About us

This blog has no advertising or sponsored links – and we do not make any profit from it at all. We write it simply because we love the beautiful Algarve where we live and call home, and want to share it with others. All comments and thoughts are our own, and links are used with permission.

All content © 2022 Dave & Alyson Sheldrake.

This blog is a joint effort by Dave and Alyson – so here’s a little bit about us:

Alyson – “Working full-time in education and the public sector in the UK left me with little time for my real love of painting. I am now able to work full-time as an artist from my home studio on the Algarve, creating modern acrylic paintings. I am also available for commissions, and complete Pet Portraits on request. I am also a writer having published three books under my ‘Algarve Dream’ series, and three books and a box set in my ‘Travel Stories Series’.”

You can find out more about Alyson’s work on her website www.alysonsheldrake.com


Dave – “Retiring from the Police has allowed me to spend more time with my camera, taking photographs that inspire and challenge me. I love finding myself on a beach just before sunset, capturing the beauty of the stunning Algarve coastline. I am also available for commissioned work, including photographing Property for Rent or Sale; Events, Family Celebrations and Portraits.”

You can see more of Dave’s photography on his website www.davesheldrake.photography

Logo FINAL - blackcrop


We welcome your comments and messages – but reserve the right to edit them if they include blatant advertising .. and if they are offensive we will not authorise them!

All text and images contained in this website are copyright © Alyson and David Sheldrake unless otherwise attributed. All rights are reserved. Content and images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected or used in any way without express written permission.

Contact us via email:


96 Responses to About us

  1. I really enjoy your blog! Congrats 😉

  2. Cassandra says:

    I just came across your blog–you guys have beautiful photography and great tips. Since I’m currently based in Madrid I hope to expand my Portuguese travels to the Algarve one of these days. Keep up the great shots!

    • ferragudofan says:

      thanks and glad you enjoyed the blog – have just checked yours out too – love the ’20’ questions!
      why not join us with our A ~ Z series – it would be great to find out more about Madrid and Spain…?

  3. Top 100 Exchange and Experience Blogs 2012

    Dear Aly & Dave,

    My name is Virgínia Rodrigues and I work for the language portal bab.la.

    I’m contacting you with regards to your blog.

    Every year we organize the “Top 100 International Exchange and Experience Blogs” competition (also known as IX12). We are looking for the top 100 blogs about life abroad because we really enjoy bringing the exchange blogger community together. Last year we had 220 participants and close to 5.000 votes. You can see the last year results here:

    Your blog has been nominated and will enter the competition unless you tell us not to. The nomination period goes from January 16th to January 29th, 11:59 p.m. CET (German Time). Feel free to tell other bloggers about the competition or nominate another blog yourself. Voting starts on January 31st and goes till February 12th, 11:59 p.m. CET (German Time). Results will be published February 14th. The winners will be decided based on user votes.

    If you don’t want to be included in the nomination list, please let us know by sending me an email and we won´t contact you again. You can also contact me by email (virginia@bab.la) if you have any further questions about the competition.

    Kind regards,
    Virgínia Rodrigues
    On behalf of bab.la and the Lexiophiles language blog

  4. IX12: Voting starts today!
    Dear Aly and Dave,

    We wanted to let you know that the voting phase for the IX12 (International eXchange and eXperience) blog competition starts today. Your blog is listed with its page title in the list (sorted from A to Z) here:

    Any user may vote once until February 12 when voting ends. The blogs will be ranked according to number of votes and the winner will be announced on February 14.

    In order to improve your chances of winning, we recommend you spread the word through your blog, to your users, family and friends so they can vote for your blog.
    We wish you good luck!

    On behalf of bab.la and the Lexiophiles team

    • ferragudofan says:

      thank you! I have no idea who nominated us for this award – but I am super excited about it!
      and to whoever you are that nominated us – THANK YOU very much! x
      expect a post very soon everyone – we have received lots of lovely awards in the last couple of weeks 🙂
      I am smiling a lot! 🙂

  5. IX12 – Voting ends February 12

    Hello Aly & Dave!

    This is just a quick reminder that voting for IX12 (International Exchange & Experience Blog Competition) ends on February 12, 11:59 PM German time.

    We have received over 6,000 votes so far! There is still time to get your blog on top of the list – just keep promoting it amongst your readers.

    The top 100 blogs will be announced on February 14th.

