of Network,

Leslie Miller, retired, in the Algarve
Doe Eves, retired, formerly manager of BUPA
Jenny Grainer, author

Lone Kolquist business woman retired, former President of Network, Lagos

Petra of Tolandia Shades
BJ Boulter, film & advertising consultant

Nicky from Luzdoc, Samantha Property Management, Praia da Luz, Ann Lancaster, FREEMAPS
Marike Romberts, Real Estate
Joke, Property Management, Carvoeiro
Margret Brito, Membership Chairman of CASA
Leen, Flowers, Frescura Lagoa

Dee Southey, landscape
3 lovely Portuguese Ladies: Tersea, dress shop in Tivoli Hotel,
Ana, Dalia Braga
Gwenda Dowd, Counselling Service
Sylvia, Pianist & Piano Teacher

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The Village Inn Restaurant in the tiny fishing village of Mexilhoeira da Carregação has quite a history. Once a distillery for the famous Medronho that came from Monchique, it then changed to a typical Portuguese Tasca where the village fishermen came for a little tipple. Then it became The Salamander and then sold on to an English lady that made it very popular with locals and tourists alike.

Finally sold to Kathleen Lancaster who has owed and run it for 20 successful years.
It has a vintage dining area for 35 people and a vibrant courtyard for another 12. A huge private garden at the back is like a cottage garden full of colour and rose arbours and miniature lightning.
It’s now up for sale as retirement beckons Kathie! A chance to purchase your dream of owning a restaurant and to delight tastes from near and afar!

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BJ’s Canadian Bar -Grand Re Opening


On Friday 27th BJ’s Canadian Bar re opened its doors after a complete renovation, and what a fabulous transformation!

Pat, who is originally from Edmonton Canada and his wife Helen Ferreira have been the proud owners of BJ’s Canadian Bar for 16 years and decided it was time for a change!

Even with the complete modernisation they upheld and enhanced the famous Canadian theme throughout! On Friday’s grand opening many locals, holidays makers and friends gathered in anticipation for a glimpse of their new favourite bar!

The atmosphere was, as always buzzing and one of the favourite things about BJ’s Canadian Bar is you can always make new friends and everyone talks to everyone!

The bar always attracts people from all over the globe who have a story or two to tell over one (or 3) of Pat’s famous Ceasers or true Canadian Ryes!


A Great Giving Couple

As well as managing their busy bar Pat and Helen do a lot of work for charity. Pat is an avid golfer and runs two annual golf tournaments to raise money for local charities and also this year raised enough money to top up the Albufeira food bank. The food bank was more than delighted with their contribution. And if that wasnt enough, at Christmas, Pat dressed up as Santa Claus and delivered presents and clothing to the Pirilampos Orphanage in Albufeira.

Last year they raised over 12 000€. With the food drive at Christmas they also bought food for the bombeiros (firemen) that were working the Christmas shift.

Eye glasses and gift cards for the Gaivota’s children’s home in Albufeira are also made available.

Outstanding work by a very generous couple!

If you are planning a visit to the Algarve this year, BJ’s Canadian Bar is a must! You will most definitely be given a hearty welcome and soon become a regular.




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Sunset walk

Start around 3pm and walk along one of the two Boardwalks. The one leaving from below the Fishermen’s huts offers two separate

lengths 2k or 4.5k, skirting the dunes and  ocean front. If it is a windy day  you can see the Kitesurfers flying through the air, at the end of the shorter walk.




One of the best places to watch the Sunset is from The Alvor Waterfront.

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The second walk leaving from in front of Cinco Quinas Restaurant and is about 4k. in total.


After walking go to the waterfront and grab a front seat at Restinga Ria Cafe. The  sunset is between 6:00 and 7pm in October and November. If there are slight wisps in the air or light cloud you’re in for a spectacular treat, the photos won’t do it justice, the colours will go from blazing orange to subdued pinks, some fishermen will be zipping around in their boats or mooring up ready for the next nights fishing.


Plan a boat sightseeing trip or fishing trip for tomorrow with Fishing boat Donzela, Alvor Boat Trips or Happy Time boat trips.

