View from castle walls, one of the things to see and do in Loulé, Algarve, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

Thanks to its inland location, Loulé has remained unscathed from the blight of holiday resorts that mar some of the coastal areas in the Algarve. What you’ll find here is a quiet, attractive town with a strong local community and plenty of culture and creativity. Here are some of the things to doRead More →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

“The Arrival”, metro art azulejos at Restauradores metro station in Lisbon

As you’ll see from this article, Lisbon is fun to visit at any time of year but there’s always a chance of rain during the cooler months. If you’re wondering what to do in Lisbon when the weather’s not so great, get yourself a metro ticket and check out the city’sRead More →