Portuguese gold wedding bands, engraved with names and wedding date

I’d never been particularly interested in gold jewellery until a visiting friend of mine dragged me round every jeweller’s in Coimbra. She was convinced that Portuguese gold is of better quality than what’s readily available in the rest of Europe (she’s right, by the way). In doing so, she introducedRead More →

Esparto mats, Alte, Loulé, Algarve, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

The charmingly rural village of Alte makes for a very pleasant day trip in the Algarve. As well as a riverside picnic area, cobbled streets and architecture with character, it also has a rich heritage of traditional crafts, especially those involving esparto grass. You’ll see evidence of local ceramic and pottery work in theRead More →

Spa treatments and traditional games in Castro Daire at BTL travel fair

BTL (Bolsa de Turismo de Lisboa) is Portugal’s most important annual travel fair, which is why I go every year. The first few days are for professionals, press and trade but from Friday evening throughout the weekend, the public have the chance to find out what’s on offer in Portugal andRead More →

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 →