Are you ready to solve the riddles hidden within Olhão Tales Sculptures? Discover the myths, heroes, and hidden meanings embedded in each piece.

Map of Caminho das Lendas. Map of the 5 legend paths
Map of The Tales Path in Olhão. Photo credit to Olhão Museum.

What are the Olhão Tales Sculptures?

The Olhão Tales Sculptures are 5  sculptures located in the streets of Olhão. Each tells us a tale or a legend. 

This path is called the Caminho da Lendas or the Legends Path

These tales or legends tells us how the Ria Formosa was created by the gods of Atlantis, the boy who wouldn’t stop crying in the night. A fisherman that had a friend that only he could see. An old Man that was visited every night by a woman. A love story of even the impossible is possible.

Embark on this treasure hunt to find the Olhão tales sculptures through the narrow cobbled roads of Olhão.

This is a great family activity to do with kids of all ages. You must follow the signs and maps on the buildings leading you to each legend and its sculpture. Find the art sculptures and read the tale behind each.

Legends or Tales are stories that are told by the locals over generations. These are believed to be true, but there is no physical evidence that it really happened. If you ask any local they will say that without a doubt these tales are very much true. 

The tales path signage. where to find the Olhão Tales Sculptures
Signs indicating where to find the sculptures

Where to find the Olhão Tales Sculptures?

Olhão is known for being one of the best historic fishing towns in the Algarve. Not many people know about the Path of legends in the Old town of Olhão.

The legends path has no difficulty levels. It is like a treasure hunt. Look around on the buildings or narrow streets and you will always find a sign that will direct you to the next Olhão tales sculpture.  

The Caminho de Legendas – Path of Tales starts at the Old warehouse near Pingo Doce  Marina supermarket and is close to the new car park in Olhão by the boat port.

The order of the Legends Statues and their tales;

  1. Legend of Marim
  2. Legend of Floripes
  3. Legend of the Enchanted Moorish Boy
  4. The legend of the Big-eyed Boy
  5. The legend of Arraul

Following the Olhão Tales path is a delightful adventure and pleasant walk through the narrow cobbled roads and houses. While you are looking for the Olhão Tales Sculptures you are getting to know the old town of Olhão, discovering its history.

Ready to learn about the Legends or tales?

 

Narrow cobbled roads in Olhão
Discover the narrow cobbled roads of Olhão

Olhão Tales Sculptures - Legend of Marim

Olhão Tales Sculpture legend of Merim
Olhão Tales Sculpture of Marim

Location: Largo Fabrica Velha.

GPS: 37.024783659927074, -7.838672740857728

The legend says ...

In Marim, there was once a beautiful and luxurious palace, where a girl named Alina lived whom Abdaló, a troubadour, fell in love. Every night, Abdala would come to her and sing beautiful love songs.

Alina’s father, however, wasn’t happy with the situation: so, he called Abdala and promised he would give him his daughter’s hand in marriage if he could bring the spring of the near by river, which was a hundred miles away, to the palace in a single night. The young man leaves with a thoughtful face, and Alina’s father was pleased to think that he had managed to separate them.

On the next night, Abdala did not show up, which left Alina very sad. However, it was already dawn when the sound of a lute was heard, it was him! Alina’s loved one and he brought with him the river spring. Alina’s father, enraged, threw his daughter from the window, she fell into her loved one’s arms, and they floated together down river.

This is the first of Olhão Tales Sculptures depicting the love story between Alina and Abdala.

 

 

 

Marim legend in Olhão
Image of Marim – Olhão Tales Sculpture

Olhão Tales Sculptures- Tale of Floripes

Olhão Tales Sculptures with brass sculpture of Floripes
Brass Sculpture of Floripes

Location: Praça Patrão Joaquim Lopes

GPS Coordinates: 37.02440082666741, -7.840938358147826

Distance from Olhão Tales Sculptures Lenda de Marim : 3 minutes walk ( 240 metres distance)

The legends says …

In the Levante Quarter, near the Sonrodo dam, there was a windmill and an old house where a middle-aged man named Zé lived. He was known for drinking with his friends. People said that during the night, a beautiful Moorish lady would appear at his house, and they would spend the night together until dawn.

His friends didn’t believe it anymore, so one day Zé made a bet with one of his friends Julião, who was about to marry a girl named Aninhas. The bet was that Zé would give Julião a farm he owned as an engagement gift if the Moorish lady showed up. If she didn’t show, Julião wouldn’t get anything.

