There are three main geographical areas within the Algarve – litoral (coastal land), barrocal (rolling limestone hills) and serra (mountainous), and over the past few days we have been exploring all three of them. I think my favourite day this week was when we were in the barrocal but that could have been because we had a simply wonderful lunch with a lovely fellow blogger and her husband at their home near Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo.

As you might expect the soil and geology in each area is quite different, and consequently the flora can also be very different. Fabulous for those like me interested in the flora as it means there is always something new to see as you move from the litoral to barrocal and up into the serra.

However as regular readers know I do struggle sometimes as a botanical tourist. I have learnt to take lots of photographs from various angles of each plant now which helps enormously, but even so the incredible range of wildflowers can be a bit of challenge when you get back home and attempt to identify everything. All of these photographs were taken in the last 7 days and there are still quite a few I’ve not included as I’ve yet to identify them. Thanks though to my new book Wildflowers in the Algarve backed up by the excellent Field Guide to the Wildflowers of the Algarve it is becoming easier.

PS I’ve organised my three slideshows by area in which I took the photograph: can you work it out?! Many of the wildflowers from the litoral will also be found in the barrocal. A couple of my photographs may not make sense until you discover where I took it, for example the Alexander was beside a tidal river in the mountains. At least I think it’s an Alexander!