Porto Santo, Portugal

Praised Be the Island of Porto Santo


Fishing Corner
Humanized corner of Porto Santo beach.
Atlantic Pools
The natural pools of Porto de Salemas.
Gold and Emerald
Bathers frequent the golden-emerald beach of Penedo.
Ponta da Calheta vs Ilheu da Cal
Boqueirão de Baixo and the islet of Cal as seen from Ponta da Calheta.
Organ Tubes
The organ pipes, eccentric geological formation, at the base of Pico de Ana Ferreira.
against giants
Moinhos do Porto Santo, near the Miradouro da Portela.
Dark-haired
Tight and deep inlet on the island of Porto Santo.
natural balance
Carolina Freitas in balancing act at Gruta do Pico Ana Ferreira.
Unguarded Beach
Unusual bathing area of ​​Praia das Salemas.
Iron Silhouettes
Silhouettes of the island of Ferro and beyond.
Barrels
Exuberant barrillas give more color and more life to Porto Santo.
King Kong
Port of Salemas with the King Kong rock in the background.
Porto Santo Lines
View of the island of Porto Santo from the Calheta viewpoint.
Pedra do Zimbralinho Beach
Geological forms produced by volcanism, in the Zimbralinho inlet.
in someone's footsteps
Footsteps mark a path on the large beach on the island of Porto Santo.
Rise
Carolina Freitas climbs the Pico de Ana Ferreira.
Port of Salemas
Empty tide at Porto das Salemas, with the King Kong rock in the distance.
Porto Santo Vineyard
Vineyards separated by reed hedges.
End of the walk
A visitor to Ponta da Canaveira, overlooking the Ilhéu de Ferro.
golden afternoon
Golden steps on the beach of Porto Santo island.
Discovered during a stormy sea tour, Porto Santo remains a providential shelter. Countless planes that the weather diverts from neighboring Madeira guarantee their landing there. As thousands of vacationers do every year, they surrender to the softness and immensity of the golden beach and the exuberance of the volcanic sceneries.

When you arrive at the Ponta da Calheta viewpoint, the strait at the edge of the endless beach of Porto Santo makes the sea less deep.

It paints the Boqueirão de Baixo in a resplendent turquoise blue that contrasts with the geological blackness and rawness of Ilhéu da Cal beyond.

Today, the golden and translucent look that made the large beach the main financial attribute of the island reveals little or nothing about the hardships that successive generations of Portosantenses have gone through due to the largest of its islanders.

Since the remote times of the island's colonization, the inhospitable dryness of Porto Santo – from 1940 onwards, for example, twelve years have passed without rainfall – made it impossible to grow crops and meadows that would allow for the creation of larger animals.

Any and all raw materials found there had doubled value. This was the case of limestone, the lime fountain that eventually inspired the baptism of the also called Ilhéu de Baixo.

Ilhéu da Cal, Porto Salemas, Porto Santo Island, Portugal

Boqueirão de Baixo and the islet of Cal as seen from Ponta da Calheta.

Ilhéu de Baixo and the Era Portosantense da Cal

During the XNUMXth century, some entrepreneurs saw in the mineral diversity of the sub-archipelago of Porto Santo a wealth that made it possible to alleviate the islands' agricultural and livestock needs. Limestone quarries were installed in the still called Ilhéu de Baixo.

Extracted at great cost, from mines and galleries, the limestone was transported by boat to the mother island and, there, transformed into lime for the buildings that grew in Porto Santo, even more so on the island of Madeira, which Portosantenses became accustomed to provide in exchange for vegetables, fruits, and other groceries they had difficulty obtaining.

Limestone was cooked in large ovens with an inverted cone shape. There were seventeen. And they released an intense aroma that, at times, the natives of the island recognized wherever they went.

Even if limestone was fired at extremely high temperatures, no stage of lime production was as risky as that of extraction. There were several accidents in mines and quarries. In a single rockfall, sixteen men perished.

In recent decades, tourism has begun to make up for Porto Santo's shortcomings. Some of these ovens have been preserved as an essential historical heritage of the island.