At midnight, Julião went by the windmill. As he was about to leave, he saw a beautiful lady. It was the enchanted Moorish lady. She sang a song and told him that her spell could only be broken when a man took her to the sea and stabbed her left arm near her heart. Julião couldn’t do it because he was engaged to Aninhas.

When he arrived back home his fiancé was in tears and his friend Zé by her side. When Julião turned around to speak to him he was gone and never again was seen. 

The legend says Floripes the Moorish woman took him with her when she left for North Africa. Zé was the only man who truly loved her.

The Floripes brass statue shows the image of Floripes, this is the 2º of Olhão Tales sculptures on the Map.

 

Olhão Tales Sculptures - Legend of the Enchanted Moorish Boy

The Legend of the Enchanted Moorish Boy sculptures
The Enchanted Moorish Boy playing ball.

Location: Largo do Gaibeu

GPS Coordinates :37.02438792159692, -7.841980134082091

Distance from Olhão Tales Sculptures Lenda Floripes: 2 minutes walk ( 120 metres)

The tale says …

A young fisherman named Manuel Caleça, was playing with his friends in the street when a mysterious boy came to them asking if he could play with the group. Everyone agreed. However, he wasn’t that skilled at playing, and Manuel told him so.

The other boy suggested that Manuel joined him to play somewhere else. As they arrived, the mysterious boy opened a trapdoor. Inside, Manuel saw a magnificent palace full of treasures, that almost drove him insane.

The boy comforted Manuel and told him he would take him back to his parents and would stay with him forever, but only Manuel could see him, because somebody put a spell on him. And so it was. Or at least, until the day Manuel’s mother took him to church to  communion and confession.

Since then, Manuel never saw his beloved friend ever again…

These are metal sculptures showing a group of boys playing ball. The mysterious boy is the sculpture without a face. This legend is the 3º Tales Path Sculpture.

Olhão Tales Sculptures - The Big-Eyed Boy

Sculpture of the Tales Path in Olhão of a boy with his arms crossed. known as the boy with the big eyes.
Big Eyed Boy sculpture with his arms crossed.

Location: Largo do Carolas

GPS Coordinates : 37.0243093325387, -7.843034120249751

Distance from Olhão Tales Sculptures Lenda Enchanted Moorish Boy : 2 minutes walk ( 130 metres)

This one is tricky, you need to pay attention to all the signs as it will take you through several streets.

The legends says …

On dark nights, it is said that a very robust boy, dressed only in a shirt with big black eyes, would appear to the fishermen in the Barreta quarter. As he cried a lot and didn’t speak, the fishermen, feeling sorry for the child, would pick him up. However, the boy’s weight would increase as they walked, eventually forcing them to put him down crying. He appeared throughout the Barreta quarter for years, but one day he simply vanished. People say that Moura Floripes took him with her when she traveled to North Africa.

This statue shows a boy with his arms crossed and you can see that he has very large eyes. This is the 4th of the Olhão Tales Sculptures on the map.

Olhão Tales Sculptures - Story of Arraul

Gigantic statue of Arraul in Olhão Legends Paths
Statue of Arraul in Olhão Legends Path

Location: Largo João da Carma.

GPS Coordinates: 37.02421481403377, -7.8434571463902065

Distance from Olhão Tales Sculptures Lenda The Big-Eyed Boy : 1 minute walk ( 90 metres)

Legends says … 

Arraul was the beautiful son of the Hercules’ Columns chief guard, and Atlantis’ only survivor. One day, Arraul was caught by a storm that swept him into the sea, where a whale swallowed him. Despite his misfortune, the young man survived, and the whale brought him ashore at the Prainhas site – the place where Olhão was founded as it is said.

Arraul immediately fell in love with the place, and decided to protect it by building an enormous sand barrier with soil from the São Miguel and Cabeça’s hills, thus creating Ria Formosa’s Barrier Islands.

To the locals in Olhão this is said to be the most important Legend. It explains how The Ria Formosa was created.

It is the 5th and last of the  Olhão Tales Sculptures on the map. it may be the last but, it is the number one legend for all the locals in Olhão.

What do the Caminho das lendas - Path of Tales mean?

All the 5  Olhão Tales Sculptures throughout the Caminho das lendas – Path of tales or legends have a powerful message;

The power of the Gods creating and protecting Olhão and the Ria Formosa (the tale of Arraul).

The power of Love and never underestimate it. Such as the Legend of Marim, and also in the Legend of Floripes.

Ghosts do they exist? We see this in the Enchanted Moorish boy and also the Big eyed Boy.  How religion will abolish any ghost.

Whether you are a believer or not these Statues and tales will win your heart.