Weather alert as temperatures soar to 42ºC

Several alerts have been launched in Portugal due to forecasts of “extremely hot weather” and “tropical nights” in the coming days, with temperatures set to be as high as 42ºC.

The news will be music to the ears of beachgoers as wind will not be a problem and sea temperatures are expected to be very pleasant, ranging between 20ºC and 22ºC in the Algarve.

Caution is advised, however. Twelve districts have been placed under ‘yellow alert’ – the third most serious of all – today by Portugal’s Sea and Atmosphere Institute (IPMA) due to the hot weather. They are Beja, Évora, Setúbal, Portalegre, Santarém, Lisboa, Leiria, Coimbra, Aveiro, Porto, Braga and Viana do Castelo, as well as the Madeira archipelago.

Portugal’s civil protection authority (ANPC) has also issued a fire alert, saying that the “hot and dry weather” will increase the risk of wildfires.

Finally, the national health board (DGS) has warned the population to take adequate protection against the heat, especially those who are “most vulnerable” such as babies, children and the elderly.

Drinking lots of water, staying in cool, shaded areas and using sun lotion when out in the sun are some of the recommendations made by the DGS.

Portimão shops are coming back to life

Today we chose to write about the new lease of life that is springing up amongst some of the smaller independent shops in the town of Portimão.

We met some lovely shopkeepers and discovered some fabulous new little stores in the side streets of the town – far too many to be able to cover in one tiny feature article .. so we thought we would share some more of our finds with you all here on the blog.

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Portimão has looked quite tired and run-down of late, what was once a proud and bustling quayside and shopping area has been passed by in favour of out-of-town shopping – but at last things are beginning to come back to life with a range of new shops opening up around the main Rua Direita street. If you can find your way to the waterfront, by the ice-cream shop outlets, then you need to walk into town past the banks .. and then find the main theatre above the Largo December 1 gardens (you may remember us telling you about the Organic market that happens there every Saturday) – then if you are facing the theatre you need to go left down the main street and you will find all the shops waiting for you!

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The first shop we visited was one of our favourites for picking up an unusual gift or special present – the very enticing Opcão Decor, run by Marcelo Correia, who is an interior designer with a keen eye for a unique product.

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The inside of the shop is beautifully presented with a range of gifts, home-ware and ceramics which are all original and traditional Portuguese brands:

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Many items are sourced locally, from the raffia bags from Loulé, to the nativity scenes which are made in Ferragudo, and the kitchenware from casaalegre.pt

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Top 10 activities for kids – Carvoeiro area

Children of all ages are always looking for the next activity and thing to do and in Carvoeiro and the local area there are lots of options to keep children from toddlers to teens entertained. We have put together a list of our top 10 activities for kids in Carvoeiro and the local area with a mixture of ideas to suit both you younger and older children and top meet every budget.

1. Beach

I guess taking children to the beach seems like the obvious thing to do when you are in Carvoeiro but you would be surprised at how many people forget just how fun a beach can be – it really is worth the sand getting everywhere! We have Carvoeiro beach in the town itself which is great for little ones as there are no steps and you have everything you need close to hand. Primary school aged children will probably most enjoy a visit to Praia Grande as there is a good play park here, very calm waters for swimming and a choice of beach bars for parents to relax. Teens keen to explore and find something off the beaten track will love Carvalho beach with is secret smuggler entrane, steps carved into the steps and lots of snorkelling opportunities.

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Praia do Carvalho

2. The Fontes

The Fontes is an area loved by many of the local residents as it is a place that you can go either during the summer or the winter with lots to keep children busy all day long. The Fontes are located just outside Estombar and are signposted from the centre of the village with plenty of car parking space available. Here you will find a lake area, natural spring swimming pools, a park, barbecues, picnic area and trails around the lake which are ideal for nature walks. In the summer it can get very busy here so it is a good idea to get there early if you want one of the big picnic tables and a good spot where you can watch the children as they play wither in the well equipped park or in the fresh, clear waters.

