It's not like the Algarve ever really shuts down, but there is a noticeable change that occurs as we move from August into September, akin to the change of day moving into night.
The chaos that typified a visit to the supermarkets will now revert to simply being a required chore, no longer something to be avoided at all costs. We do appreciate that even visitors have to eat, but sometimes the sight of a store full of cloned sets of Mom, Dad and 2.4 kids, all trying to read the cornflakes box in Portuguese, gets too much for even the stalwart shopper.
The traffic on the EN125 will now thin out, and parking at Algarve Forum and Algarve Shopping will again be possible. It will even soon be possible to park within walking distance of the beaches.
The temperatures are already moving to a level of greater stability, with less swing between the heat of the day and the cool of the night. Rain may well show itself after it's own summer holidays, which I believe it took in the UK this year.
As heralded by the twilight of our picture, we are now moving into a different time, a calmer, cooler and more relaxing time. Resident friends who have been in exile will now return, as will, we anticipate, normality.