They attract the most curious outsiders to whom the stronghold of the great golden sand, by itself, does not make for a good holiday.

Porto Santo Island Beach, Portugal

Footsteps mark a path on the large beach on the island of Porto Santo.

Tour through Porto Santo Dourado. And for the Dramatic Legacy of Volcanism

Especially for those who come from a period spent on the neighboring island of Madeira, or from landlocked countries or with a rocky coastline, the great beach of Porto Santo appears as a kind of real mirage, like a dream of bathing pleasure with 9km of which it costs to wake up.

Carolina Freitas, the native guide responsible for showing us her island knows the way well. All Inclusive All Beach and Sloth where too many visitors spend their days. Accustomed to repeating the island's most rewarding hikes and explorations, she maintains an impressive physical vigor which, in a phase of inactivity typical of the confinement that forced the Covid 19 pandemic, forced us to redouble our efforts.

“Even being Domingo, this can never do me harm” Carolina assures us in her imperturbable good mood.

“I haven't been able to go to the gym for a while, but these walks are as good or better,” he adds, as he climbs the hundreds of natural steps of Pico de Ana Ferreira, as if his ascent were just any joyful walk.

Pico de Ana Ferreira, Porto Santo Island, Portugal

Carolina Freitas climbs the Pico de Ana Ferreira.

To the Conquest of Pico de Ana Ferreira

Pico de Ana Ferreira is one of the contained elevations of Porto Santo, an island formed around 14 million years ago. It proves to be exceptional for its geological configuration, not so much for the 283 meters that constitute the zenith of the west of the island.

Tensional whims of the cooling of the magma that shaped Porto Santo dictated that this mound was made of almost perfect prismatic columns, oriented in different directions. Some appear lying down. Other obliques. Still others, with a predominance at the base, vertical, or just slightly tilted in the form of Organ Tubes, as they were nicknamed.

Organ Tubes, Porto Santo Island, Portugal

The organ pipes, eccentric geological formation, at the base of Pico de Ana Ferreira.

Carolina climbs the mugearite steps, one by one, two by two, among bushes and cactuses, still and always at the pace of a professional rail runner. Keeping on the chase of the cicerone wears us out.

We regained your company, let your heart recover from the torture we subjected it to. We then learn about the peculiar historical context behind the hill's name.

It confirms a more outspoken sector of history that, despite the nickname “The Perfect Prince”, the King of Portugal and the Algarves, D. João II, had a bastard daughter. Pressured by the court not to complicate life for her father and the kingdom, Ana Ferreira moved to the island of Porto Santo. More than settling there, say the people of Porto, that you made the island your fief.

Well, right from the first years of its settlement, Porto Santo was targeted by Berber pirates. When threatened, the people hid in Pico do Castelo, in the extreme northeast of the island. And, it is also said that, even bastard and exiled, Ana Ferreira did not mix with the populace.

Instead, he took refuge in the hill that Carolina had made us conquer, who knows if in the cave that, in the meantime, reveals to us and where it is

Pico Ana Ferreira Cave, Porto Santo Island, Portugal

Carolina Freitas in balancing act at Gruta do Pico Ana Ferreira.

We spent a lot of time admiring the elliptical-shaped panorama of the island, engaged in acrobatic-photographic experiments.

The Inaugural Discovery of the island of Porto Santo

Let's diverge from conquest to discovery. It must be made as clear as Carolina left us that Porto Santo was the first of the islands that Portuguese navigators found today.

Even though, in the image of Madeira, it had already appeared on maps since at least 1339, Porto Santo was found, in 1418, by accident during an expedition commanded by João Gonçalves Zarco, in which Tristão Vaz Teixeira and Bartolomeu Perestrelo also participated.

Infante Dom Henrique had instructed navigators in the service of the crown to find new territories west of Africa. As they guided the return through the Return from the Sea, a storm caused the ships to deviate from their usual course.

