Clube das Sarnadas is reborn to bring culture and create a pedestrian orientation school

“Project to Requalify the Facilities and Reactivate the Activities of the Sarnadas Sports and Cultural Club” is underway

Carla Ferreirinha, treasurer, and João Pedro Silva, president of the Sarnadas Sports and Cultural Club – Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação

It was 1983 when a group of residents decided to create the Clube das Sarnadas, which, until 2013, served to boost this village in the interior of the municipality of Loulé. Now, the inhabitants have come together again to reactivate the club, with the aim of reviving cultural traditions and creating a pedestrian orientation school.

In this village, located halfway between Alte and Benafim, 100 people live, there is a local accommodation, restaurant, cafe, honey and medronho production, and a project that was born in April last year and that many people have already taken to Sarnadas : the House of Esparto.

«We cannot complain about being a very aging village and losing inhabitants – this year we will even have two births. These projects have, in recent years, called some people here, Portuguese and foreigners, but they are not those who rent a house and leave, they are actually resident foreigners, who have integrated into the community and also support it», says resident João Pedro Silva, as we walk along the only main street in the village.

The houses are tidied up – and it can be seen that they are inhabited – and there are also new constructions and restorations.

Here, everyone knows everyone and it is common for them to be neighbors of family members. João Pedro Silva did not always live in Sarnadas, despite his entire family being from here.

I build a life in Lisbon and it was only in 2013 that he decided to move, with his wife and daughter, to Sarnadas, largely at the encouragement of the latter.

«When we came, we implemented local accommodation, “serro da window hostel”, we have a rating of 9,3 out of 10 in the comments on Booking, which is very positive and that is what also keeps us going, even though this is not our main livelihood. With this, we also started to captivate the villagers with little things, like street markets».


Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


In this village, there is an old tradition – the August festival (which has now been renamed “Sarnadas Sunset Fest”), which has not been held since 2008, and which returned in 2023, with a market, entertainment, foam throwing, DJ and other activities.

«The club's reactivation project began in August. Meanwhile, we have already had meetings with the Loulé Chamber, the IPDJ and the Parish Council. We have already presented the project to all these entities, they loved it and, therefore, I hope, everything is well on its way for them to support us», he tells the Sul Informação João Pedro Silva, current president of the Club's management, stressing that financial support is needed to rebuild the headquarters and then implement the next phase of the project, based on four objectives.

What the inhabitants want with the “Project for the Requalification of Facilities and Reactivation of the Activities of the Sarnadas Sports and Cultural Club”, which is expected to cost more than 60 thousand euros, is, according to the president, “to have a place to socialize where whether to hold parties and dances", «create the pedestrian orienteering school, which is something that doesn't exist in the Algarve", «use the space for Budo Taijutsu classes, because we have a federated person in that area», and «bet in active aging, providing the facilities with whatever is necessary for games and activities, which may include a short walking route, hiking, theater, among others».

Maria José Ramos was one of the founders of the club.


Esparto House. Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


«When we started with this, there was nothing, and we wanted to find a house to hold dances and entertain the village, so we started looking for any store that we thought was good, we would talk to people and say that we needed that to hold a dance. Someone remembered this little piece of land that you might sell, we went to talk to him and made a deal», he tells the Sul Informação, at the door of the house that she also helped build.

At the time, he says, «there was a lot of help from the Chamber», led by Mendes Bota.

The building and the club were rising and, for Maria José Ramos, it was sad to see the group disappear. Now, she couldn't be happier.

«I feel happy that it is being reborn and that the new people are picking up on it. I'm now there at Casa do Esparto, which is a project that was done and is really cool, it's such good therapy, I invite a lot of people who are retired to come here to school and now, of course, to visit the other initiatives ».

With the reactivation of the Club and the revitalization of all planned activities, the aim is to «invite more people to get to know the village and counter what is happening in other territories in the interior», emphasizes João Pedro Silva.

For the president of the Sarnadas Sports and Cultural Club, the village and this project «are on the right track» and that is what «has given us the strength to reach a successful conclusion».

«Often, people complain because the Chamber doesn't contribute with this or that, but, for the Chamber to contribute and help, people also need to have initiative, to create projects and present them and that's what we did here », concludes this resident.


Photos: Mariana Sedge | Sul Informação



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