Quinta do Bom Vento. Idyllic rural accommodation in Silver Coast Portugal

Having spent years sailing around the world, Sam and Rich Malone found the ideal place to drop anchor in Portugal’s Silver Coast. After 11 years of hard work and significant investment, they have achieved what many Brits dream of and transformed a ruined Portuguese farmhouse and outbuildings into a delightfulRead More →

Terrace lined with azulejos and sculpted columns, Palace hotel, Buçaco

This bookable 10-day self-drive Portugal road trip itinerary saves you having to do the time-consuming research required to plan and book your own trip to explore the best of Central Portugal, especially around the Silver Coast and Coimbra. You’ll see gardens, palaces, castles, monasteries, nature reserves, wineries, historical villages, UNESCORead 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 →

Cabo Carvoeiro and Berlengas islands, Peniche, Portugal

The huge waves that draw surfers to the beaches around Peniche were not the reason I visited. One disastrous surfing lesson was enough to persuade me that it’s not the sport for me. I had other plans, the main one being a boat trip to the nature reserve on Berlenga Islands.Read More →

Motorboat and caves, Berlenga island

I used to have a phobia of birds. I’m over it now, but when I first heard that Berlenga Island was a nature reserve with a huge seagull population, I had misgivings about going there. Curiosity and a few glowing reports of its natural beauty eventually got the better of me so IRead More →

slabs of chocolate

I can’t believe it’s time for the annual chocolate festival in Óbidos again. I actually made it to the festival last year, having narrowly missed it in 2011. If you’re drooling at the thought of a whole festival dedicated to chocolate, here’s my advice for getting the most out of your experience. Top tipsRead More →

wooden shields and fake weapons

Whenever I stand on ancient castle walls, I find myself trying to imagine what life was like when the castles housed royalty and their grounds contained thriving marketplaces buzzing with people, produce, livestock and flies. When I visit Óbidos during its annual medieval fair, however, I don’t need to stretch my imagination veryRead More →