Azulejos date as far back as the 13th century, when the Moors invaded the lands of Spain and Portugal, but they secured their foothold in Portuguese culture between the 16th and 17th centuries. The word azulejo stems from Arabic roots, meaning ‘small polished stone’. In all likelihood this referred to mosaics, originally fairly simple structures cut into geometric shapes in neutral tones.
These photos were taken on a short trip to the Algarve in Southern Portugal two years ago. The majority of the shots of house fronts were gathered in one street in a small fishing village. Before going on a trip abroad I usually give some time to investigating things on Google Earth that look interesting. I "Street View" down streets to see where the interesting parts of town are.
We were due to stay in Tavira so I researched what villages nearby were worth visiting. A short drive through the salt pans brings you to Santa Luzia. There are only four main narrow streets running parallel with the water front so I "Street Viewed" my way down the second one and almost every house had tiled fronts in many different patterns. So guess where we went.
A bonus was a sea front lined with seafood restaurants where I had chargrilled octopus for the first time. I can't wait to have it again.