View of Viana do Castelo and River Lima from Santa Luzia

Viana do Castelo has definitely grown on me over the years and is one of the most interesting and attractive coastal cities in northern Portugal. With a fascinating history that dates back to pre-Roman times, remarkable costumes, unique jewellery and a restored hospital ship, not to mention the beaches, views,Read More →

Afife beach. Unspoilt Atlantic coastline, northern Portugal

A multi-day walking route along the varied and unspoilt Atlantic coastline of northern Portugal’s Costa Verde (Green Coast) certainly sounds appealing. I suspect this is partly why the coastal Camino de Santiago has been gaining popularity. However, while the Camino da Costa offers an attractive alternative to the more traditionalRead More →

Rua Direita, Esposende historical centre

The low-rise resort town of Esposende is a popular destination for beach holidays and water sports, thanks to its location at the mouth of the Cávado River on the Costa Verde (Green Coast). It’s also one of the stops on the Coastal Camino Português and another multi-day hiking trail alongRead More →

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 →