Ibiza. Corfu. The beachfront towns of the Canary Islands. For many Europeans, the resorts that symbolize these places have become synecdoches for herds of tourists and WAGs. They’re beautiful, yes, but the problem seems to be that everyone around you is just as attracted to that beauty as you are. This problem can turn a relaxing vacation into an odd sort of staycation, where the tourist spends all his time in a culture he already knew. That’s why the editors at IgoUgo appreciate a traveler who can wring an interesting experience out of a trip to one of these places. To our Traveler of the Week, Praskipark, who wrote a long journal about her trip to the Portuguese Algarve that we highly recommend to everyone, we say: kudos.
Differentiating herself from the casual tourist right off the bat, Praskipark writes about her long-term relationship with the district’s historic towns, namely Ferragudo:
“I have a strong bond with Ferragudo in the western Algarve and it all began 27 years ago when my family docked their boat in the harbour in Portimao. Sitting upon the wooden deck we could look over to Ferragudo and watch the fishermen bring their morning catch to the quay. Then, it was a traditional fishing village and had hardly been touched by development. At least once a week we would cross over to the pretty town to collect our post. In those days there were no private post boxes within the main post office in Portimao and we had to have the post delivered to our solicitor's office which was based near the quay. There was something magical about walking along this stretch of concrete, breathing in the sharp fresh air and catching the smell of salt and fish as the boats came in one by one with their daily catch.”
On Arrifana Beach, she makes a point of describing the physical features of the land as opposed to her leisure activities. The Portuguese coast offers her many beautiful vistas of rock formations, Atlantic whitecaps, rolling sand dunes and patches of scrub land. It also has, she says, “some of the strangest plants I have encountered. In Spring time the colour of the blooms are stunning but they are not the easiest of plants to touch as they seem to want to bite back. Every time I kneel down amongst the rocks to touch petals, stems and leaves I always come away with a nasty scratch or sting - it's as if they don't want to be handled only admired in their wild, rugged state.”
You make the Algarve seem new again, Praskipark. Travel purists of every kind should go and check out her journal.
More Adventures in Southern Europe on IgoUgo
Where to Eat in Barcelona
Things to Do in Italy
Photos of Greece
Posted by tdbeckwith (Thomas Beckwith)