Unbeknownst to him, the storm pushed the boats into a sheltered cove. The double fortune of finding shelter and a territory that, unlike the Canary Islands, the Castilian rivals had not yet claimed, he gave rise to the religious baptism of Porto Santo.

Inlet of Porto Santo Island

Tight and deep inlet on the island of Porto Santo.

Let's return to our own discovery of the island. In the time we dedicated to it, we were dazzled by countless coves that volcanism seems to have made inaccessible, at least by land, one of the most impressive to us, at the bottom of the Morenos cliff.

Others, around Furado do Norte and Ponta da Canaveira, overlooking the Ilhéu de Ferro, approached by a narrow trail on top of dizzying cliffs that Carolina investigates out of nowhere in a rush.

Ilhéu do Ferro, Porto Santo Island, Portugal

Silhouettes of the island of Ferro and beyond.

We took a peek at Zimbralinho cove, this one, accessible, owner and lady of a raw and dark look with a lot of Icelandic. We still move to the northwest of the island where we descend to the rocky and intricate seaside of Porto das Salemas.

We arrived at low tide, as advised.

Porto das Salemas, Porto Santo Island

Empty tide at Porto das Salemas, with the King Kong rock in the distance.

A very stiff sign, stuck among large pebbles and next to a single example of a yellow sun lounger, makes it clear that this is a Beach Not Watched.

At that late hour, not only did no one watch her, but no one else attended her.

Praia das Salemas, Porto Santo Island, Portugal

Unusual bathing area of ​​Praia das Salemas.

Dazzled by its rocky eccentricity, we circled from puddle to puddle, studied salemas, limpets and whelks.

And we contemplate the distant cliff of King Kong, long conformed to the marine solitude to which it was devoted.

Natural pools of Porto Salemas, Porto Santo Island, Portugal

The natural pools of Porto de Salemas.

Vila Baleira and the Inescapable Presence of Christopher Columbus

We return to the outskirts of Vila Baleira, despite having less than 6.000 inhabitants, the capital of the island of Porto Santo.

We walk along the beach. We divert to its golden dunes. From the top of one of them, we find the snail vineyards spread out over the sandy soil, between hedges with crochet walls, reeds and bushes.

We admire the beauty of those almost playful vineyards that, every year, renew the peculiar wine of Porto Santo, refined in the six centuries of the island's always challenging settlement.

From the dunes and their vineyards, we enter the alleys of Vila Baleira. In one of them, we come across the house where Christopher Columbus, from an early age, well connected with the court and with Portuguese nobles, deigned to live in the city.

Circumstances dictated that, following the discovery of the island, Bartolomeu Perestrelo was appointed the first Captain-Donator of Porto Santo, in 1445.

As others determined that, in 1479, three years after settling in Lisbon, the Genoese navigator would marry in Vila Baleira Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, daughter of Bartolomeu Perestrelo and granddaughter of Filippo Pallastrelli, a nobleman of Italian origin who, after move to Lisbon and live in Porto, he saw the Portuguese nickname.

The Marriage Link between Columbus and Perestrelo, the Pioneer Family of Porto Santo

Up to two years before her marriage, Filipa Perestrelo remained commander of the Mosteiro de Santos, in Lisbon, an exclusive monastery of the high nobility, frequented by King João II and by Cristóvão Colombo, who used to go to mass there. It is estimated that between repeated conversations and interactions with Filipa Perestrelo, the wedding was scheduled, which was convenient for both of their life plans.

In 1478, Columbus had secured a foothold in the export business of sugar produced in Madeira, estimated to be from Paolo di Negro, an Italian merchant.

By that time, Columbus was already aiming to become a reputed discoverer. Filipa Perestrelo would open the way to her father's influence and nautical knowledge. Some historians even guarantee that Columbus' mother-in-law gave him Bartolomeu Perestrelo's maps and cartography documents.

It was in Porto Santo and Madeira that Columbus devised a good part of the project of reaching the West Indies, a project that the Portuguese Crown, however, refused to support.

Christopher Columbus he ended up unveiling the Americas to the Old World, in October 1492, twelve or thirteen years after his marriage in Lisbon.

