Also the Algarve

The south of Portugal is known for things like fado, sunbathing and azulejos. But you can do a lot more in the Algarve. Did you know it’s also the place to play the didgeridoo, look at skulls and go ice-skating? Enjoy the Algarve tells you how & where.

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine December 2017

 

Learn to play the didgeridoo

The world’s oldest musical instrument originates from Northern Australia. But there’s no need to go all the way Down Under in order to learn to play the didgeridoo. In Penina, (near Salir), José João Cabrita Guerreiro will show you how to produce sound by blowing into a long hollow tube. The Rocha da Pena mountain in the background completes the scenery: it’s like having your own Algarvian Uluru.

How: get in touch with José (call 00351-960347577), contact the Associação Portuguesa de Didgeridoo, or visit their yearly didgeridoo festival in Sítio das Fontes in Estômbar (which is held end of August/beginning of September).

More music in the Algarve: listen to fado or play the Portuguese guitar.

 

Look at skulls

Discover the Algarve’s macabre side by visiting a bone chapel. Yes, that’s a chapel entirely made out of bones, which were dug up from the nearby cemetery. The ceiling and walls of the Ossuary in Faro feature the remains of over 1200 monks.

How: in Faro’s Nossa Senhora do Carmo church, make your way through the garden until you reach a small chapel. That’s the Capela dos Ossos (open Mon to Fri 9-13 & 15-18, Sat 9-13. Entry: €2). There’s also a small bone chapel in Alcantarilha (near Guia), next to its main church, which you can visit for free.

More churches in the Algarve: check out the interior of the Igreja de São Lourenço de Matos (east of Almancil) which is completely paved with blue and white azulejos. Or visit Tavira, the town with the most churches in the Algarve. Also cool: the views over the Ria Formosa from Faro’s cathedral.

 

Go ice-skating

Despite not having a freezing cold winter, it’s still possible to go ice-skating in the Algarve. Well, only around Christmas time, when the seasonal ice rinks are set up. This year, Forum Algarve boasts a rink with an outdoor area. There’s also a small rink in Albufeira.

How: go to Forum Algarve shopping centre in Faro. Ice-skating is possible until 7 January (11-14 & 16-22h, €2 for 20min) and skates can be rented onsite. Snowland Albufeira is open from 8 December to 7 January at the Praça do Município.

More sports in the Algarve: go wakeboardingmountain biking or try taekwondo. For winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, you’ll have to go to the Serra de Estrela (500km north) or the Spanish Sierra Nevada (500km east).

Picture below by Pech Frantisek

 

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine December 2017

Posted in Features.