Options and Alternatives to the end of BBC, ITV, Channel 5 Freeview in the Algarve

Options and Alternatives to the end of BBC, ITV, Channel 5 Freeview in the Algarve

Since we have had so many inquires, and calls for more information, we decided to make this post regarding the end of availability of Satellite UK Freeview in the Algarve (BBC, ITV, Channel 5, etc) and to give to our clients or anyone that has been affected by this issue some clear and concise information. Most worrying is all these people coming out promising all kinds of features and services that are on one side plain expensive rip-offs or even worst really bad solutions that will never hold.

So first a small explanation on what has happened, the satellite Astra 1N that was providing the Freeview signal is at its end of life (around 12 years old) so it was decided that all its channels would be moved to new satellites called Astra 2E and Astra 2F. Astra 2F has a bit of a wider range, Astra 2E has a more focused beam that covers perfectly only the British Isles and not much more. Unfortunately most of the channels were moved to Astra 2E, so as of now there is absolutely no chance of ever picking up any satellite signal.

Astra Satellite Signal Focused on the UK

Astra Satellite Signal Focused on the UK

However both satellites can provide a more dispersed bean that reaches a big part of Europe, but even that is not going to help anyone on the Algarve, latest reports say that some people in Portugal are still getting some signal, in the Centre/North of Portugal if you have dishes 1.5 m or more, but in the South, Algarve there is little or no signal being received on dishes of 3 meters and more.

European Coverage of those Satellites

European Coverage of those Satellites

So what are the alternatives to watch all the Freeview Channels in Algarve

  1. For people that have Sky – especially Sky+ there is the possibility to have some channels, especially if those are transmitted in HD, also its possible to get some channels like Channel 4, just because the satellite Sky is using is still available. However Sky is going to move as well, so although this might work now, its not a certainty in the future.
  2. You can change your Satellite to the portuguese Zon Satellite Service – (Meo Satellite only has BBC World News), however this only provides BBC World News, Sky News and BBC Entertainment (Its not the same as BBC1, this is a channel that shows BBC shows), cost is around 25 euros/month.
  3. If you have broadband internet you can get a streaming service – although these are often unreliable, for instance the most popular was Filmon that after a week they decided to stop streaming all the Freeview Channels! You would use an IPTV (Internet Protocol Television or ITV) it is basically a box to conect the tv to the internet, that would cost the price of the subscription in the website (Filmon was 100 euros a year) and the ITV box, a really good ITV box costs 120 euros, a cheap one costs about 60 euros.
  4. If you have broadband internet you can use a VPN or Proxy – that is basically renting a computer in the UK and connecting in the Algarve will show as connecting in the UK, this will allow you to use all the Internet Based players like BBC iPlayer, Channel4 4oD, iTV Player, LoveFilm, etc. Still note that you will not watch Live BBC unless you have a TV License (if you already have one, great!), but to watch most of the catalog and delay broadcasting you don’t need any license, its free and high quality, a good VPN/Proxy costs 50 euros a year, and of course also an ITV to connect the tv and to connect to the VPN.

Changes are going on, Sky is moving soon and the channels are still being moved at the moment, so we could have more options, including maybe a possibility of using the satellite dishes through Sky, as always, we will keep this post updated to the realistic options available for BBC viewing.

And as always if you have questions or doubts feel free to comment bellow, share your experiences and contact us, since we have already tried quite a few of those so called solutions and we can always give you our opinion.

Christmas in Praia da Luz

Christmas in Praia da Luz

Christmas is in full force in Praia da Luz, the lights are up in the Church, and as every year we have a blast celebrating in Luz and around Lagos, here are some highlights:

  • In Praia da Luz we will have the customary celebrations around the Church, the nativity scene is up, plenty of super bright Christmas lights and of course the Christmas day mass.
  •  There is the Natalândia in the Lagos Zoo, Its a Christmas revamp of the Zoo, with plenty of fun new things especially for children, ohh and of course the huge diversity of the wonderful animals that live there, more about the Lagos Zoo here.
  • There is a awesome animated Nativity Scene in Lagos, created by José Cortes, its available until the 13th of December in Rua 5 de Outubro, n.º 18 in Lagos.
  • On the 18,21 and 28 of December, we have children’s Cinema on the Biblioteca Municipal (Sala Polivalente) in Lagos (Lagos Library).
  • From 16 December to 8 January in the historical center of Lagos there is everyday a event from 15h00, as well as the traditional book fair, so lots of Shopping and Fun!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Praia da Luz Last Minute Deals

Praia da Luz Last Minute Deals

Summer is here! Another great year with lots of new villas, and we still have a couple of weeks available, so we are offering interesting last minute deals and discounts in July and August for theses self catering villas and apartments.

