Abril em PortugalTraditional Portuguese Music sequenced by Fernando de Brito Vintém

Algarve

Birgit and I have been to Portugal 3 timer. And every time we have come to the Province of Algarve. So I suggest, that we start from here. If you can't wait to go to Lisbon, no problema, just a click away. We'll catch up with you later. In Algarve we have explored the wonderful coastline and made trips to Sevilla in Spain and Lisbon in the north. The Arab dominance (from the 8th to the 13th centuries) has resulted in numerous monuments at Silves, Tavira, Faro etc. Throughout Algarve you see the Arab influence in sparkling whitewashed fronts of the houses, the terraces used for drying fruit, and the delicately worked chimneys. The houses are often decorated in blue, with white or yellow tiles. The landscape is dotted with olive groves, orange, lemon, and fig trees. You can still se mules pulling cart with loads of products to the local markets, where you'll find a wide range of hand-made crafts.
Some history of Portugal
Portugal emerged as a nation state in the early 12th century, and is one of the world's longest established countries (of course, not as old as Denmark, but quite impressive). In 1143 Portugal was turned into a kingdom. Dom Afonso Henriques became King of an independent Portugal. He had taken three quarters of present day Portugal from the Arabs, including Lisbon. After his death in 1185 the conquest was completed by his successors. Her boundaries have been unchanged since the 13th century.

Portugal is the westernmost point in Europe. It was from this little country that Prince Henry the Navigator financed expeditions, that led to the discovery of the New World. From his School of Navigation - you shall be seeing it in a moment or two - ships started their exploration of the boundless seas and the unknown world beyond.

The Fifteenth Century was Portugal's age of Discovery. First came Madeira Island, then the Azores, Cape Bojador, and Cape Verde. Then the Portuguese explorers reached Africa, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, giving Portugal it's own route to India. Vasco de Gama reached India, establishing Portuguese colonies, and Pedro Cabral discovered Brazil. Other Portuguese explorers reached the Far East, China and Japan. For that short moment in time, also known as The Age of Discovery, Portugal was the richest country in Europe.
The Province of Algarve
Algarve lies in the extreme south of Portugal. Bordered by a range of hills on the North, the sea on the South, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Guadiana river on the East, it has a special dry but soft climate. The beaches have fine sand, the villages are charming. Since the 60s, a lot of people have come to this area for refreshing holidays, ever-present sunshine and natural beauty, which is all around.

Algarve is the Portuguese equivalent to the French Riviera, Spanish Costa del Sol, American Florida or southern California, and the Danish westcoast. The sun and sea dominate the atmosphere of the Algarve, no wonder this paradise is called the "Garden of Portugal". The area has over one hundred miles of the finest beaches in Europe. And to this add the fact of three hundred days of sunshine a year. The region is dotted with Moorish villages with white washed houses.

The beaches really are fantastic, as you see from the foto from Universade do Algarve. With miles of sandy shore, lined with interesting coves - some only accessible by boat - and many unusual rock formations jutting out into the sea. Naturally, visitors flock to these beaches and some parts of the coastline are heavily built up. However, as most of the tourists tend to flock around the main beaches, by going a little further afield it is still possible to find relatively secluded coves.

The midifiles of Traditional Portuguese Music on this and the following pages have been sequenced by Fernando de Brito Vintém.