35th Fatacil Fair 2014 – Lagoa, 15-24 August

The 35th edition of the Handicraft, Tourism, Agriculture, Trade and Industry Fair (FATACIL) will be held in Lagoa from 15th to 24th August 2014 with “massive“ changes to ensure the future survival of one of the best known Algarve event.

35th Fatacil Fair 2014 – Lagoa, 15-24 August

35th Fatacil Fair 2014 – Lagoa, 15-24 August

To reflect economic difficulties Fatasul (the organizer of the Fair) and the Municipality of Lagoa, lowered the ticket price to 3,50€. Included in the admission price are live concerts every evening on the large outdoor stage.

Fatacil 2014 Opening Hours
Weekends / Holidays: 04.00pm – 01.00am
Remaining Days: 06.00pm – 01.00am

FATACIL 2014 Concerts

Friday – 15th August – António Zambujo
Saturday – 16th August – UHF
Sunday – 17th August – Richie Campbell
Monday – 18th August – Bon Giovi (Bon Jovi Tribute Band)
Tuesday – 19th August – Deolinda
Wednesday – 20th Agust – Lucky Duckies
Thursday – 21st August – Quim Barreiros
Friday – 22nd August – Ana Moura
Saturday – 23rd August – Pedro Abrunhosa
Sunday – 24 August – Xutos & Pontapés

More information can be found on the Fatacil Website.
Image by fatacil.pt

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CLASSICAL MASSAGE – intensive Massage Workshop in the West Algarve


We want to invite you to our 10 days intensive Massage Workshop in the West Algarve, where the wild ocean hugs the shore. The course will be held in Quinta das Pedras, a beautiful villa with pool located in soft hills. In walking distance there are three unspoiled beaches and Salema an idyllic fishing village. The 5-bedroom villa is surrounded by a spacious gardens inviting for meditation. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy.

Massage Workshop Westalgarve

Massage Workshop Westalgarve

A key-word for the course is touch. Touch means contact. Concerning Bodywork it is the step for reintegrating an isolated area into the stream of life. This isolation from life’s flow often is a substantial part of a health issue.

Every physical and emotional expression is energetic in its origin. When our energies are accepted and flow in an unhindered way, we experience them as alive and flexible. We are healthy.

Breathwork, Biodanza and Tai Ji exercises will be part of the classes. As well we will serve a balanced and healthy vegetarian food, full of sun and energy, that will give you lots of positive vibrations during the workshop.

The course addresses to beginners who are interested in learning to give massages as to those who already know and want to deepen their understanding.


Trixie and Carl are massage therapists with a holistic vision towards wellbeing and health. You will learn basic technics of muscle relaxation as applied in classical massage. In addition we will investigate and experience the energetic and emotional aspects underlying the physical structures of our bodies. The interplay of the anatomical muscle positions, their functions and the energy currents corresponding to them will be felt and studied.

Work on the meridians with acupressure will be practiced on different parts of the body. In an atmosphere of safety and acceptance we will have a closer look on our sometimes conflicting wishes for protection and openness.

The course can be given either in English or in German, for a maximum of 10 participants. You will receive written material about the different technics we practice and a certificate at the end of the course. During the 10 days of practice there will be 2 half-days free for personal activities.

On the workshop days 3 meals will be served. We would like to serve you a mixture of vegetarian, vegan and raw food. For example, beside the breakfast we will have a vitalising green smoothy. For lunch there will be something light: salads, sprouts, fruits and crackers and a warm 2 course dinner at the end of the day, made from all the wonderful vegetables grown here in Portugal.


Trixie Denneborg

Successful and independent massage therapist and trainer for over 20 years, running Biodanza groups at various venues.




Carl Zimmerling

Tai Ji and Integrative Bodywork, diplomaed by the Green Mountain Institute, Vermont – USA.





With 12 years experience in vegan, raw and vegetarian cooking. Special diets can be taken care of.



Price all included: 1350€ ( except flight ) With the booking a deposit of 350€ has to be paid. Discount for people who book until the end of June, in this case the price will be: 1200€.

Booking form: www.feelyourinnerspace.com/registration
More Infos: www.feelyourinnerspace.com/massage-workshop


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The noble tree of the Algarve

The Algarve landscape would not be complete without the majestic cork oak, Quercus Suber, as a backdrop. Indigenous to the Mediterranean, it was revered by the ancient Greeks as a symbol of honour and liberty and they marvelled at its “capacity to renew its skin once it is removed”. In Portugal, the cork oak is a species protected by law as are the cork oak forests called “montados”. These laws, going back to the beginning of the XIII century, have lead to the evolution of a unique and rich ecosystem that is today home to over 200 bird and plant species and mammals. These include grey herons, black storks, kestrels, eagles, foxes, wolves, wild boar, deer and the endangered Iberian lynx.

Cork tree in the Algarve

Cork tree in the Algarve © M Dommett

The bark is cut off the cork oaks in summer when the inner layer comes away most easily. The first extraction takes place when a tree is between 25 and 30 years old. Subsequent extractions take place every nine years. Once removed, each tree is marked with the last two digits of the next year in which it will be cut.

