Braga street with cathedral at the end

With so many fun things to do in Braga, it’s well worth incorporating into your Northern Portugal itinerary. The former Roman city of Bracara Augusta is now the capital of Northern Portugal’s Minho region and is well and truly steeped in history and architectural treasures. Try to allocate at leastRead 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 →

Souvenir Barcelos cockerels

If you visit any tourist destination in Portugal, you’ll undoubtedly find at least one version of the cheerful Barcelos cockerel dominating most souvenir shops. But what on earth does a cockerel have to do with Portugal? I hear you ask. Well, there’s a legend about that… As the story goes, backRead More →

Palácio da Pena, Sintra

The enchanting UNESCO World Heritage landscape of Sintra is an understandably popular destination. Although it’s less than an hour from Lisbon, it’s a world apart. In fact, there are so many things to do in Sintra that you’ll need to plan ahead to make the most of your time. We’reRead More →

Detail of tomb of Inês wearing crown, Alcobaça. Photo © Carolyn Miller

The heartbreaking tale of Pedro and Inês, Portugal’s ill-fated lovers inspired me to visit Alcobaça, a pretty town in the Silver Coast of Central Portugal. Pedro’s unwavering love for his forbidden sweetheart, Inês, who was murdered by his father’s henchmen, led to the exhumation of her body and posthumous coronationRead More →

Medieval village of Mértola in the Alentejo region of Portugal at dusk. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

One of Mértola’s merits is its location. Ensconced within the Guadiana Valley Natural Park, the alluring medieval village is also a convenient base for nature lovers wanting to go on walks or adventures in the countryside (see my hotel picks at the end of the article). The historical centre of Mértola village is builtRead More →