Then stroll up the main road into Alvor for your choice of dozens of restaurants offering seafood as a speciality, can’t get any fresher than this.


Or dine at one of the classic Italian restaurants.

There is something for the whole family from seafood to pasta.

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Disappearing Donkeys

‘In recent years the numbers of donkeys in the Algarve and over all of Portugal, have reduced dramatically.


As they are seldom used in farming and the gypsies have replaced most of their donkeys with vans it is important to see this part of Algarve life does not disappear entirely.
On a back road to the Autodrome there is a quiet Donkey ‘Santuary’ with approximately 30 donkeys and many baby donkeys.
They are a part of a larger complex that rents apartments to tourists.
The state in its efforts to save the donkeys offers a symbolic subsidy of €40 per year to go toward their upkeep.
Although this is not enough to house and feed the donkeys, it is enough to help a bit, especially for extra feed in the very dry Summer.


They are always willing to show you around the complex and explain how you can interact with the donkeys or plan a holiday with your children here in the very peaceful countryside.
Because of the scarcity of fresh green food in the dry summer, the donkeys will come right up to the fence and take any green grass you have for them of apples, carrots etc. They are docile and welcome the extra nourishment you bring to them. Great photo opportunities for the little ones with the donkeys.

Donkey Holiday

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Award winning Marinha Beach

Since its designation as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches of Europe, and one of the top 100 beaches of the world by the Michelin guide, Marina beach is no longer a secret. Flanked by magnificent cliffs and having a very high quality of clean ocean water, it has become a mecca for travellers.

However if you go any time ‘off season’ (October to April) and ‘off the school holidays’, you can still experience its tranquil beauty with few other visitors.


There are picnic tables along the top and wonderful trails that lead off in either direction parallel to the coast, giving magnificent views along the east coast to Armação de Pêra & Albufeira, and to Carvoeiro along to the west. You will also encounter sink holes, that have been carefully fenced off and are amazing phenomenon created by a combination of wind and water erosion through the porous limestone rocks. Photos of Marinha beach have been used in many publicity shots for promotion of Portugal around the world.


This is a ‘must visit’ beach for its stunning beauty.

How to get there: Located in Caramujeira, Lagoa: Directly after (west) of the International School on the EN125 you come to a set of lights. Turn south towards the ocean, and continue following the small signs to Marina.

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There is a gravel parking lot. Please do not leave anything valuable inside you car not even in the trunk.

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With the coming of mid October we expect a change in the weather. But still the temperature is 25 to 30 degrees with a cloudless blue sky.
Suddenly, with little warning, a massive cloud front roles in from the north, bringing refreshing rain and an end to the long dry season and a dormant earth.


The magnificent clouds with accompanying thunder and lightening decorate the sky with rain and renew the plants, trees and flowers. One night of torrential rain and the next day we already see tiny shoots of green. The magic of a second spring is upon us in October.

The farmers can start to plant a second crop with knowledge that further rains will nourish and develop the fruits of the fall season.


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field of wild lupins west coast 2009

Three days after the rain we once again have Algarve’s clear blue sky with  25 to  30 degrees Celsius temperatures (75 to 85 Fahrenheit) and people are frolicking on the beach and basking in a warm s’western (Swest) wind that makes the water temperatures as warm as in peak summer.

Queteira Sunset over beach

Queteira Sunset over beach

Armao de Pera, beach at sunset

Carvoeiro Town Beach

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Mmmm Roast Chestnuts and the Portugal Tradition

On November 11th St. Martins Day, if you’re in Portugal, settle yourself in for a real treat. It’s the day of the first tasting of the new wine, and also the roasting and eating of delicious chestnuts and the celebration of the harvest.

The chestnuts are roasted over a brassier in the street and sold in rolled cones Piping hot. There is nothing better than cracking open a hot chestnuts and eating them as you stroll down the street. Many restaurants will also hold special dinners on this night with tasting of the new wine with hot chestnuts at the end of the meal.
St Martin was a Roman soldier who shared his clothes with a starving naked beggar, upon this act the sun came out and Jesus said, ‘here is a truly good man who has clothed me.’

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