On September 2, 2021, 46-year-old Sylvie Coutu set herself the task of visiting 365 places in Portugal. The “incredible” part, the word he includes in the Instagram description in which he shares photos from the ordeal, made sense as he traveled to each new destination.
“It’s all so beautiful and there are places where I feel blessed. I should stay there and take a look. Looking, breathing, feeling the place that moves us, the soul. It helps to calm down and relieve the stress of the day today,” says Sylvie MAGG. No matter how obvious they may seem, many of these places are still unknown to the Portuguese, even those who live near these treasures.
“Many people tell me: “I live in this county or area and did not know that such a thing existed.” But this is the role of Sylvie Couto: to tell about the wonders that roam Portugal, often just a few kilometers from their place of residence, which also means lower travel costs and discovering incredible things.
“My goal is to show the Portuguese and the people who follow me that in Portugal we have the equivalent of any beautiful place that exists abroad. I will give very concrete examples: we have Venice. [cidade em Itália] Portuguese in Aveiro, we have Santorini [ilha grega] no Algarve,” compares Sylvie.
The choice to explore what is ours and what is still so secret, according to Sylvie, is not only an asset for the wallet – not least because most of the shares we share are free access or entry – but also for the economy countries. especially at a time when it is still trying to recover from a two-year pandemic that has rocked the tourism sector.
In order to make these places famous, which not only relax, but also avoid the stress of the hustle and bustle of airports, Sylvie had to devote most of her time to this challenge. During the day she is an event planner and on weekends she is Silvia from Portugal’s 365 Amazing Places competition and the mother of 16-year-old Gabriel and 13-year-old Ema. Those who accompany her are always waiting for the next one fate, and so far she has only failed once, and through no fault of her own.
“I have not missed a single day, except for one when it was not my fault, but the fault of Instagram. At the very beginning of the challenge, there was a day when Instagram went offline. It was the only day I didn’t. I can’t post, but why not leave me,” Sylvie says between laughter.
The award for the most incredible place goes to the northern region of Portugal.
Every year, at least for a weekend, Sylvie Couto went to the Algarve to relax. However, when it comes to longer vacations, I always choose to travel abroad. Until COVID-19 arrives. “Last summer there were still a lot of travel restrictions abroad and, unlike what happened in previous years, I decided to go to the Algarve coast,” he says.
The pandemic may have had its downsides, but in this case it provided a unique opportunity for the Portuguese powerhouse. “I was fascinated. I thought, “I mean. I sometimes travel so many kilometers to get to Ibiza and I have the equivalent, maybe even superiority, in terms of beaches and natural beauty.” Because we have there, for example, rock formations, such as the famous heart on Praia da Marinha, which is incredible, and there is no such thing in Ibiza, right?
It was when she began to wonder what was so beautiful in other parts of the country that Sylvie decided to challenge herself by sharing it on Instagram, where she already has over 14,000 followers. He tried to diversify the countryside, the mountains, the beach and the city, as well as the north and south, in order to make what is available here for a wider audience.
The hard-to-reach Ursa beach was one of the places that surprised Silvia the most, because when she arrived at the beach, she felt like she was in “paradise”, but there are others that are on the same level, even some more touristy. Of everyone she’s met in the past nine months, Sylvie Couto stands out.
“It’s in Fraga do Cao and I repeat it to everyone because that’s really what I felt when I got there and thought, ‘No. It is impossible for it not to be the hand of man. Someone built it because it really looks like a dog,” she says of the attraction in Torre de Moncorvo, Bragança region, in the north of the country. With the dog, Sylvie contacted the municipality of Torre de Moncorvo, who confirmed that yes, nature was capable of this feat.
This and other feats of mother nature are the focus of Sylvie Couto’s photographs, which are almost always in the background. Cause? “Because of my personality. I’ve always worked in communications and marketing, but behind the scenes, so in all my other projects I’ve always stayed behind the camera and I’m not very comfortable showing up,” he begins. explaining. “My goal is to show the place, the beauty of the place, not to show myself. I have to appear because I am doing the work itself, but more subtly,” he continues.
And after 365 days? New days, new challenge?
By September 2022, Sylvie has to visit 365 places. But then what? Is there a goodbye? In principle, no, but it is certain that you will devote yourself to long hours of sleep after months divided between full-time jobs, busy weekends, to discover new places and create content to solve the problem, as well as spend time with your family.
“I’ll even jokingly say that my next challenge, as soon as this one is over, is to try to sleep for 24 hours. Then I’ll see what happens. a little more,” he moves on to MAGG, referring to the exchange of more than scenery, which could include hotels and restaurants he recognizes.
During the test, Sylvie felt that she had become something more. Which, in the end, led to the creation of “a community of people who like the country, and who did not know that they liked it.” For this reason, he intends to somehow continue the project, and always in Portugal, even after a year when he did not travel abroad.
“I am very happy with what I am doing and I feel it is very unlikely that I will go abroad so soon. Because my 365 days is not enough to find out everything I want in Portugal”, applies.
But before the test is over, Sylvie has one goal: to get to know Madeira.
“This is one of my biggest shames, but I must confess that I don’t know the island of Madeira. And yet, I was in Ibiza, in Las Palmas, in Lanzarote, in Tenerife, in the Dominican Republic, in Mexico, in Capri. On many islands around the world, and Madeira, which I consider “mine”, should be part of [desafio]”, He says.
The influencer is just waiting for her school period to end so she can go to the island with the whole family, but she guarantees that 365 days won’t end without visiting the poncha and bolo do caco archipelago.