A blanket of snow?!
Published on 12th February, 2019 by Natalia Martins
Escape the winter months and come to the Algarve where temperatures are currently around 18’C!
When you walk around the Algarve countryside at this time of year, you can’t fail to see the beautiful sights of the almond trees with their delicate white blossoms bringing the region to life; painting splashes of colour everywhere.
Almond trees are in bloom throughout February and March. Almonds are everywhere here – with huge vats of the nuts on sale at every market and almond based colourful sweets at pastry shops and cafés. But because most people head to the Algarve for its beaches in the summer, they miss out on the stunning beauty of the pretend ‘snow’ lit up by the warm sunshine.
But why are there so many almond trees here?
Legend has it that when the Algarve was still called Al-Gharb and ruled by the Moors, a young king, Ibn-Almundim, fell in love with a blue eyed, golden haired Nordic princess, Gilda. They got married, made their home in the Varandas Palace in Silves and the king loved her very much. But gradually as each day passed she became more depressed and she would sigh and shed tears of longing for her homeland. The king vowed to find out how he could cure her sadness and according to the tale, an elder told him that the Nordic princess missed seeing the snow she was so used to in her home country. The king ordered that thousands of almond trees were to be planted outside the palace so that when they were in bloom, she would look out of her window and see the landscape covered in a blanket of white petals, giving the appearance of freshly fallen snow. The princess was cured of her sadness almost immediately.