    Wishing you good luck,

    on behalf of bab.la and the Lexiophiles language blog

  6. Caddo Veil says:

    Thanks for visiting me today–WOW, your blog is FULL of SO Much!! I love all the pictures of churches, especially the old ruins (and I loved the butterfly!). I’ll have to come back when I have more time–off to start my day! God bless you abundantly.

    • ferragudofan says:

      you’re welcome – and thanks for returning here! The blog has only been going a year – and it has been a blast so far!
      looking forward to finding out more about you too
      Blessings to you too x

  7. Ariadne says:

    How I miss the Algarve! I had the good fortune to live there (off and on) for several years. I am addicted to your blog! Some day, I will return.Hello to my friends in Tavira and beyond. The countryside is best. Some day….

  8. Sounds awesome, I love travelling so I’ll definitely check back here.

  9. Thank you for reminding people how fantstic it is to live in Portugal! I have been in the Algarve since 2005 and also lived here in the 90’s, it is such a great place. We have a family run business in Faro and would love to have you visit. Please see my contact details below! Thanks again for this great blog!

  10. Jason says:

    Wow, you have put a huge amount of effort into this site. I am still just starting to skim read your posts but I will try and read them all. Thanks for all the useful information and good luck with your new life in the Algarve

  11. Pingback: A Big Thanks For The Awards Received – allaboutlemon

  12. ferragudofan says:

    thanks! that sounds great – I’ll check it out in the next day or so and get back to you if that’s ok?
    and thank you for asking – and your kind comments about the blog

  13. Keith Boak says:

    Hi, Beautiful site with excellent images. Congratulations. About to link to you from http://www.algarvephotographers.org – the website serving about 40 keen photographers of mixed ability who belong to the Algarve Photographers Group (APG) and who exhibit at the Museum in São Brás de Alportel. Please take a look at our website if you have the time – and if you want to link back, that would be great! Cheers, Keith Boak, APG Website Administrator

  14. restlessjo says:

    You’ve been “tagged” Aly, but only if you want to play, of course. http://restlessjo.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/kreativly-tagged/

    • ferragudofan says:

      oooh thanks! tough questions to choose from though! might need to put my thinking cap on before I choose one!
      thanks for thinking of me! 🙂 and Congrats on your Kreative Blogger award too!

  15. Pingback: Blog Theft! | Algarve Blog

  16. Pingback: Inspiring Blog Award | My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda

  17. ferragudofan says:

    thanks Nadia – not sure the link is working to your new badges – but I’ll email you – thanks for recommending us!

  18. isaiah43123 says:

    Your pictures are beautiful; I especially like Agnes and her adventures. 🙂 Thanks for deciding to tag along with My Hmmm Collection.

  19. Hi Dave & Aly! Thanks so much for following my blog! I look forward to reading about your expat adventures in Portugal! 🙂

  20. tobyo says:

    Greetings. I found your blog on East of Malaga’s blog which Marianne featured in her monthly photo challenge. I’ve only just learned about the Algarve and it looks so beautiful. Hopefully “when” I retire to southern Spain I’ll be able to check out the Algarve. I’m going to go check out some more of your blog. Wonderful images of Portugal here! and I’m always interested in expat blogs. Nice to meet you 🙂

  21. petrel41 says:

    Best wishes!

    There is an Algarve tag for Algarve blog posts on my blog as well:


  22. Miljo Anne says:

    hi there! for the first time i have been nominated for an award and I want to pass it on to you. I’ve nominated you for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. I know you have received a lot but please accept this and check out the rules at: http://miljoanne.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/wonderful-team-member-readership-award/

  23. Aly and Dave – You two have put together a very nice blog. Impressive artwork and photography. You’re a living “dynamic duo.” I look forward to “tagging along.”

  24. timr6 says:

    Thanks for following, you’ve got a great blog here!

  25. Hi Aly and Dave,
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I love, love, love your blog. The photography is stunning. Portugal is amazing. It is on my bucket list. We visited Athens, Florence and Rome this year with our kids. Best experience ever. My dream is to retire in Portugal or Spain. I love the South of Spain, Sevilla, in particular.

  26. petrel41 says:

    Hi Dave and Aly, congratulations!

    I have nominated your blog for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award.

