Christmas 2015 activities in Albufeira

Christmas 2015 activities in Albufeira

Christmas activities in Albufeira

Santa on the beach
               Santa on the beach

During the Christmas holidays in Library Lídia Jorge “School Holiday Fun = Christmas holidays 2015 will take place
There is a programme of fun for children runs over 2 days organised Mayor of Albufeira is for the children of the municipality, ages between 6 and 14 years.

On the days 21 and 22 December begin with the activity ” Menu Choice of stories”, where the participants will have the opportunity to choose your favorite books and travel by imaginary world at no cost. Then, the books will give rise to manual jobs with the realization of parts to the festive season in the allusive workshop “Memories and Manualidades of Christmas”.

The program incorporates on days 29 and 30 December with sessions of “Cinema Popcorn”, where children will attend the movies specially chosen for their ages. “games and play on holiday” a workshop which will take place after the viewing of the films, with lots of fun and games for the little ones.

Christmas Lighting
    Christmas Lighting

All actions are overseen by  staff technical division of Culture of the city and will commence from 10h00 to 13h00, in the Library Lídia Jorge. The interested parties, of ages between 6 and 14 years, can make your application in the industry juvenile forms of Library, from 4 December.

Next item during December

“ALBUFEIRA celebrates Christmas

With the festive season nearing the Camera of Albufeira have created a set of activities for local participation . The first program began already this weekend and goes on until 6 January. They have called it the exhibition of Nativity Scenes of the world.

A composed of a set of works loaned by embassies, consulates and citizens residing with the objective of disseminating nativity scenes originating from different countries. The shows will be reflected in the Chapel of Our Lady of Guia, this location that will also t have a Crib on the street that extends to the parish church. Will be more than 30 figures of the presented by British sculptor T. Adams, which tell the various historical scenes associated with the birth of Jesus.
This shows the various aspects to Albufeira life. Thousand of visitors to here on self-catering holiday lets each years. But it is easy to forget there are a big number of expats living here all year round. Most  are working  and are employed in the tourist industry. Some within the holiday rental business.

Christmas in Albufeira
  Christmas in Albufeira

Next we have  Christmas Market, on days 5 and 6 December, which take place in the carpark next to the Avenida General Humberto Delgado approximately 50 artisans, producers and local associations, in addition to the traditional stalls with the flavors and produce of the area. On Sunday 29 November, a program “Portugal in Feast”, will take place between 14h00 and 20h00, from the Christmas Market, which will have various activities for the whole family, in particular for children, guided visits the nativity scenes, performances of local artists and many surprises.

On the 28 November, the municipality will illuminate the lights for Christmas, thereby fulfilling one of the most popular traditions through the streets of the municipality. The various lighted arteries, highlight to the old center of the city, in particular the Square of fishermen, who will be decorated with a Christmas giant tree abot 25 meters of high.

This year they decided to invest in the center of the city to because of the damage caused by the storm that struck downtown Albufeira on 1 November.    The Mayor Carlos Silva explained that with these decorative elements we want to attract more people to the center,  to help local trade and allow all those who visit to stroll around this area and enjoy the festive season.  On the Avenida dos Descobrimentos, some public buildings and various points  throughout the locality also will be illuminated with decorative ornaments.

Annual Christmas Swim
  Annual Christmas Swim

For the fourth consecutive year, the traditional Christmas decoration on the  the Town Hall of Albufeira.  Already from the November 29, a scouts team from Paderne will display a crib made of materials and traditional images, which can be visited daily from 10h00 to 21h00, in front of the Parish Church of Paderne, until the day 10 of January 2016.  Parderne is another excellent location for self-catering accommodation both holiday rental apartments  and luxury villas.

From 4 to 31 December, the Art Gallery of Painter Samora Barros welcomes the exhibition “Christmas baubles Recycled”, which brings together the best work prepared by students of the schools of the municipality and by users of homes and day centers.

Algarve church
  Algarve church

The program continues on 13 December, with  sporting activities that  integrates the festive calendar of the municipality. About 800 participants dressed with the colours of Christmas will promise colourize the streets of the city, a program that combines a race and a walk of Father Christmas. The event is 4 kilometers for those wishing to participate at the easy level and 9 kilometers for those  in excellent physical condition. This year the event includes a mountain bike ride on a course distance of 30 kilometers. The meeting point is scheduled for  9am in the Municipal Market dos Caliços area on the 13th, a class of acrobatic gymnastics by the  Basket Club will hold its Christmas Gala in Sports Pavilion of Albufeira, at 15h30 on the 13th.  The event aims to demonstrate the spirit of Christmas with a taste of gymnastics, providing a feast for athletes, parents and friends.

