Gift shop selling Portuguese souvenirs, Herdade dos Grous, Alentejo, Portugal

Portugal is proud of its unique crafts, food and drink so you’ll find plenty of options when you’re looking for gifts from Portugal. You don’t have to look hard to find souvenirs of Portugal that please all tastes and personalities, from your coworker to your mother-in-law there’s no excuse forRead More →

Cork oak trees with harvested bark, Marvão

If, like me, enjoying a nice glass of wine is among your favourite hobbies, chances are you’ve held a bottle stopper made from Portuguese cork. Even if you prefer a fancy French champagne, the stopper is probably made of, you guessed it, cork from Portugal. Stroll down the high streetRead More →

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 →