Odeceixe beach and Praia de Adegas

There’s a little slice of heaven on the west coast of Portugal that blends bucolic countryside with a magnificent coastline, all of which I discovered on a coastal walk along the Rota Vicentina from Odeceixe beach. The village itself is about 3 kilometres inland and has a relaxed, non-beachy charm all of its own. TheRead More →

Medieval village of Mértola in the Alentejo region of Portugal at dusk. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

One of Mértola’s merits is its location. Ensconced within the Guadiana Valley Natural Park, the alluring medieval village is also a convenient base for nature lovers wanting to go on walks or adventures in the countryside (see my hotel picks at the end of the article). The historical centre of Mértola village is builtRead More →

Herdade dos Grous and lake

It really wasn’t hard to fall in love with Herdade dos Grous, a country estate spread over 730 hectares of Alentejo countryside. For nature lovers who appreciate comfort, good food and fine wine, it’s hard to beat and I’m glad I accepted the invitation to stay there. I would happily put my handRead More →

Handpainted ceramic plates with colourful country scenes, Redondo, Portugal

I was drawn to the whitewashed Alentejan town of Redondo for its biennial street decoration festival, Ruas Floridas. As a bonus, I discovered a 500-year-old pottery tradition and had the privilege of meeting some very special people involved in its practice and preservation. Note: Places to stay near Redondo are atRead More →

Paper windmill, Ruas Floridas 2013

Every two years, the white-walled Alentejan town of Redondo becomes awash with colour and creativity during the Ruas Floridas (Flowered Streets) festival. Don’t be fooled by the name; there much more to this event than paper flowers. The forty-three participating streets are filled with themed displays ranging from football toRead More →

Green Elvas olives

I try to keep an open mind about Portuguese food, really I do. Despite more than a few disappointing if not disgusting experiences, I continue tasting different dishes hoping to understand what makes the Portuguese so proud and fond their cuisine. Sometimes, I’m rewarded with a tasty treat but this isRead More →