Its an awesome opportunity to have a quick vacation in Praia da Luz, here is a quick selection:

Villas with Pool
Tres-Mares-3
Villa 3 Mares (Beds 6) Recommended! – Awesome large secluded villa, with a huge private pool and surrounded by gardens and Fruit Trees.
Porta do Paraiso N (Beds 2) – Part of a Private Complex in the entrance to Luz, with a shared pool by the complex.
Porta do Paraiso I (Beds 3) – Part of a Private Complex in the entrance to Luz, with a shared pool by the complex.
Casa 2 (Beds 4) – Renovated traditional Luz townhouse with a new private pool.

Right Next to the Beach
k1-vista-mar
Apartment K1 (Beds 2) Recommended! – Sweet little apartment with a incredible view of Praia da Luz.
Casa do Monte (Beds 2) – A Fisherman’s Cottage right on top of the Prainha beach and right inside Luz.
Villa 112 (Beds 2) – A really nice traditional townhouse right next to the beach.
Apartment C4 (Beds 2) – This apartment right next to the Church in Luz and a right next to all the restaurants and shops in Luz.

Great Deals
Apartamento-T-FrenteG
Apartment T (Beds 2) – Nice apartment with a view overlooking Luz, next to Batista Supermarket.
Apartment J12 (Beds 1) – Really nice and cozy 1 Bedroom apartment in walking distance of Luz and Praia da Luz.
Apartment 23 (Beds 1) – Small one bedroom apartment, right in the center of Luz, next to everything.

Please note that these villas and apartments are available at the time of this posting but we cant guarantee availability as these are last minute deals, as always feel free contact us if you want a recommendation or check prices, if you want a specific property just visit the villa page with your dates (we always make recommendations if the property is unavailable)!

Traditional Festivities in Praia da Luz

Traditional Festivities in Praia da Luz

This year in Vila da Luz we are starting out the Summer with some sweets, some dancing and some fun! We are having some traditional saints festivities in Praia da Luz, near the Church, you can expect traditional music, lots of drinks and eats, come join us, its from the 21st to the 23rd of June and from the 28th to the 30th of June, every end of the day! Come and have some fun!

Praia da Luz with Water Gold Standard

Praia da Luz with Water Gold Standard

Right on time for Summer, Praia da Luz was awarded yet again the Water Gold Standard from Quercus (Portuguese Nature Conservation Society), to be given this standard it has to have had at least 5 straight years of good water quality, and the last 3 years it has to have excellent water quality, combine that with our European Blue Flag that is only provided to beaches that have high water quality, security, beach services and environmental protection, there is no excuse not to have an awesome time on the beach!

Easter in Luz and Lagos

Easter in Luz and Lagos

Ah March arrives and i start craving folares and cheese, by the way folar is a traditional sweet (although since this is Portugal there are all kinds of versions, including salty or with meats like ham or linguiça) bread baked in portugal for easter, traditionaly its also baked with an egg inside, its a religious thing, it used to be offered to godfathers and priests at easter time, a sort of rememberance to the parting of bread on the Last Supper, the egg being the simbol of rebirth and resurrection, so with all this folar talk what do we have in store for this Easter March?

Mostra de Doçaria – Doces, Mel e Licores (23 e 24 Março)
Sweets-in-Lagos
Ohh how about some sweets and honey and licors, there will be a small exhibition on the “Mercado do Levante” in Lagos, its organized by the local government of Freguesia de S. Sebastião. The event will take place on the 23rd and 24th of March, on the 23rd its from 17h to 23h and on the 24 its from 14h to 21h (old poster), with Free Entrance.

Feira do Folar e Artesanato de Barão de São João (30 and 31 Março)
xii-fair-do-folar-e-artesanato-barao-sao-joao
Sweet! Nothing like taking a small weekend drive to Barão de São João to try some sweet folares, this fair has a bit of everything, lots of traditional produce, craftwork, local sweets, honey, wine and of course tons of easter folar!!!! Sure ill be there for the folar but there are also exhibits and dances and all sorts of fun! This is organized by the Junta de Freguesia de Barão de São João, its every afternoon from the 29th to the 31st of March, with Free Entrance.

(I edited this posts, seems like the feira de folar is only on the 30th and 31st of March)

And a Happy Easter Everyone!