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The Annual Festival of Batata-Doce ( Sweet Potato) of Aljezur

The Annual Festival of Batata-Doce ( Sweet Potato) of Aljezur

Once again the Annual Festival of Batata-Doce took place on the 25th to 27th November 2016 in Aljezur.  This area of the Algarve is worth a visit any time of the year. There are wonderful holiday rental properties all around.  If staying local maybe in an Lagos apartment or maybe one of the many Algarve villas set your satnav for Alentejano e Costa Vicentina.  A day trip into the coves and valleys can be a wonderful experience and the umpteen small cafes selling Galao and Bolas Portuguese wine vinho or a nice sopa Portuguese soup.

The Annual Festival of Batata-Doce ( Sweet Potato) of Aljezur took place over the weekend on the 27, 28 and 29 November 2015.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

This event in Aljezur on Portugal Western Algarve takes place each autumn.
The official opening on the , Friday 27, at 18.30, will be conducted by the presence the President of the Regional Coordination and Development Commission of the Algarve, David Santos.Aljezur celebrates, during 3 days, the best sweet potatoes in the world, The common variety in this area is the lira, which is suitable to this geographical area.

Festival Entertainment
 Festival Entertainment

Other attractions at the festival are animation, handicrafts, sweets, craft, and many other products, are always good reason enough reason to visit this wonderful historical town of Aljezur, the heart of the Costa Vicentina. A lot of visitor coming to this area and stay in the many local self-catering holiday rental accommodation, hotels and hostels. Nearby Lagos also has a huge selection of holiday accommodation. Self-catering apartment and villas

   Octopus salad

The sweet potato and potato are not closely relationed from a horticular viewpoint. They are not in the same botanical order, totally different families. Sweet potatoes are true root crop, it is the enlarged section of the root used by the plant to store energy, while potatoes are stem tubers, formed from the stem of the plant.
The sweet potato is regarded nowadays as a superfood. The sweet potato isn’t only nutritious being high in vitamins A and C, it’s also both tasty and versatile. Having research a little we discovered the sweet potatoes are at the top of a lot of people’s health foods list.
Once baked, medium-sized sweet potato contains 438% of your daily value of vitamin A , a white potato contains 1%, 37% of your vitamin C, and some calcium, potassium, and iron too.

Great news is all this at only 105 calories!

Another huge plus is the also provide 5 grams of dietary fiber—17% of the daily value—and they contain nothing  in terms of fat.

We give here under a recipe for Sweet Potato
What you need:
2 large red-skinned sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 sprig of coriander
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into small chunks the size can be of you choosing. Put these in a small baking dish or tray . In a small bowl mix the following olive oil, honey and lemon juice. Pour mixture over potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the salt, and bake, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, until potatoes are tender. Chope coriander and sprinkle over cooked potatoes. Ideal dish to accompany fish or meat maybe with another vegetable of your choice


Aljezur Beach
  Local Aljezur Beach

The Costa Vicentina area is another beautiful area of the Algarve.  It has wonderful unspoilt beaches loads of self-catering accommodation to choose for you holiday.  If you have a holiday rental property in this area feel free to list with  It is actually free.

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Baking a Portuguese Tart Is sometimes An Art

Baking a Portuguese Tart Is sometimes An Art

Every society and community has its items of pride.  The Irish speak of Guinness with an air of supreme joy and rightly so.  The English speak of their football team as if it should wins every world cup and with their pool of talent rightly so.  But to be fair when you arrive on a holiday to Lagos in Portugal’s Algarve  one of their proudest boasts is not just their soccer team.  The humble Pastel de Nata is spoken about with reverence showing a national pride in a small custard cake.Today I would like to pass onto to you a recipe for the now wonderful famous Portuguese Tart “Pastel de Nata”

Patio Do Convento

A friend of mine was lucky enough to go on a family-self-catering-holiday-Lagos on the Western Algarve.  All the small cafes were serving these beautiful little custards tarts.  Eventhought she was staying in her own holiday home there was no way she would or to be fair could bake.   But she was raving about these little tarts when she got home so I decided with a level of success to give them ago.  Here is the recipe I used.

Portuguese Tart
 Portuguese Tart


Key Ingredients

  • 1 whole egg + 2 egg yolks
  • 115 grams caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 200ml cream
  • 200ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry

The tarts made from these ingredients serves up to twelve people.  But you can still double the ingredients if you want to make them for a large number of people, still you reduce the ingredients if the people you are serving is small.


