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 →

Marvão village and Serra de São Mamede seen from the castle walls

When I first visited Marvão, in the Alto Alentejo region of Portugal, I was on foot and weary after a couple of botched attempts to follow a walking trail uphill to the village. After eventually finding the correct cobbled path through the cork oaks, I emerged in a fairy taleRead More →

Azenhas do Mar village, cliff and beach

Picture a collection of whitewashed cottages perched on a cliff overlooking a sandy beach and rocky coastline and you’ve got the village of Azenhas do Mar. In fact, you may already have seen images of this charming village within the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park – it’s very photogenic. Mike and I wentRead More →

Esparto mats, Alte, Loulé, Algarve, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

The charmingly rural village of Alte makes for a very pleasant day trip in the Algarve. As well as a riverside picnic area, cobbled streets and architecture with character, it also has a rich heritage of traditional crafts, especially those involving esparto grass. You’ll see evidence of local ceramic and pottery work in theRead More →

Fishing boats, Salema, Algarve

If you’re keen to escape bustling resort towns, the quiet fishing village of Salema in the western Algarve may be worth considering for your Portugal itinerary. Major international publications, including The Guardian and Rick Steves‘ travel guides, have lauded its charms so I went to see what all the fussRead More →

Monsaraz village, Alentejo, Portugal, viewed from the castle

I know that many of you enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle of cities to explore picturesque villages and I’ve shared many of my favourite villages in Portugal with you over the years. In anticipation of a public vote on the best villages in Portugal, I decided to roundRead More →

Arraiolos as seen from the Pousada at Convento dos Lóios. Visiting Arraiolos. What to see and do in Arraiolos

I don’t know whether it’s an age-related thing or a by-product of blogging about Portugal but my appreciation of skilled craftsmanship has certainly increased in recent years. Among the many Portuguese arts and crafts that I have come to admire are the Arraiolos tapestry rugs. These beautiful, hard-wearing woolen carpets don’t come cheapRead More →