Mountain views from Quinta de Santa Cristina on a vinho verde wine tasting and tour

Vinho verde is often badly translated as ‘green wine’ but it really just means young wine; light, fresh, slightly effervescent and best drunk within a year of bottling. Within this overall category of Portuguese wines, there’s a surprising variety of flavours, as I discovered when I visited Quinta de SantaRead More →

Arraiolos as seen from the Pousada at Convento dos Lóios. Visiting Arraiolos. What to see and do in Arraiolos

I don’t know whether it’s an age-related thing or a by-product of blogging about Portugal but my appreciation of skilled craftsmanship has certainly increased in recent years. Among the many Portuguese arts and crafts that I have come to admire are the Arraiolos tapestry rugs. These beautiful, hard-wearing woolen carpets don’t come cheapRead More →

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 →

Tasting room at Quinta do Piloto winery

If you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting Portuguese wines yet, you’re in for a treat and some surprises. There are several wineries near Lisbon so you don’t have to travel far to do a wine tour and tasting session in a special setting. Showing true dedication to you, dear reader, I’veRead 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 →

Algarve insider tips for planning a trip

If you’re thinking of visiting the Algarve, my insider tips might come in handy before you book your trip. When to go to the Algarve If you want my advice, I’d avoid July and August unless you like jostling for space on crowded beaches and in the surrounding cafés andRead More →

Looking down the well, Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra

It may be less than an hour away from Lisbon but when you visit Sintra, you’ll see that it’s a world apart. Nestled in woodland with fanciful palaces and centuries-old castles and convents, it’s no wonder that both Portuguese and British elites flocked here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Magnificent villasRead More →