From Challenging Subsistence to Mainly Tourist Prosperity

In the half-millennium that has just passed, the intrepid settlers of Porto Santo did everything to overcome adversity, especially the repeated droughts, aggravated by intensive deforestation, necessary for firewood and the construction of a little bit of everything.

And because of the uncontrolled reproduction of the rabbits that we see jumping around the island, it is said that they are descendants of a single pair of rodents released by Bartolomeu Perestrelo, aware that it would be difficult to attract and keep villagers if they had to subsist only on fishing, on capture of the island's prolific birds and snails.

Better or worse, over time, the Prophets – as the Portosantenses are also called – ensured their life on the island and perfected fascinating and now famous means of what began as mere subsistence.

This is the case of the architecture of the Casas de Salão and the matamorras where they sheltered from the pirates. And, in a gastronomic context, wine, corn porridge and fried corn, also the bolo do caco that Carolina Freitas and Portosantenses in general defend tooth and nail to have been raised in Porto Santo, not Madeira.

Today, Porto Santo offers much smoother landings than its neighbor and memorable Atlantic retreats. We will return as soon as possible.

 

To book activities in Porto Santo contact DUNAS VIAGENS E TURISMO

dunastravel.com

+351 291 983 088

[email protected]

 

 

 

Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.
São Miguel (Azores), Azores

São Miguel Island: Stunning Azores, By Nature

An immaculate biosphere that the Earth's entrails mold and soften is displayed, in São Miguel, in a panoramic format. São Miguel is the largest of the Portuguese islands. And it is a work of art of Nature and Man in the middle of the North Atlantic planted.
Santa Maria, Azores

Santa Maria: the Azores Mother Island

It was the first in the archipelago to emerge from the bottom of the sea, the first to be discovered, the first and only to receive Cristovão Colombo and a Concorde. These are some of the attributes that make Santa Maria special. When we visit it, we find many more.
Terceira Island, Azores

Terceira Island: Journey through a Unique Archipelago of the Azores

It was called the Island of Jesus Christ and has radiated, for a long time, the cult of the Holy Spirit. It houses Angra do Heroísmo, the oldest and most splendid city in the archipelago. These are just two examples. The attributes that make Terceira island unique are endless.
Flores Island, Azores

The Atlantic ends of the Azores and Portugal

Where, to the west, even on the map the Americas appear remote, the Ilha das Flores is home to the ultimate Azorean idyllic-dramatic domain and almost four thousand Florians surrendered to the dazzling end-of-the-world that welcomed them.
Horta, Azores

The City that Gives the North to the Atlantic

The world community of sailors is well aware of the relief and happiness of seeing the Pico Mountain, and then Faial and the welcoming of Horta Bay and Peter Café Sport. The rejoicing does not stop there. In and around the city, there are white houses and a green and volcanic outpouring that dazzles those who have come so far.
Capelinhos Volcano, Faial, Azores

On the trail of the Capelinhos Mistery

From one coast of the island to the opposite one, through the mists, patches of pasture and forests typical of the Azores, we discover Faial and the Mystery of its most unpredictable volcano.
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to Raia da Serra Peneda - Gerês

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Sistelo, Peneda-Gerês, Portugal

From the "Little Portuguese Tibet" to the Corn Presidia

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Campos do GerêsTerras de Bouro, Portugal

Through the Campos do Gerês and the Terras de Bouro

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Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

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Paul do Mar a Ponta do Pargo a Achadas da Cruz, Madeira, Portugal

Discovering the Madeira Finisterre

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Terra Chã and Pico Branco footpaths, Porto Santo

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Graciosa, Azores

Her Grace the Graciosa

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The Improbable Atlantic Shelter of Corvo Island

17 km2 of a volcano sunk in a verdant caldera. A solitary village based on a fajã. Four hundred and thirty souls snuggled by the smallness of their land and the glimpse of their neighbor Flores. Welcome to the most fearless of the Azorean islands.
São Jorge, Azores

From Fajã to Fajã

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Portal to a Nearly Tropical Portugal

