Penha Garcia nestled in the rocks

The quiet village of Penha Garcia straddles a rocky cliff which commands sweeping views over the neighboring plains in the southeast part of Central Portugal. The surrounding rock formations are one of the geological highlights within the NaturTejo Geopark, notably the trilobite fossils that are scattered within them. Given itsRead 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 →

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 →

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 IRead 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 →