3. Carvoeiro park

Carvoeiro has a small park located at the top of the cliffs next to the church and is a great spot for toddlers and small children. The park has the basics of a slide, swings, bouncy animals and a couple of other rides as well as benches for parents to sit on and shade in some areas which is ideal in the summer. The park is fenced with a gate and is always clean, tidy and well maintained and it is easy to get to by walking up the hill or if you are driving you can park by the church. This park will not thrill older children but it is a really useful area and it is also a beautiful place to sit and admire the amazing views along the coast.

4. Silves park

Carvoeiro park is great for the little ones but older children will love Silves park where you have lots of different activities and areas for all ages. The park is easy to find and can be seen from the road as you pass through the tunnel down to Silves. When you cross the bridge into Silves, then turn left and follow the road along – you will see the park on the left hand side where there is also ample parking. This park has a large wooden activity area with swings, slides, little houses and other bits and a part on sand with some digging toys. There is also a long running track circling the park which is great for bikes or rollerblades and there is even a small skate park area in the centre for BMXs or skateboards. You can spend hours here and even get a spot to eat at the café or a burger at the fast food restaurant. This is also the location of the Silves municipal swimming pool.

5. Krazy World

Krazy World is located about half an hours drive away from Carvoeiro and is a good choice for children between the ages of 4 and 10. The ticket prices for Krazy World are reasonable and it is open all year around making it a good one for those who come out of season and are looking for something to do for the day. In the park there is a large petting zoo with little goats, sheep and ponies while kids will also love the reptile house, crocodiles and snapping tutles in another area of the park. There is an 18 hole mini golf course through the woods which is good for older children and during the summer they have open a large pool area with a slide for the big ones and a shallow pool for smaller children.

6. Carvoeiro Clube de Tenis

You don’t have to be a member or even play tennis to be able to go up to the Tennis club located between Carvoeiro and Sesmarias. The club offer a range of different activities and children can take a tennis lesson, you can rent a court or you can enquire about using the pool areas. There is a small play park here and trampolines as well as the pools ut these will usually need to be paid for, however this is a lovely place to sit with children and enjoy a coffee or something to eat from the restaurant up here.

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Carvoeiro Tennis Club

7. Water parks

During the summer months we are very lucky to have two water parks right on our doorstep and I have yet to find a child of any age (even sullen teenagers) who aren’t keen to get here for the day. Slide and Splash is the closest park and is located between Lagoa and Estombar – you can buy passes for the day and even arrange transport by contacting one of the local operators and there are always discounts available if you buy before you arrive. The park is great for all ages with some scary slides (the black hole and the kamikaze), some tame ones (cloud nine) and a great water park area for small children with lots of things to do. Along the road near to Alcantarilha there is Aqualand, a smaller water park but the cheapest one in the Algarve and still lots of fun.

8. Zoomarine

No list of things to do with kids in the Algarve would be complete without the inclusion of Zoomarine – the most popular of all the attractions in the Algarve and one for all the family. Zoomarine is located in Guia, between Lagoa and Albufeira and combines a water and theme park with a marine life concept. You can watch the dolphin and sea lion shows, go on the rides and the big wheel, learn about marine life in the 4D cinema or relax in the manmade beach area with water slide. This is not a cheap day out but it is an amazing treat for the kids while in the Algarve – Only open during the peak season.

9. Duck pond park

Head into Portimão for a walk around the woods and the duck pond at this great park which is dubbed locally as the duck pond park. The park is located between Portimão and Praia da Rocha and can be found by passing the Modelo shopping centre along the V6 in the direction of Praia da Rocha and is in an area behind the two petrol stations – GPS 37.129414, -8.545171 Little children will love all the ducks, hens and animals running about and the play park area, adults will love the café with some of the cheapest prices you will find in the Algarve and for older children there is the skate park with huge ramps and the BMX track – an all round winner.

10. Tree Climbing

A great one for older children, teens and adventurous adults alike – tree climbing is far more challenging than you fist may think! The best local tree climbing park is in Albufeira and is run in conjunction with a paintball area which is also great fun for groups. There are varying levels of difficulty but basically this involve putting on a harness and safety gear and then navigating your way around the obstacles, zip wires and trees – a great day out, especially out of season as you will work up enough of a sweat as it is with this one!

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Luso Aventura Albufeira