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Your Algarve News Highlights - January 20th 2024

Your Algarve News Highlights - January 20th 2024

Dear Reader,


Here is your weekly news overview…

Which of Portugal's cities offers the 'best quality of life'?

The European Commission have presented a report containing a list of European cities with the best quality of life. One city is Portuguese, but its not Lisbon or Porto.


Braga is the only Portuguese city that appears on this list, in ninth place, considered one of the cities with the highest quality of life in Europe. The welcoming of immigrants, the conditions for young couples to have children and the quality of life for the elderly were some of the factors that contributed to Braga obtaining a good classification in this ranking.


Groningen in the Netherlands, Copenhagen in Denmark, Rostock and Leipzig in Germany, Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland, Stockholm in Sweden and Gdansk in Poland, were the other locations included in the Top10 best cities to live in Europe.


If you want to visit the city, Praça da República and Largo do Paço are two must-see spots. The latter was entirely built in granite and has a monumental fountain. Braga Cathedral is also a must-visit, as it is the oldest cathedral in the country. In one of its chapels, the tombs of the parents of D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, are kept.


The Arco da Porta Nova, as well as the Biscaínhos Museum Garden and the Santa Bárbara Garden are also points of interest in the city of Braga.



Portimão: 27 year old man killed in train collision

A 27 year old man was killed in a train collision near Portimão, at around 8.10am this morning.


Circulation was halted on the Algarve Line, but the victims body was removed swiftly from the scene.


By 9:00am, 13 personnel were on site, from the Portimão Fire Department and the National Institute of Medical Emergency ( INEM ).


The reason for the fatal incident is not yet known.



Volunteers needed to plant trees in Cruz da Fóia, Monchique

In an initiative developed in partnership with the BRIDGE Project and the University of Évora, Monchique City Council will be planting trees in Cruz da Fóia on January 27th, and are looking for volunteers to help carry out the maintenance of this Life Relict Project.


“This intervention will allow us to continue the preservation of the rare habitat in Europe, listed in the Habitat Directive (92/43/CEE) as a priority for conservation and which is described as Arborescent Thickets of Laurus nobilis or Matos Altos de Lauroids”, explains the municipality in a statement.


This habitat, dominated by plants that witnessed the Laurissilva forests that occupied the Iberian Peninsula in past geological eras, includes the Adelfeiras – target of the Life-Relict Project.


The action will place around 3,000 plants characteristic of this habitat.


Volunteers must bring practical clothing and appropriate footwear, gloves, planting equipment, a hoe, water and snack/picnic lunch.


Registration is open until midday on January 26th via email ddr@cm-monchique.pt, and via telephone on 282 910 284.



WHO warns we should prepare for the next pandemic NOW

The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is warning that we should be making immediate preparation to face a potential “Disease X" global pandemic, be it Covid-19, the Ebola virus or something else.


The topic was widely discussed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, highlighting the urgency of preventive actions.


The warning has gained relevance in recent days, as 'Disease X' takes center stage. The WHO anticipated that this hypothetical disease could result in up to 20 times more deaths than the coronavirus pandemic. The term 'Disease X' was introduced by the WHO in 2018, referring to a possible serious international epidemic caused by an unknown pathogen capable of affecting humans.


In response to this growing concern, the WHO established, in November 2022, a group of more than 300 scientists to identify potential pathogens that could trigger future pandemics, focusing especially on 'Disease X'.
This collaborative effort aims to anticipate and prepare effective responses to protect global health in the face of unknown threats.



Algarve: Interministerial commission meets to define measures for the drought

With the Algarve region experiencing the biggest drought since records began, the commission monitoring the effects of the drought meets this Wednesday in Faro, along with a presence from the Government.


The plan put in place is expected to limit water consumption in the Algarve.


The 18th Meeting of the Permanent Commission for Prevention, Monitoring and Monitoring of the Effects of Drought will be chaired today by the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro, and the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Maria do Céu Antunes, from 2:30pm, at the headquarters of the Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission, in Faro.


Among the proposals to combat the Algarve drought, solutions that include reducing water consumption by around 70% for the agricultural sector and 15% for consumers have been presented to mayors and other associations in the Algarve, particularly in tourism and urban agriculture.


The Minister of the Environment, Duarte Cordeiro, acknowledged that the situation is serious and stated that the Government is considering reducing the pressure, suspending second meters and even penalizing those who consume more water.


In the case of the agricultural sector, Duarte Cordeiro highlighted the need to ensure survival agriculture through a reduction in water availability in the Odeleite reservoir by 70% and in Funcho-Arade by 50%.


A tender is expected to be opened this month for the construction of a desalination plant for the Albufeira area, with a capacity of 16 million cubic metres.


For her part, the minister of agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes, has already admitted that, to minimize the drought situation, boreholes could be rehabilitated and “small mobile desalination plants” could be used in Algarve agriculture.


