Paper Barcelos cockerels and Viana hearts from Portugal's Minho region, Ruas Floridas, Redondo 2013

When Mary-Jo Manzanares offered me the chance to do a podcast with her about Portugal, it didn’t take me long to decide which part of the country to focus on. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the Minho region of northern Portugal and have become a huge fan. Mary-Jo’s Where ElseRead More →

Peneda Gerês National Park fauna and geology

My day in the Peneda-Gerês National Park didn’t go according to plan and I ended up seeing more of its rugged landscapes than I’d expected to. It was still only a taster and I’m keen to return and explore it in more depth. In a bid to whet your appetite forRead More →

What to see and do in Ponte de Lima

Ponte de Lima charmed me when I stopped there for lunch a few years ago. When I revisited a couple of years later, the pretty old town nestled itself deep inside my heart and is never coming out. It’s got all the right ingredients for me: plenty of gardens, fancy mansionsRead More →

Fortifications and River Minho, Valença fortress

Like most visitors, the the first time I went to Valença do Minho I made a beeline for the fortress. It is, after all, where you’ll find the best views and architecture. Plus a whole load of gaudy towels and linens on the main shopping street! Valença, beyond the shops Unless you’re goingRead More →

Pilgrims crossing the ancient bridge in Ponte de Lima on the Portuguese Way of St. James

As with the previous section of the central Portuguese Way of St. James, I’m covering the two days between Ponte de Lima and Valença in one blog post. This is partly because I’ve already written about the first of those days as it was the experience that sparked this wholeRead More →

Guimarães castle. One of the main things to see and do in Guimarães

I’m always looking for an excuse to visit Guimarães. This northern city is known as the cradle or birthplace of Portugal so its wealth of cultural heritage is hardly surprising, nor is its UNESCO World Heritage classification. There is plenty to see and do in Guimarães so although most tours will whisk you around itsRead More →

Village woman takes a break. Arga de Baixo, Serra da Arga, Minho, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

The Serra d’Arga in northern Portugal gets few visitors, least of all foreign ones. Which is a shame, because these mountains are really rather beautiful and easy to get to if you’re staying in the western Minho area. Venture into them and you’ll find traditional villages, rural agricultural practices, wild horses andRead More →

Stacked corn cobs. Montaria, Serra d'Arga, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

Slightly sweet and moist with a crunchy crust. That’s the way I like my broa, aka traditional Portuguese corn bread. Broa is often served in the basket of bread you get served with olives in restaurants. Portuguese corn bread is more dense and filling than ordinary bread but, when freshly baked, is ohRead More →

Praça Conselheiro Silva Torres, Caminha, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

The pretty town of Caminha is still an under-the-radar destination in the north of Portugal. You’ll find plenty to see and do in and around Caminha, which makes it a perfect base for enjoying beaches, rivers, mountains, forests, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture and fabulous food. Although tourism exists here, it’s understated.Read More →