Piscina das Marés seawater swimming pools, Leça da Palmeira, Porto. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

If you’re staying in Porto for more than a couple of days, you’ll find a variety of places you can visit as a day trip from Porto. As well as the amazing Douro Valley and Vinho Verde wine regions, you’ll find beaches, nature reserves, medieval cities, Celtic settlements, fishing villages andRead More →

São Gonçalo bridge and church. Things to do in Amarante, Portugal

Descriptions of picturesque balconies overhanging a river were enough to lure Mike and I to the pretty riverside town of Amarante on our way home from Porto. This first visit revealed enough things to do in Amarante to warrant a return trip, including glimpses of local lifestyles and traditions andRead 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 →

Iberian wolf face on

I can’t recall how I first found out about Mafra’s Iberian Wolf Recovery Centre but it took me several years to finally get around to visiting. This is the only place in Portugal where you are likely to see these magnificent beasts in anything resembling the wild. What’s so specialRead More →

Cabo Carvoeiro and Berlengas islands, Peniche, Portugal

The huge waves that draw surfers to the beaches around Peniche were not the reason I visited. One disastrous surfing lesson was enough to persuade me that it’s not the sport for me. I had other plans, the main one being a boat trip to the nature reserve on Berlenga Islands.Read More →

Santa Maria church and cathedral and Roman remains, Idanha-a-Velha

Over the years, I’ve written about some of my favourite traditional villages in Portugal, most of which are actually part of a network called Aldeias Históricas de Portugal. Under this official umbrella, there are 12 villages, all within the Centro region of Portugal. Most of them used to be borderRead More →