These measures have been contested by associations of farmers and producers in the Algarve, as well as irrigators in the eastern Algarve, who consider the planned water cuts “unaffordable”, “unbalanced” and “unfair”.


After this Wednesday's meeting, a resolution should be published, that will bring together all of the ongoing decisions.



Delay and Disappointment for ‘Vizinhos da Fabrica’

On the 15th of December 2023, the 10th quarterly meeting was held to follow up and monitor the work to correct environmental anomalies at the Corticeira Amorim factory in Vale de Lama, Silves. Amorim Cork Insulation (ACI) hosted the meeting at the factory premises, which was attended by Councillor Maxime Sousa Bispo and representatives of CCDR- Algarve, the Pestana group and the Residents' Committee “Vizinhos da Fabrica”.


After analysing the results of the phase 2 prototype, ACI realised that the application of a catalyst system was not the ideal solution for eliminating white fumes (Suberin). Internal meetings and design reviews with the Element 6 engineering company led to the decision to change the design to an RTO system. This decision in fact means a delay in the completion of phase 2 into 2025.


The residents committee “Vizinhos da Fabrica” cannot understand the delay. The frustration is growing with the neighbouring population about ACI management not capable of dealing with this problem for so many years. The people have to suffer another suffocating summer and what is next?


According to ACI, the phase 1 pre-filter is producing the expected results. The factory's general manager, Carlos Manuel Oliveira, announced that the factory's management maintains the order to suspend or stop the cork block production process when the pre-filter is not working properly. ACI's expectation was to reduce the level of white smoke by 80 per cent. Unfortunately, the ICA is unable to clarify how effective the pre-filter is until new analyses of the particles in the chimney gases are carried out in 2024.


ACI continues to work on the acoustic insulation of the factory's facilities. On the north-west side of the factory, various pieces of industrial equipment and machinery will receive steel boxes, lined with cork insulation on the inside. Similarly, several ducts are being insulated with rock wool and metal sheets.


ACI continued its noise reduction work on the west side of the factory. ACI has designed a building to soundproof the noise coming from the crusher. The urban planning licence for this building should be granted at the beginning of next year, as well as the issue of the corresponding works licence. Alterations to the cork storage building are almost complete to accommodate the silent operation of the Trommel. The building, which has not yet been soundproofed or acoustically insulated, is to be completely enclosed with masonry and will be fitted with electrically operated doors. These ongoing measures are intended to considerably reduce the noise from the Trommel's operation, as well as the noise from other equipment and vehicles supporting its operation.


Construction work on the crusher's encapsulation building is due to start at the beginning of 2024. This building will make it possible to reduce the noise from the operation of the crusher, where the cork is cut into small pieces. The 3 machines on the east side of the crusher building will receive large acoustic boxes, which will be completed in January. This work will be followed by the acoustic upgrade of the current crusher building, with improved insulation for the roof and doors. In the meantime, acoustic tests will be carried out regularly to gauge the results of the work.


The restriction on the factory's opening hours imposed by Silves Town Council will be maintained. The complete factory will stop to work from 11.59pm on Friday: until 4am on Monday morning for the caldera, until 8am on Monday morning for the autoclave, until 8am on Monday morning for the rest of the factory.


Comments from the neighbouring population is that they cannot understand that Acoustic Insulation is the speciality of Amorim Cork Insulation and they are having so much trouble in acoustically insulating their factory.


The "Factory Neighbours" held a meeting with CCDR-Algarve in November 2023 to address the high levels of fine particles, defined as PM10, in the vicinity of the factory. The CCDR-Algarve said it is raising budgets to carry out tests outside the factory in 2024, in each wind direction, for a period of one year.


We would all like to thank the permanent municipal executive of Silves Town Council for their support and commitment in carrying out this participatory process, which aims to correct the environmental anomalies of the Corticeira Amorim factory in Vale da Lama, Silves, with the consequent reduction in the pollution caused by its operation, and to improve the relationship between ACI and the neighbouring population, contributing to a more integrated and participatory community in resolving matters of public interest in the environmental field.


Facebook: Poluicao Silves


Portuguese airports test new technology, allowing travel without an ID document

Lisbon and Porto airports are testing new facial recognition technologies, meaning that in the future, you may no longer need to present an identification document when travelling by plane.


Currently, only passengers over 18 boarding at the Portuguese airports of Porto and Lisbon can use this new technology, know as “Biometric Experience”.  It’s a system that allows passengers to board just using an image of their face.
The facial recognition application will then replace the need to show your identity card or passport.


The novelty was presented by ANA Aeroportos, which will begin by applying this technology to some flights at Lisbon and Porto airports.


The first tests begin with passengers on TAP flights previously selected by the company, within the Schengen area. Later, other companies will join, including extra-European flights will be included.


