Curral das Freiras. The refuge of the Nuns

03 Nun's Valley

It’s 1566 and French pirates are attacking Funchal. A group of Nuns fled from the Convent of Santa Clara and sought refuge in the mountains. The valley they chose was was a crater surrounded by extinct volcano’s and hidden from the rest of the island.

The valley was very isolated and remained practically hidden until the mid 20th century when the first roads were drilled through the mountain. It was not until 1986 that television arrived with other modern devices.

In recent years new tunnels made been constructed and the Valley of the Nuns is now just a quick ride from Funchal. It is included on many half day tours, most of which first call in at Eira do Serrado. This lookout point at 1006m (3300ft) gives a birds eye view of the village with its whitewashed houses.

01 Nun's Valley02 Nun's Valley

We found the actual village a little disappointing. Just souvenir shops and cafes and very congested. The centre of attention was the church that we had planned to visit. However it was Sunday and Mass was taking place so we were unable to enter.

The village is also famous for its chestnuts and cherries and the liqueurs made from them.

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We wandered around and I spotted some Agapanthus flowers. We had seen these flowers lining some of the narrow roads up in the mountains. It was a bit early in the season and they were just coming into bloom. I could not resist taking a few photos.

15 Agapanthus

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About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
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