Algarve responds to crematorium crisis.jpg

Algarve responds to crematorium crisis

A GROWING demand for cremations and a lack of facilities in the Algarve, which is causing queues at the nearest crematorium in the Alentejo, will soon be addressed as the Algarve plans to build two facilities in the region.

Faro and Portimão Câmaras have put forward plans to build the region’s first crematoriums because of the growing popularity of cremations among foreign residents and also the Portuguese.

The application process is at a more advanced stage in Faro, where the Câmara has budgeted one million euros this year for the project. “At this time, we are finishing the building specifications,” said João Marques, a council spokesman. “The project will then be put out to tender.”

Portimão Câmara also plans to construct a crematorium within the grounds of the city’s new cemetery. The land where the cemetery will be located is still being decided upon, however, the Câmara plans to finish the project by the end of 2009.

Augusto Ferreira, owner of a funeral agency in the Algarve, said that the service is desperately needed in the region because the journey to the nearest crematorium in the Alentejo is too far away and only has two cremations per day.

“The Algarve needs a crematorium,” he said. “The demand is such that sometimes we have to wait up to eight days for bodies to be cremated.”


Foreign residents represent around 60 per cent of the cremations in the Algarve region but it is also becoming a more popular service for the Portuguese.

“For every 30 funerals we do each month, around six are cremations,” said Augusto Ferreira, “with around 60 per cent of those being foreign residents.”

When the crematoriums come online, the cost of a cremation service could decrease by around 15 per cent. The current average price for a cremation service at the nearest crematorium is 1,500 euros.

The facilities will also help towards minimising the overcrowding in Loulé, Portimão and Lagoa cemeteries.

Faro will also benefit from its crematorium because the new cemetery, which was inaugurated in 2005 is already half full.

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