If your flight is included in the tests of this new facial recognition system, you will need to install the “Biometric Experience” application on your mobile phone in advance, available for Android and IOS. Alternatively, you can register at a machine designed for this purpose at the airport. Whether on your phone or at the airport, to register simply photograph or scan your ID and take a selfie.


For now it is only being tested at Lisbon and Porto airports, but is scheduled to arrive in Faro airport in the second half of 2024.



More news next week!




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Adventures and Relaxation in the Algarve

With the new year in full swing, it's time to look ahead to the new adventures and relaxing moments that await in this enchanting region of Portugal. The Algarve, known for its sun-drenched beaches, fantastic restaurants and great activities, promises to be a year full of new memories.



Navigating Portugal: An In-Depth Guide to Visa and Entry Requirements

Portugal, situated at the westernmost edge of Europe, stands as one of the oldest sovereign states on the continent, adorned with a rich history and captivating architecture shaped by centuries of invasions. With a population of 10,291,027 and covering an area of 92,212 km2, Portugal is not just a land of cultural richness but also a developed country with a high-income advanced economy, and enviable living standards.



Currency Market Update - 19th January 2024

On Thursday we heard from Christine Lagarde in Davos, given us an small indication that ECB could start to cut rates in the Summer but she was stern on the topic of overconfidence in the market could halt their inflation policy and its vital to continue being data-driven.



In Between Fridays - a documentary filmed in a small village in the mountains of southern Portugal

Together with a talented team, consisting of Creative Producer Aljoscha Habel, DOP Annemarie Chladek, Editor Henrike Dosk and many others, Maximilian Geschke has produced and directed an independent documentary, In Between Fridays, shot in the village of Tojeiro, in the mountains of southern Portugal, two years ago.




2 bed townhouse, just 5 mins walk to Caneiros beach & restaurants

This 2 bedroom townhouse on the popular Ferragudo complex of Vila Gaivota, is in a great location just 5 minute’s walk to Caneiros beach & restaurants.



Lovely three (2+1) bedroom townhouse, in a small, very well maintained complex

Nestled in a quaint, meticulously cared-for complex, this charming three-bedroom (2+1) townhouse is a true gem. Situated just a brief stroll away from the heart of the picturesque town of Guia, the property boasts not only convenience but also a serene ambience that invites residents to embrace the beauty of their surroundings.


Large luxury 4 bedroom villa with views in premium Lagos location

This recently remodeled family villa is situated in the 5 star Boavista Golf Resort in Lagos. This luxury estate lives up to its name with a stunning view over Lagos bay and beyond.



Beautiful 2 bedroom townhouse, just 2 minutes walk from Porto de Mós beach, Lagos

This beautiful 2 bedroom townhouse is ideally situated just a two-minute stroll from the stunning Porto de Mós beach, in Lagos.




Forsman Self-Defense Workshops for adults and kids - Jan 27th & 28th

Learn from one of the best, at 2 Self-Defense Workshops taking place at Pinetrees Riding Centre, Almancil - one for adults and teens, the other for kids age 8 to 12.



Algarve History Association Events - January 2024

The next presentation by Peter will be on the Fátima Phenomenon.  He will examine the context in which the appearances of the Blessed Virgin took place, and how the Roman Church and the Portuguese State responded to the three children at the heart of this issue.  In particular, he shows why these appearances took place at that particular time, how local people responded to these events and what effect they had on the country as a whole.



The Internet of Things - Feb 3rd & 4th, in Silves

Shake off those winter blues by coming to watch this hilarious show, The Internet of Things, all about what can, and does, go wrong with modern electronic technology.



Cooking workshops at Figs on the Funcho

We have two upcoming cooking workshops at Figs on the Funcho, an Ottolenghi-Inspired Workshop and a Falafel Making Workshop. Reserve your place now!



Portuguese Cultural Production Golden Visa Seminars - Jan 16th & Feb 13th

The Portuguese Cultural Production Golden Visa – which has long been part of the Golden Visa’s investment options - is garnering more and more attention from international investors.



Saint Andrew’s Society of the Algarve Burn's Supper - Jan 27th

The Saint Andrew’s Society of the Algarve is delighted to announce that we will be once again be holding our Burns Supper at the Ponte Romana restaurant in Silves on Saturday 27 January 2024.



Castro Marim Golf Club Charity Golf Day Fundraiser - Jan 26th 2024

Castro Marim Golf Club and the Somos Esperança Associação de Solidariedade Charity invite you to a Charity Golf Day Fundraiser on January 26th 2024, to raise funds to care for and feed the homeless in Olhão.




To see more info about events coming up in the next few weeks, check out

My Guide Algarve's event calendar


For latest information and advice regarding crime, wildfires and the Covid-19 pandemic, visit the

Safe Communities Portugal website


Everything you need to know if you are moving to, living in or visiting the Algarve.

AngloInfo website


‍Have a great week, from the Algarve Daily News team!


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