    The rules of the award are at


  27. Pingback: Update, Blog of the Year Award « Pondering Spawned

  28. babso2you says:

    Good morning to you both! I just wanted to send a quick note of thanks for signing up to follow my blog! I hope that you will find it fun and entertaining! – B

  29. tchistorygal says:

    What great fun you must be having. I just retired from education in August, so you struck a cord. I don’t paint, though. Love the pictures. Hope to see lots more of you both here and there (my site). Thanks again for stopping by! Marsha 🙂

  30. Aly & Dave,

    I hope you don’t mind, but I just nominated the two of you for a Beautiful Blogger Award. Details right here: http://thepalladiantraveler.com/2012/12/06/cowardly-gunslinging-blogger-award/. Congrats!

  31. soumyav says:

    thank you for being on my blog and having a look around!

  32. Allure says:

    Thank you for your visit, comment and good wishes! I am happy to have found you – I will be following your blog from now on 🙂
    Have a wonderful day!

  33. Great Blog Aly and Dave. Your photography is stunning! I need you on my team. my lil’ Nikon’s not cutting it. 🙂 keep up the great work!

  34. IKB says:

    Congratulations on winning the Silver Expats Blog Award! That’s pretty cool, and thank you so much for visiting our site, it’s a great encouragement for us to continue blogging. Thanks again. – IKB

  35. Aly and Dave, thanks for stopping my page and congratulations on all your awards. Kudos on you blog your art work is wonderful and I will be back often to review your blogs and the wonderful things you share about your art work and Portugal.

  36. Congratulations! Very informative and interesting blog.

  37. Joyce says:

    Dear Aly & Dave,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Portugal, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  38. milkoaa says:

    Realy nice blog! I’m delighted I came across your it and was wondering if you or any of your readers can give me some advice about recruitment in. I’m working for a company that is looking to expand into Lisbon,Porto and Faro and was wondering if anyone had any advice on the best places to advertise locally. We are looking for English speaking businessmanagers so any advice would be greatly appreciated. We’ve advertised on Linkedin and Monster.com but haven’t had much luck attracting the right applicants.

  39. Kaylee says:

    Hello, such wonderful info, I am working my way thru your blog. My husband and I will be in your area late July/August, this is a exploratory trip to see where we want to live when we move there. We are looking for a place to stay for about 2 weeks we will have a car and love to drive and explore. Can you recommend any places to look that would be very reasonable, this is part of a 6 month trip so reasonable accommodations are a must for us. Any help would be appreciated. Just waiting for a reply from you to join your blog.

    • welcome to the blog – and we hope that we can help you. Late July August is going to be expensive wherever you go as it is the peak season of course … our friends have a lovely 1 bed apartment in a great location but not sure if it is going to be in budget for you – here’s the link
      If you are on Facebook send us a message on our page https://www.facebook.com/AlgarveBlog and we’ll send you some links to good Facebook groups that you can try to find accommodation through …

      • Kaylee says:

        Thanks Alyson/Dave the apartment is just beautiful, but yes that is way out of our budget, spending over 800 a week of course comes to 3200 a month in accommodations – so I think we need to look inland a bit and just come and do trips down to the beach area. Lol still working my way thru your blog and I have to say you are very convincing, we had ruled Portugal off of our short list because their Visa process is more difficult, but now will look again. But I think you have to have a working knowledge of the language, my husband should have no problem as he is Spanish and even taught it for Customs for a few years, me I took it way, way back in high school, so am trying to learn from him some. I will go add you to my facebook page, I already have a Malaga page there, another place we are looking at.

        But no matter which country we get a visa in, we already know we want to spend a lot of time in the Algarve. Thanks again.


        • you’re welcome – we thought it might be too expensive! inland will definitely be cheaper for you – I’ll keep an eye out if we see anything suitable we can email you – and good luck with everything .. you know where we are if we can help!

          • Kaylee says:

            Thanks so much I will be off to check this out, and really if you hear of anything or can think of a particular town/area to look into that would be more reasonable any advice is GREATLY appreciated. We really lucked out and are staying with some Brits in Valencia for month for 500.00 euros, have our own room, bath and can share their lounge and kitchen if we want along with the pool. So things like that really help. When we first arrive we are in France and staying no more than 4 days in anyone place, found a few that were ok prices, but most are close the 90 – 100 or more mark every day so have to find places where we can counter balance that. And of course there really isn’t any way around high season.

