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 →

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

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’s extensive network of metro art. Lisbon metro art Artist Maria Keil began decorating the city’s underground train stations in 1957 and over the following 25 years, sheRead More →

Traditional woodcraft in Vila Nova de Poiares

One of Vila Nova de Poiares‘ major annual events is Poiartes. As the name suggests, the predominant theme of the fair is arts and crafts so artisans from the municipality and other parts of central Portugal come here to show and sell the results of their skilled work. Vila Nova de PoiaresRead 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 →

Steps to Santa Catarina fortress, Figueira da Foz, Portugal

Figueira da Foz, aka the Queen of Beaches, has been a popular Portuguese holiday resort for over 100 years, hence the number of holiday apartments and rooms to let. There is, of course, more to see and do in Figueira da Foz than lounge on its beaches or stroll the extensive promenade.Read More →

Handpainted ceramic plates with colourful country scenes, Redondo, Portugal

I was drawn to the whitewashed Alentejan town of Redondo for its biennial street decoration festival, Ruas Floridas. As a bonus, I discovered a 500-year-old pottery tradition and had the privilege of meeting some very special people involved in its practice and preservation. The artisan An elderly cloth-capped gentleman sat nextRead More →

Love Story azulejos by Hazul and Costah, Porto

Ever since I encountered Portugal’s exquisite filigree jewellery, I’ve been fascinated by one of the most popular designs, the Viana heart. Many Portuguese souvenirs and contemporary designs now sport this distinctively curved heart with its crown-like growth at the top so you’re bound to see it at some point. But what’s the story behindRead More →

Moscatel de Setúbal and Azeitão cakes. What to see and do in Azeitao

A day trip to Azeitão, a pretty village just south of Lisbon, proved to be a feast for the eyes as well as my stomach. Among the things to see and do in Azeitão are many of my favourite aspects of Portugal plus some unexpected treats. Not only did I get to tasteRead More →

Letterbox swing, Funchal, Madeira

You’ll find there are plenty of things to see and do in Funchal. Some of the city’s most worthwhile attractions are way above sea level and best reached by cable car but the journey is part of the fun. Thankfully, the city centre is relatively flat and easy to explore on foot.  Just tryRead More →

Stone sculpture of three boys on a toy buggy

If you visit Ponte de Lima, you’re bound to see at least one of the stone sculptures made by the Sequeiros brothers. I’ve admired their work and photographed it on previous trips but this time, I had the opportunity to visit their workshop and showroom in Calheiros. The grassy verge in frontRead More →