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolks, then add the required amount of sugar and cornflour till the mixture combines, then whisk in the cream and milk until the mixture has a fine texture.
  • Pre – heat the pan in low heat and cooking, ensure constant stirring, this helps in thickening the mixture and enables it to boil.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer the custard into a bowl to allow it to cool. Cover the custard with a cling film to prevent another layer from forming.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C, and lightly grease a 12-hole 80ml muffin tray.
  • The oven should be set to 200c and oil the tray to avoid sticking.
  • Slice the puffed pastry sheet in sizes of half, place one half on top of the other, and put it aside for roughly 5 minutes.
  • Roll the pastry tightly and cut the pastry log into twelve 1 cm rounds. Flour the surface and roll the pasty using a rolling pin and ensure that each disc is thin and 10cm in diameter.
  • Form the pastry rounds into the muffin tin, and then spoon the custard into pastry cases.
  • Set the time to 20 minutes or until the pasty and custard are golden, the top of the custard should be blackened in some places if not then the custard is not ready.
  • Leave the tarts in the baking tin for 5 minutes or so and transfer them to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Sprinkle some cinnamon and icing sugar and the tart is ready to be served.
  • Cakes
       Portuguese Cakes

The beauty of serving your tart in your own self catering apartment is that you can sit anywhere around the house and enjoy whether alone or with guest.  We have no doubt apart from great memories the vision of those tarts will remind you of your wonder holiday in Lagos or some other great location like Albufeira where ever you rented your holiday property.


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A Self-Catering Sojourn in Lagos Portugal

A Self-Catering Sojourn in Lagos Portugal

A self-catering sojourn in Lagos Portugal

                                                                                       Sea view in Lagos

Middlesboro, Nuneaton, Brighton this winter of year what have they in common “winter”.
You have options, we suggest you spend 6 weeks before Christmas in Lagos Portugal. Many apartments in complexes like Patio Do Convento available to rent at very reasonable rates. The Marina apartments are another tremendous holiday rental location. At one end of the Avenida in Lagos there are a few excellent locations for self-catering accommodation . Near the ‘Ponta da Bandeira’ Fort and ‘Potato beach’ (Praia da Batata) .
The longer you stay the better the rates as the owners have less final cleanings. Their cost savings can be passed on to tenant.

Lagso Marina
                                                                                        View of Lagos Marina

Ok weather is not perfect but it will be 5 degrees warmer than England or Ireland. Trust us that a lot this time of year. As I write another major storm is heading over England and Ireland from the Atlantic They now are giving them name making them real almost. Practically the difference is no heating bills in Lagos, far move sunshine far more opportunities to get out for walks etc.
You don’t have to go self-catering in Lagos. You can always try for a nice holiday rental in Alvor Carvoeiro or AlbufeiraTo stay with the practicalities of being here term you need among other things a solicitor, maybe an accountant , if you have a car a good mechanic. In a Short term holiday rental hopefully you wont need any of the latter. But you will need certain profession services as well. You will a doctor for instances, which will not be an issue. Its essential you have your European E111 card. Get that sorted be you travel. If you Lagos you can register with the local Helath Service and see a GP for €5. Or call to the Private Hospital your owner should be able to supply all that information for you.

One organisation worth joining is Afpop basical an expat association based in Portugal. afpop specialises in providing a comprehensive range of information services and support to foreign residents and visitors to Portugal. We can assist in keeping you up-to-date with new and existing legislation, along with social events for all of our members.

Lagos Boats
Lagos Boats at anchor

You might or might not need a bank. We would recommend Banif a very friend efficient bank.
For the ladies there are excellent hair salons Raul Milhano and his staff  come highly recommended. Then for the gents the £5 hair by Paula Cruz Cabelelreiro , Rua José Ventura Neto Cabrita 8600-385 Lagos you might have to wait your turn but the hair cut itself will be quick. Paula includes a wash for the €5.00
To get there keep an eye on the winter sales from Ryanair, Monach, Easyjet and AerLingus. The first three fly from airports like London, Birmingham, East Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool all year round. Ryanair and Aer Lingus fly from Dublin.

Porto do Mos Lagos area with 5 star holiday rental accommodation

Porto do Mos Lagos area with 5 star holiday rental accommodation

When you arrive in Lagos on a holiday and locate your holiday rental accommodation or hotel the next step is to familiarize yourself with the area. Most will do have searched on the internet and located popular places of interest.

