River at Moinhos do Maneio, Penamacor, Portugal

Between the Serra da Estrela Mountains and the border between Portugal and Spain you’ll find lots of small villages which were established centuries ago to defend the territory from invaders. Some of them, like Sortelha, Monsanto, Idanha-a-Velha and Belmonte, have achieved international fame by being selected as part of theRead 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 →

Views, Serra da Estrela

Mainland Portugal’s highest mountain, at 1993 metres altitude, is called the Estrela, which means Star. I’m fortunate that the Serra da Estrela mountain range is only an hour and a half drive from where I live in central Portugal but it’s about 3 hours from Lisbon and 2.5 from Porto.Read More →

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 →

Pretty street and stone cottages, Casal de São Simão

Imagine a cluster of rust-coloured stone cottages nestled in the hills, seemingly untouched by modern life. Surrounded by forests, mountain streams and river beaches, the schist villages of Central Portugal are idyllic and special. As you walk from village to village on this self-guided or guided walking holiday, you’ll experienceRead 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 →