We are happy to welcome guest blogger Cartrin George Ponciano, author of our new insiders' guide for Portugal, 111 Places Along the Algarve That You Shouldn't Miss.
"If you look at the face, you cannot see the heart." ~ Fernando Pessoa, Poet
When I first started to search for all of the places that would go into my guidebook, 111 Places Along the Algarve That You Shouldn't Miss, I got stuck.
What could I write about this world famous, sunshiny paradise of a coast, with its magically bizarre, red limestone cliffs, romantic Moorish mountain villages, vibrant and modern port towns, and unforgettable yet rough West Coast?
I wanted to dip deeper into the region. I wanted to write about obvious places you might see but you never stop to really get to know. Or places you’ve never bothered to look at before because they didn't attract you enough to visit or seemed too far off the usual holiday sightseeing route.
The key to unlocking my inspiration was the “Junction of Freedom” (chapter 86) in my chosen hometown of Portimâo, a typical port town suspended between the glory of past and the reality of the present. In Portimâo beats the heart of Zeca Afonso, a man with a vision for the future, and we find a road Junction telling the story of freedom of the Portuguese people, who endured two revolutions in one century. Here we find the residence of the father of Portuguese democracy Mário Soares, as well as the roots of opportunity for women to acquire wealth during industrial times.
And so there it was, right in front of me: my list of places, starting at my own front door. So pick up the book, get comfortable, and let me tell you about the 111 places and their stories that I discovered during journey through the light-filled Algarve.
I’ll share astonishing legends of kings and knights, peers and spies, precious princesses and courage women. You will find a Buddhist shrine in a mountain village, shiver in a flood mill by the sea while listening to the cries of a Moorish princess, and feel a sense of the sublime on the edge of a cliff where once the divinest, sandal clad Knights Templar prayed in secret.
You are welcome to come and enjoy my 111 gems along the Algarve, but know that when (if) you leave, you will understand the feeling of saudade, the melancholy of nostalgia brought on by the fondest of memories.
Sejam bem vindos!
111 Places Along the Algarve That You Shouldn't Miss (Emons Verlag)
The de Graça Monastery is decorated with mysterious symbols, figure,
You'll come upon this Buddhist Stupa in a mountain village.
The Stone Tear tells the story of a Moorish Princess who fell in love with a peasant boy.
Also enjoy our new guidebook, 111 Places in Lisbon That You Must Not Miss!
You can find 111 Places Along the Algarve That You Must Not Miss and the entire 111 series online and in your favorite shops.