Terrace lined with azulejos and sculpted columns, Palace hotel, Buçaco

This bookable 10-day self-drive Portugal itinerary saves you having to do the time-consuming research required to plan and book your own trip to explore the best of Central Portugal. You’ll see gardens, palaces, castles, monasteries, nature reserves, wineries, historical villages, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, mountains, pretty towns, river beaches, countryRead More →

Coimbra and Mondego River from Santa Clara bridge

I’ve mentioned before why Coimbra makes a great base for exploring central Portugal. Whether you spend one night in this charming riverside city or several, this post should help you decide where to stay in Coimbra. I’ve chosen Coimbra hotels and apartments that I consider to be stylish, well-located and good valueRead More →

Detail of tomb of Inês wearing crown, Alcobaça. Photo © Carolyn Miller

The heartbreaking tale of Pedro and Inês, Portugal’s ill-fated lovers inspired me to visit Alcobaça. Pedro’s unwavering love for his forbidden sweetheart, Inês, who was murdered by his father’s henchmen, led to the exhumation of her body and posthumous coronation when he became king. He also ordered matching tombs toRead More →

Traditional woodcraft in Vila Nova de Poiares

One of Vila Nova de Poiares‘ major annual events is Poiartes. As the name suggests, the predominant theme of the fair is arts and crafts so artisans from the municipality and other parts of central Portugal come here to show and sell the results of their skilled work. Vila Nova de PoiaresRead More →

Moinho de Avis, Montejunto 2

Windmills line the hilltops in certain parts of Portugal, especially the Oeste (West) region near Lisbon. Sadly, most have been abandoned and are gradually decaying. Some, however, have been painstakingly restored and not only produce flour using traditional methods, they also host bread workshops and even wine tasting sessions. Moinho de Aviz (AvizRead More →

House under a rock, Monsanto

The Portuguese countryside is speckled with villages but only Monsanto holds the title of “Most Portuguese Village in Portugal”.  Although I’m sure the people of Monsanto are proud of this accolade, I don’t really understand why their village won it. Far from being typically Portuguese, it’s one of the mostRead More →

Amôr, or 'Love' in paper embroidery © Julie Dawn Fox

Narrowing down the selection of idyllic locations for romantic getaways in Portugal has been a tough job. There’s just so much choice! To keep it simple, I’ve highlighted at least one place for every region in Portugal where you and your sweetheart can feel the love and not just on Valentine’sRead More →

Rossio square in Lisbon with Santa Justa elevator and Carmo church in the background

I get a kick out of compiling (and reviewing) my annual wish list of places I’d like to visit in Portugal over the coming year. It’s becoming something of a ritual and helps me to get organised; my agenda is fast filling up. Some of these destinations and activities are definites, others areRead More →