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 →

Kissing Hippos, Sculpture by Karl Heinz Stock at Quinta dos Vales, Estômbar, Algarve, Portugal

In search of the more cultural side of the Algarve, I discovered a sculpture garden amid the vineyards at Quinta dos Vales near Estômbar. Sculptures galore As soon as I saw the smooth shiny curves of the fat ‘Graces’ dancing, I knew I’d enjoy Karl Heinz Stock’s sculptures, which areRead More →

Fishing boats, Salema, Algarve

If you’re keen to escape bustling resort towns, the quiet fishing village of Salema in the western Algarve may be worth considering for your Portugal itinerary. Major international publications, including The Guardian and Rick Steves‘ travel guides, have lauded its charms so I went to see what all the fussRead 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 →

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 →

Views of Tavira architecture from the castle walls. One of many things to do in Tavira. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

Tacky tourist traps make me want to run screaming back to the countryside. Thankfully, Tavira has managed to avoid such horrors despite being in the Algarve, i.e. Portugal’s most popular region for tourists and expats. Unspoilt and decidedly laid back, this is one of my favourite towns in this southern region. ItRead More →

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 →

Beach, Albufeira

I can’t remember the last time I went anywhere as touristy as Albufeira and it came as a bit of a shock to the system. I haven’t seen that many pink shiny people in one place since one August bank holiday weekend in Rhyl (but that’s another story). In August,Read More →