Cork is an ecological, recyclable and biodegradable gift from nature with amazing insulation properties. Its use goes back at least to 400 B.C. where in Italy it was used in roof tiles, buoys, lids and ladies shoes. Today it is not only used for cork bottle stoppers, but extensively in other industries – flooring, thermal and acoustic insulation, the manufacture of musical instruments, footwear, the car industry and increasingly in the world of fashion and eco-design.

Portugal is the world’s leading exporter of cork, supplying over 150 000 tonnes a year which is about 60% of the world’s production. In the Algarve, the eastern town of São Brás de Alportel is proud to produce the best cork bottle stoppers in the world. The municipality has introduced the “Rota da Cortiça” (www.rotadacortica.pt) to give visitors a glimpse of the history of this special product.


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Blossoms fit for a Queen

Nothing graces the countryside more magnificently on grey winter days than the whites and sometimes pinks of the almond trees in blossom. Inspiring poets, artists and writers, the almond tree, Prunus dulcis, has a long history in the Algarve. Folklore tells us that in Moorish times, a gallant and handsome king fell in love with and wed a beautiful girl from northern Europe. He named her Gilda and brought her to his kingdom, Al-Gharb, where she became known as the “Beauty from the North”. Although admired by all and spoilt by an adoring husband, she soon became sad and withdrawn, finally confessing that she was nostalgic for the snow-covered fields and mountains of her country. Desperate that he might loose her, the king ordered that the whole region be planted to almond trees. The following winter he took her up to the highest castle tower and when she looked down, to her absolute and irreversible delight, she saw the entire countryside covered in almond blossom snow.

The almond tree is not native to the Algarve (indigenous to Central Asia), but the dry, rocky soils and the Mediterranean climate offer perfect conditions for growth. The almond, together with the fig, carob and olive forms part of what is called a “Pomar de Tradicional Sequeiro Algarvio” – traditional dry-land orchard.

There are two types of almonds in the Algarve, soft-shelled known as “côcos” and hard-shelled, known as “durazias”, but there are many cultivars that vary in period and length of flowering and shell hardness. Harvesting usually happens at the end of August in between the fig and olive harvests. By this stage, the sun has usually split the outer husk exposing the shell that contains the nut. Nuts are removed and dried out in the sun for about two weeks, traditionally on the flat roofs of typical Algarve homes.

almond blossom

almond blossom

At the turn of the last century, almond trees covered about 6000ha and almonds were exported to England, Belgium, Holland and Germany. The development of irrigation systems and subsequent diversification of agriculture into citrus and horticulture, the growth of tourism and increase in labour costs have all contributed to the decline of this as an industry. This pattern continues, with small, dispersed, groves unable to compete with the large plantations and sophisticated harvesting and shelling technology used in California and Spain.

Nevertheless, the almond is still, and will always be, the prized ingredient in many typical Algarve sweets and cakes. So, next time you are in a coffee shop, do not resist the temptation to try some colourful marzipan or a pastry made with “amendoas”.

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Hit the Road with Care

As we start to test our New Year resolutions, so does the Portuguese Traffic Department. Theirs is to fine the nation into better driving habits to line them up with their European counterparts.

While this may be a welcome sign for many who bemoan the lack of local driving skills, it also puts us on the spot. Imagine hire car indicating left, then right then suddenly instructed to veer off completely by gesticulating passenger deciphering a map or bent over the GPS – a common sight, as too the matchbox cars invariably driven by an old man under a cap, pottering along oblivious to everything around him. Incidentally, these 270 to 500cc engines called “mata-velhos” (literally and somewhat sinisterly translates “killer of old people”), do not require a drivers licence. The name may have something to do with this and the number of accidents they cause.

Some of the main things to look out for, according to information from The National Authority for Road Safety “ANSR” (www.ansr.pt):

In addition to identification documents, drivers must now carry their fiscal card or printout from the Finance Department stating their fiscal number.
Cell phones have long been prohibited but now the use of double earpieces is too.  Only single earpieces are allowed.
Children have to be in a booster seat until they are 1.35m tall.
Cyclists have new rights. Allow at least 1.5m when passing a cyclist and be aware that they are considered as vehicles on roundabouts and in traffic generally.  Their responsibility is to carry identification and use lights at night. Riding on pavements is illegal.
In urban areas used by pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, deemed “zones of co-existence”, the speed limit has been reduced to 20km/h.
Most significant are the changes to roundabout etiquette. Only travel on the far right hand lane IF you are taking the next exit. Otherwise travel in the inner lane and indicate to move to the right lane when you are sure of the exit.  Watch out because exceptions apply to heavy vehicles, bicycles and animal-drawn vehicles. The fine for getting this wrong ranges from €60 to €300.

Hopefully, driving round and round and round until we get our bearings is not considered an offense. Algarve roundabouts are pretty and tame compared to Lisbon’s Marquês de Pombal and the Airport’s Relógio. There, forget maps and your GPS, take a deep breath, get into that inner lane and be prepared to get it wrong several times.

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