Ponte D. Zamiro near Vilarinho in northern Portugal

Many pilgrims start their Portuguese Way of St. James with this 2-day section walking north from just outside Porto towards Barcelos and beyond. For me it was the very last stage I did as part of my “mop up Camino”, an extra 5 days walking the remaining stages of the coastalRead More →

wooden-boardwalk-leadign-to-a-disused-windmill-near-agucadoura-coastal-portuguese-way-of-st-james

A part of my “mop up Camino”, I spent 3 days in May walking the Coastal Portuguese Way of St. James from Vila do Conde to Caminha, on my own. I’d already completed a 4-day stint in Galicia between A Guarda and Redondela (where the coastal and central routes merge)Read More →

Paper Barcelos cockerels and Viana hearts from Portugal's Minho region, Ruas Floridas, Redondo 2013

When Mary-Jo Manzanares offered me the chance to do a podcast with her about Portugal, it didn’t take me long to decide which part of the country to focus on. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the Minho region of northern Portugal and have become a huge fan. Mary-Jo’s Where ElseRead More →

Souvenir Barcelos cockerels

If you visit any tourist destination in Portugal, you’ll undoubtedly find at least one version of the cheerful Barcelos cockerel dominating most souvenir shops. But what on earth does a cockerel have to do with Portugal? I hear you ask. Well, there’s a legend about that… As the story goes, backRead More →

Peneda Gerês National Park fauna and geology

My day in the Peneda-Gerês National Park didn’t go according to plan and I ended up seeing more of its rugged landscapes than I’d expected to. It was still only a taster and I’m keen to return and explore it in more depth. In a bid to whet your appetite forRead More →

Village church, farmhouses and vineyards, Mesão Frio, Douro Valley

Wine estates, vineyards and river cruises are only part of the Douro wine region’s story. If you want to delve deeper into the local culture, traditions and history, you might want to consider adding a traditional Douro wine village or two to your itinerary. Or all six of them. DouroRead More →

Bridge and boat, Ponte de Lima

Ponte de Lima charmed me when I stopped there for lunch two years ago. When I revisited in April, the pretty old town nestled itself deep inside my heart and is never coming out. It’s got all the right ingredients for me: plenty of gardens, fancy mansions and other historical buildings,Read More →

Fortifications and River Minho, Valença fortress

Like most visitors, the the first time I went to Valença do Minho I made a beeline for the fortress. It is, after all, where you’ll find the best views and architecture. Plus a whole load of gaudy towels and linens on the main shopping street! Valença, beyond the shops Unless you’re goingRead More →

Pilgrims crossing the ancient bridge in Ponte de Lima on the Portuguese Way of St. James

As with the previous section of the central Portuguese Way of St. James, I’m covering the two days between Ponte de Lima and Valença in one blog post. This is partly because I’ve already written about the first of those days as it was the experience that sparked this wholeRead More →