            Can I ask you what the temperature is like where you are? We currently live in Florida but would at this point prefer less humidity for sure and maybe even less in temperature if possible. Is it cooler inland assuming there are mountains if you are away from the sea? Here in Florida it is of course better where we are out on the Island, when you go over to the mainland in a few miles it gets really hot and humid in the summer.

            I am working my way thru a bunch of sites looking at farm stays, Agrisports, and Agriturismos etc which is where we are staying in Italy for 2 weeks also found a great group of them up on the Northern Spanish coast after we leave Portugal but so far not much on the south east side of Spain and then finding in Portugal is next. Once we are past September I don’t think we will have as big a problem.

            Anyway I take you guys to bed with me every night and read until my eyes won’t stay open……lol perhaps when we are they we can meet up we have much in common, we are both avid photographers and hope to do something with the million or so photo’s we have and counting…………we took a 5 month journey this past year and explored 45 states and southern Canada, lots of SD cards………..what camera do you use? Your photos are wonderful. I have a Nikon D7100 and my husband uses a D800.


            • let us know what kind of area you would like to buy in – beach, village, mountain, away from the crowds, in the centre of things … then we can give you some ideas of where to explore…
              we can get up to 40 in the summer in july and especially august – but usually its about 34 in the peak summer – it’s often 17-18 in the day in the winter but it can drop to 3-4 degrees at night .. cold! at night in the summer it sometimes doesn’t drop to much below 26 … hot! the west coast is cooler as it has an Atlantic breeze …
              happy to meet up for a coffee when you are here – give us a shout! and Dave is a Canon man I’m afraid!! if you haven’t found his FB page yet it’s https://www.facebook.com/davesheldrakephotographer and website is http://www.davesheldrakephotography.com/

  40. Pingback: Tertúlia Algarvia in Faro – a quick restaurant review | Hidden Delights of the Algarve

  41. bikes_bics says:

    Really enjoying your very informative blog and great photos from the other end of the Algarve where we reside. Always good to have ideas of places to go on a (long) bike ride.


  42. Emma says:

    Dear Alyson & Dave,

    I work for the website ExpatFocus.com and recently included your blog in an article I wrote recommending expat blogs for our readers moving to or living in Portugal (the article is online at http://www.expatfocus.com/c/aid=2806/articles/portugal/portugal—recommended-blogs/).

    In addition to letting you know about the above I also thought you might be interested in completing one of our short “expat experience” interviews (by email) for publication at the site (previous examples can be found at http://www.expatfocus.com/expat-experiences-latest). These are a great way of introducing yourself to our membership and in addition to promoting them via the usual social media channels of Twitter, Facebook etc. we also include them in our monthly email newsletter. If the above sounds of interest please let me know and I’ll be very happy to send the questions through.

    Kind regards,


    Emma Creese
    Expat Focus
    E-mail: emma.creese@expatfocus.com
    Web: http://www.expatfocus.com
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/ExpatFocus
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/expatfocus
    LinkedIn Group: http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/673267

  43. Ruben says:

    Just ran into your blog and given that no one has left a message recently I wanted to thank you for sharing all this info 🙂 All the best!

  44. Georgia says:

    Hi, I’m a student from England doing a national geography competition. This year the topic is ‘your favourite place’. Last year I visited Benagil in Lagoa and I was wondering if you had any information, pictures, facts or links to information. I’ve had a bit of trouble finding information. Thank you for any help you can give me.

  45. Denise Gray says:

    Hi, just found your blog, can you give me any info on this years Carnival in Loule. We are looking for the day the main parade is. Is it Tuesday 13 Feb? We are a retired Canadian couple and we are here in Vilamoura till April.

  46. Anne Film says:

    Dear Mrs Sheldrake,

    I came across your blog when I googled creative arts in the Algarve. I am planning a visit to Lagos this winter to explore what living in the Algarve might be like. I am a citizen of the UK and have been living in Scotland for 30 years. I am in the process of retiring and want to see if I could make a life in the Algarve.

    I am emailing to ask if it would be possible to meet up for a coffee during my stay, it would be very helpful for me to talk with you and hear your thoughts and recommendations. I would like to follow my creative interests and become part of a community.

    I will look forward to hearing from you when your time allows,

    Best wishes for the Festive Season and
    Kind regards,
    Ps. I hope you dog is fully recovered 🙂

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