Map of the Algarve showing Lagos, Alvor and many other locations
 Map of the Algarve showing Lagos, Alvor and many other locations

Places like the beach at Meia Praia a pristine stretch of sand extending from the causeway at Lagos town right up to Praia de Rocha albeit with the odd river and inlet at Alvor in between the two points. In between you ll find what we come to recognize as typical Portuguese beaches. Edges of sand area with coastal vegetation protected with timber walkways. Then flat well maintained sometimes very hot sand descending slowly down to the water. The customary sunbeds and faded grass covered circular sun shades. The yellow and red clad lifeguards in season are another familiar sight. Abundance of floatation boards and the odd quadbike parked at their stations. We have all given them at glance at time to make sure they are alert.


Early Morning in Lagos
                                        Early Morning or Late Night in Lagos

When you getting you bearings for Lagos it would be worth while checking out the beautiful beach of Praia do Porto de Mos. It’s the second largest beach in the Lagos area after of course the pre-mentioned Meia Praia. It is the only beach in the Lagos area that hasn’t shelter from the Atlantic. All of the others have the shelter of the headland at Ponta da Piedade.
The area at Porto do Mos is located about three miles south west of the center of Lagos. It is a quiet residential area comprising of many large luxurious villas. A number of these would be used as holiday rental, self-catering accommodation. Also in the area is the 5 star Cascade Wellness and Lifestyle Resort and the 4 star Belmar Wellness & Beach Resort both locations provide holiday rental accommodation.

Praia do Porto de Mos
                                                               Praia do Porto de Mos

Finding Porto do Mos

If you have hired a car it is very easy to drive there is adequate parking adjacent to the beach. The local bus service drops you on the beach front and picks up again during the day at regular intervals.
At either end of the small promenade in front of the beach you ll find two very good and well place restaurants. The O Antonio and the Campimar both serve a full menu of excellent cuisine. Or if you fancy just a snack or coffee you will be made welcome.
If you have property in this area might be worth while listing with All self-catering accommodation has reach a certain holiday rental criteria are welcome to list. As normal the team at Goholidaylets are available to advise you on any aspect of your holiday. Please feel free to post a question or query on any of our social media channels.

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Visit to world famous Shrine of Fatima in Northern Portugal

Visit to world famous Shrine of Fatima in Northern Portugal

Fatima is a town and Parish located 142 km (88 miles) North of Lisbon near the large town of Leira.

Splendid vaulted celling
Splendid vaulted ceiling

You can fly into Porto or Lisbon with Ryanair from many parts of UK and Ireland. By coach it’s an hour and a half journey from Lisbon with frequent departures and costs only approx €9.00 each way with Rede Express but in Portuguese only. Seats should be booked in advance.The train station called Fatima is miles from town . So going by train is not much of an option.

Fátima is a civil parish in the municipality of Ourém, in the Portuguese Santarém District.
Fatima is one of the most important catholic shrines in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Fatima’s Sanctuary welcomes millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. Fatima’s fame is due to the vision of Our Lady of the Rosary that appeared to three shepherd children Lucia dos Santos and her two younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta. Between May and October of 1917, the three children witnessed several visions. The last one, on October 13th, was confirmed by a miracle witnessed by 60,000 people known in the catholic world as “the day the sun danced”. Fátima also gained fame due to elements of secrets, prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to World War II and possibly more World Wars in the future.
Fatima now attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the world, particularly on the pilgrimage days in May and October. The large torch-light processions in the evening are particularly impressive, often lead by Cardinals and Bishops. The pilgrims gather in Cova de Iria an enormous plaza where a little chapel was built and where the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared to the children. Around the plaza are a considerable number of shops and stalls selling various religious articles. On the far side of the plaza rises the great Basilica, built in the in neo-classical style, with a central tower, the construction of which begun in the early 1920’s.


It is bordered by row of pillars linking it with the wide convent and hospital buildings. In the basilica are the tombs of two of the three visionaries, siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who died in 1919 and 1920 respectively, and were beatified in 1970. The third seer, Lucia dos Santos, died in 2005.

Fatima north of Lisbon
Fatima north of Lisbon on the A1

Where accommodation is concerned your best option is to stay in Lisbon. Apart from the Shine Fatima is saturated with shops selling cheap religious items that are made in China. Where as Lisbon is a wonderful city older than London.
Accommodation can be provided in convenient location self-catering apartments at reasonable prices. Let your host know beforehand that you intend travelling to Fatima and they will provide you with all the necessary information. Or give the customer care team at and we will assist with information.
We have a cosy self-catering apartment located in the heart of the Alfama neighborhood. An ideal place for a short stay while on a visit to Fatima.

Alternatively many visitors fly into Faro have a holiday in Albufeira, Alvor or Lagos and travel to Fatima and return to Algarve holiday.