Tapestry panels of Mary and the Moors, Faro Museum

Among the joys of exploring Portugal and delving into its history are the legends I encounter. I found some intriguing Moorish legends depicted in a tapestry rug and paintings in the Municipal Museum in Faro. The Algarve was the last Portuguese region to be taken from the Muslims; they ruled the area from 711 toRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

Carnival street parade, Lazarim

You won’t find any scantily clad ladies parading the cobbled streets of Lazarim for carnival. This tiny village in northern Portugal draws the crowds for its more traditional pre-Lenten celebrations (entrudo in Portuguese), which it claims are the “most genuine in Portugal”. The Caretos of Podence might have something toRead More →

Christmas and New Year in Portugal. Julie Dawn Fox

If you’re going to be spending Christmas and New Year in Portugal, either as an expat or on holiday, this post is for you. Find out how and where to celebrate, how the Portuguese do things and what events are going on during the festive season (scroll down if you’re most interested inRead More →

Chanfana in a black casserole dish

“What do you want?” asked the Juiz (judge). “To eat chanfana!” I chanted, along with the 15 other initiates to the Confraria da Chanfana (brotherhood of goat casserole). We were on the stage in the Vila Nova de Poiares cultural centre wearing long black cloaks and wide-brimmed black hats. A waitress gave us each a tinyRead More →

Ana Silva demostrates the magic ball cane toy, cane workshop, Querença, Loulé, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

The Algarve is best known for its fabulous beaches and top notch golf courses so what’s an inland town like Loulé to do if it wants to entice visitors away from the coast? Get creative, that’s what. Loulé Criativo organises hands-on creative workshops in Loulé city and municipality. Run by local artisans,Read More →

Colourful embroidered appliqué hanging, Museu do Oriente, Lisbon

Like most cities, Lisbon is steeped in history and even has an interactive museum dedicated to its story. While the Lisbon Story Centre certainly helps you understand the background to the enticing blend of old and new that shapes Portugal’s capital, it’s not one of the best Lisbon museums. There are many others thatRead More →