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Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal

The Eastern, Somehow Extraterrestrial, Madeira Tip

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Vale das Furnas, São Miguel (Azores)

The Azorean Heat of Vale das Furnas

We were surprised, on the biggest island of the Azores, with a caldera cut by small farms, massive and deep to the point of sheltering two volcanoes, a huge lagoon and almost two thousand people from São Miguel. Few places in the archipelago are, at the same time, as grand and welcoming as the green and steaming Vale das Furnas.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
safari
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
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Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

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Traditional houses, Bergen, Norway.
Architecture & Design
Bergen, Norway

The Great Hanseatic Port of Norway

Already populated in the early 1830th century, Bergen became the capital, monopolized northern Norwegian commerce and, until XNUMX, remained one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Today, Oslo leads the nation. Bergen continues to stand out for its architectural, urban and historical exuberance.
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Adventure
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

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Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

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Itamaraty Palace Staircase, Brasilia, Utopia, Brazil
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Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

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Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
Meal
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

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Garranos gallop across the plateau above Castro Laboreiro, PN Peneda-Gerês, Portugal
Culture
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to the Rim of the Peneda – Gerês Range

We arrived at (i) the eminence of Galicia, at an altitude of 1000m and even more. Castro Laboreiro and the surrounding villages stand out against the granite monumentality of the mountains and the Planalto da Peneda and Laboreiro. As do its resilient people who, sometimes handed over to Brandas and sometimes to Inverneiras, still call these stunning places home.
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Sport
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

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jet lag avoid flight, jetlag, turbulence
Traveling
Jet Lag (Part 1)

Avoid Post-Flight Turbulence

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Elalab, aerial view, Guinea Bissau
Ethnic
Elalab, Guinea Bissau

A Tabanca in the Guinea of ​​Endless Meanders

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sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

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scarlet summer
History

Valencia to Xativa, Spain (España)

Across Iberia

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Islands
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok. The Bali Sea Deserves such a Sonda

Long overshadowed by the neighboring island's fame, Lombok's exotic settings remain unrevealed, under the sacred protection of guardian Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia's second-largest volcano.
Sampo Icebreaker, Kemi, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Literature
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, Canterbury, New Zealand
Nature
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Flock of flamingos, Laguna Oviedo, Dominican Republic
Natural Parks
Oviedo Lagoon, Dominican Republic

The (very alive) Dominican Republic Dead Sea

The hypersalinity of the Laguna de Oviedo fluctuates depending on evaporation and water supplied by rain and the flow coming from the neighboring mountain range of Bahoruco. The natives of the region estimate that, as a rule, it has three times the level of sea salt. There, we discover prolific colonies of flamingos and iguanas, among many other species that make up one of the most exuberant ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola.
Semeru (far) and Bromo volcanoes in Java, Indonesia
UNESCO World Heritage
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java

The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Characters
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Princess Yasawa Cruise, Maldives
Beaches
Maldives

Cruise the Maldives, among Islands and Atolls

Brought from Fiji to sail in the Maldives, Princess Yasawa has adapted well to new seas. As a rule, a day or two of itinerary is enough for the genuineness and delight of life on board to surface.
gaudy courtship
Religion
Suzdal, Russia

Thousand Years of Old Fashioned Russia

It was a lavish capital when Moscow was just a rural hamlet. Along the way, it lost political relevance but accumulated the largest concentration of churches, monasteries and convents in the country of the tsars. Today, beneath its countless domes, Suzdal is as orthodox as it is monumental.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
Buffaloes, Marajo Island, Brazil, Soure police buffaloes
Society
Marajó Island, Brazil

The Buffalo Island

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Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Tombolo and Punta Catedral, Manuel António National Park, Costa Rica
Wildlife
PN Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Little-Big National Park

The reasons for the under 28 are well known national parks Costa Ricans have become the most popular. The fauna and flora of PN Manuel António proliferate in a tiny and eccentric patch of jungle. As if that wasn't enough, it is limited to four of the best typical beaches.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.