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Culatra the charming fishermen village

Culatra the charming fishermen village

December 2019 · 3 min read · Algarve

Algarve, Portugal was once the bread basket of the whole nation. The quality and taste of food stuff from Algarve are famous all around Portugal.

Sunset on the serene lagoon behind Culatra island
Sunset on the serene lagoon behind Culatra island

The shrimp caught here go for 4-5 times the price of shrimp caught in other areas of Portugal. This is how tasty things are here.

Fishing is hard work. Fishermen remove seaweed from their nets on the dock in Culatra
Fishing is hard work. Fishermen remove seaweed from their nets on the dock in Culatra

Culatra is the name of a fishermen village located on what is basically a large sandbar between the ocean and mainland Portugal. There are no roads or vehicles on the island which is just 6 km long and very narrow.

A new morning in the Culatra lagoon
A new morning in the Culatra lagoon

There are 4 settelments on this sandbar island: Armona (the beach where everyone goes) , Farol (rich summer homes), Deserta (a deserted place...) and Culatra the fishermen village.

Culatra village at sunset
Culatra village at sunset

During storms, low areas on the island are flodded and impassable. But the village here does not require anything it seems. It is self sufficient. The locals have all they need.

In recent years the fishermen realized the great value of tourism. Indeed this is when tourists atrted coming here in larger numbers. They come for both the special atmosphere of a laidback oceanside village and the great ocean sandy beach.

The wide ocean was calm in August, off Culatra island
The wide ocean was calm in August, off Culatra island

To get to the beach people walk about 20 minutes from the village. The trail is well laid out and comfortable. It includes long wooden bridges passing over the flooded, low areas.

Between the island and the mainland there's a large natural lagoon where many yachts are anchored peacfully. On the day I arrived here with the boat, a full moon eclipse was visible during sunset. Amazing timing.

Church. Culatra island

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In the restaurants it is always a festival. Large tables of families and friends receive an endless stream of seafood platters from the busy kitchen. Of course beer and wine are in abundance.

Here I met a local sailor who sailed around to Brazil and back. He gave me excellent information about the islands of the Atlantic. He also explained that the stage being built in the center of the village is for a celebration of a certain saint the fishermen regard as their guardian. Tomorrow. It takes place on August 4th every year. Cannot remeber the name though.

Street light. Culatra island
Street light. Culatra island

During this day, all fishing boat gather in the water in front of the local church. They drink a lot of beer and then come to shore. We had to leave early on the 4th so we missed it but we got a good understanding when we encountered the strangest weather and visuals on that day. But this is already a whole new story.

Agave tree. Culatra island

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