The Algarve, with its dazzlingly bright and oh-so uplifting light, is a region of hidden delights: of golden beaches framed by beautifully wrought limestone rocks; of simple restaurants where the taste of the fish – just caught, just grilled, and drizzled with local olive oil – will pull you back time and time again.
Inland, up in the hills of Monchique, days revolve around the seasons – killing the pig and gathering provisions for winter; collecting chestnuts and foraging berries to make the local firewater. Olives, oranges, carobs and almonds are picked and sold at markets. By the coast, you can see locals wading into the Atlantic at low tide to find cockles and barnacles. Fishermen, who learnt the trade from their fathers, go out to catch squid and octopus – just as local people have done for centuries.