Thursday’s Special in Cacela Velha

Beyond the wall

Beyond the wall

There are few places more special to me than the tiny village of Cacela Velha in the Algarve.  Long before I ever came to Portugal I had read about it in the Rough Guide.   A cobbled path surrounds the church, and on a day with even the merest hint of sunshine you can sit on a bench, with your back against the church wall, and gaze dreamily out to sea.

The occasional footfall disturbs and a visitor will appear, round the corner.  Some will nod, “Bom dia!” with a trace of a smile.  Others avert their eyes or focus on the view beyond the wall.  There are two benches and sometimes the other is occupied.  A bike might be propped against the wall. There is no transport into the village.  The birds sing, and alight shyly on the wall.  All is peace and tranquillity.

The lagoon stretches as far as the eye can see

The lagoon stretches as far as the eye can see

The clouds stir and endlessly fascinate

The clouds bump and blend- endlessly fascinating

After a while I rise from the bench and walk round to the front of the church.  The carvings around the door each tell their own story.

The village is Sunday quiet, but then, it’s like that most days!  All of the activity centres on the cemetery and the bringing of fresh flowers.  But I know that this village can erupt into life.  I was there once for the Festival of Enchanted Nights.  Hookahs, Turkish tea and dancing ladies!  Can you imagine it?

Changes come, as they surely must, but I so hope that Cacela Velha hangs on to the integrity which, for me, makes it a very special place.

Wishing Paula a very special Thursday.  It’s her birthday!



  1. i love the carved details on the church door. What a heavenly place to be able to spend your retirement in. i would be in a hurry to pack my bags Jo 🙂

  2. You paint a beautiful canvas with your photos and words. Those white houses with the blue details … how picturesque. My favorite of this beautiful bunch … the last photo.

    1. You’ll have to come visit some day, to check I’m not falsifying the evidence! 🙂
      I like that one too, Vivi. Back from t’ai chi. Time for a teatime hug! (or a cup of coffee in my case, but that doesn’t sound so good 🙂 )

  3. Your tranquil description and peaceful pictures really capture the serenity you must feel in this special place. Can’t imagine the shift to Turkish dancing, but I bet it’s fun to watch. Love the new look of your blog, Jo. 🙂

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