New-look staircase inaugurated at Praia do Peneco
Photo: CMA/Rui Gregório

New-look stairway inaugurated at Praia do Peneco

Inauguration part of municipal holiday celebrations

A new pristine white stairway to Albufeira’s crowd-pulling beach Praia do Peneco was inaugurated on the borough’s municipal holiday on Saturday (August 20).

The stairway was revamped as part of a €1.5 million project entitled ‘Preservação e Conservação da Escadaria e Arriba da Praia do Peneco’ (Preservation and Conservation of the Stairway and Cliffside of Praia do Peneco), a complete facelift of the beach’s cliffside.

Nearly €500,000 were covered by community funding via the FEAM programme, the council said.

The works were “urgently needed” to “ensure the safety of everyone who visits Praia do Peneco, the most iconic beach of the town’s urban area,” said Albufeira Mayor, José Carlos Rolo.

Apart from the revamped stairs, the “highly complex” works also involved stabilising the beach’s cliffs, improving public lighting, setting up a boardwalk between the beach’s elevator and stairs and installing “support equipment” such as showers and foot-wash stations as well as new shady areas.

The inauguration ceremony, which saw the mayor unveil a commemorative plaque, was attended by several other council and municipal assembly members, local parish council presidents, representatives from local authorities, associations, and sports clubs, as well as several local citizens who “made a point of attending to witness this significant moment.”

Photo: CMA/Rui Gregório

Several other events were also organised to celebrate Albufeira’s municipal holiday. Eleven local institutions were honoured at town hall for the work they carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among them were Paderne Paroquial Centre, Albufeira’s Santa Casa da Misericórdia, Albufeira Health Centre, Humanitarian Association of Albufeira Volunteer Firefighters, the Humanitarian Solidarity Association of Albufeira, and Albufeira GNR police.

The list also included Conference of Saint Vincent of Paul, Conference of Saint Joseph of Ferreiras, António Silva Leal Foundation, the Albufeira delegation of CASA, and the Municipal Civil Protection.

The ceremony was described as “very emotional” for all involved.

“In Albufeira, we had good examples of people who guided themselves with irreprehensible ethics, in order to fight and contradict an invisible growing monster. People like us died. That monster was named Covid-19, and is still, unfortunately, among us,” said mayor Rolo.

While Albufeira was not one of the boroughs worst affected by Covid-19, it still suffered “a lot of pain,” which could have been even worse “if not for the selflessness of the men and women of these institutions, who put the lives of others ahead of their own,” added the mayor.

Festivities ended with a concert by Portuguese Fado singer Mariza at night, in front of a crowd of over 40,000 people, as well as a firework show.