. . . actually isn’t that easy! There are very few books, including Tourist guides, on the Algarve. We can only assume this is because most visitors tend to head straight for the beach or golfcourse, and so don’t need a guide. The lack of older publications we suspect reflects the fact that in the 19th and 20th centuries the Algarve was too difficult for tourists to find, and those that did make it were not the type of explorer to keep or publish a journal or guide.
On our very first visit we took the most modern one we could find which was a Marco Polo. A 2012 edition gave us the confidence that most of the information would be less that 18months old, and it was a very useful guide for the first few visits. Since then we have tended to use blogs and other social media to discover new places, however being married to a Antiquarian Bookseller means there is always an urge to find an actual book especially as both of us enjoying learning about the Algarve, its people and its history. It has proved a little bit of a challenge though to find things, but as you can see from the picture we are getting there!
A recent find ‘Portugal’s Other Kingdom‘ has been a real delight. The author – Dan Stanislawski – was a Texan and I found the book when in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago! His focus was the geography of the region – covering the landscapes, the people, environment and places. Despite now being over 50 years old his writings still offer insight and his book is available via print on demand. We have thoroughly enjoyed reading his work, and are only sorry that so much of what he captured in photographs has long since disappeared.
Our latest find, another 1960’s publication, is authored by Dr Frederic P. Marjay and is simply entitled ‘Algarve’. It appears to have been produced as a form of promotional literature, similar to the promotional hardback books you sometimes find in hotels. You know the ones I mean they always have ‘not to be removed’ on the cover and mostly seem to include photographs of shops and other hotels in the area! There are only a few pages of text compared to 88 pages of photographs, and certainly would have encouraged the emerging tourist trade in the 1960s. I’m going to share more photographs from this book in another post in a few days as there are some lovely ones of Olhão, for now though here are just a few of other areas in the Algarve to give you a taste of what is to come.