First things first
Ever since I decided to go to Loulé, I was unsure about my pronounciation of the name, so I would pronounce the end of the word barely audible. Once I arrived there, I found out it pronounces as if you would say “low lay” and I think this way I will never forget. At first the name seemed French to me, but then I found out that it comes from the Arabic “al-ulya”, which means something on the lines of “the place on the hill”.
Loulé is a picturesque town in the Faro district of Portugal. It is located in the South of the country, in the popular area of Algarve. Perfect if you want to discover the area in a slow and relaxed pace. As any self-respecting town, Loulé has a castle:
It looks like a cool medieval fortress and it reminds me of my hometown.The castle was built in the 13/14th century, in an area previously settled by the Romans.
The best of both worlds
Although I hadn´t even heard the name of this place before arriving here, it´s interesting to know that Loulé is actually the largest municipality in the Algarve area and it includes Quarteira, which is known for its beaches and, thus, for its riche$:
Loule’ s best kept secret
If you are still not convinced that Loulé is the place to be, brace yourself because you are about to see the town´s secret. On top of the hill, there is an UFO!!!
Actually, it´s a church, called Nossa Senhora da Piedade. Inside, there is a shrine constructed in the early 18th century and a small chapel with a Baroque alter. During Easter there is a big procession there and a reenactment of scenes from the Bible.
I was lucky enough to see Loulé through the eyes of a local that was very proud of his hometown. He spoke about it with a passion that I rarely see. It happens often that we take for granted a place if we have lived there for a long time, let alone our whole life. But he seemed to have rediscovered all the little corners over again while showing them to me. It makes me wonder if I am as passionate about my hometown.