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 carpetsRead More →

Rows of grape vines surround Favaios village, Douro wine region, Portugal

Wine estates, vineyards and river cruises are only part of the Douro Valley story. If you want to delve deeper into the local culture, traditions and history, you might want to consider adding a traditional village or two to your itinerary. Note: You’ll need a car to get to mostRead More →

Village woman takes a break. Arga de Baixo, Serra da Arga, Minho, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

The Serra d’Arga in northern Portugal gets few visitors, least of all foreign ones. Which is a shame, because these mountains are really rather beautiful and easy to get to if you’re staying in the western Minho area. Venture into them and you’ll find traditional villages, rural agricultural practices, wild horses andRead More →

Stacked corn cobs. Montaria, Serra d'Arga, Portugal. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

Slightly sweet and moist with a crunchy crust. That’s the way I like my broa, aka traditional Portuguese corn bread. Broa is often served in the basket of bread you get served with olives in restaurants. Portuguese corn bread is more dense and filling than ordinary bread but, when freshly baked, is ohRead More →

Historical schist village of Piodão in central Portugal. Photo by Julie Dawn Fox

Driving to the picturesque village of Piodão is a scenic adventure full of hairpin bends and narrow roads that snake through the mountains. On clear days, the views are spectacular. The terraced fields and stone walls of low-lying arable land contrast with the barren heights of the Serra do Açor. Eventually, you’ll arrive at a picture postcard cluster of tightly packedRead More →

Odeceixe beach and Praia de Adegas

There’s a little slice of heaven on the west coast of Portugal that blends bucolic countryside with a magnificent coastline, all of which I discovered on a coastal walk along the Rota Vicentina from Odeceixe beach. The village itself is about 3 kilometres inland and has a relaxed, non-beachy charm all of its own. TheRead More →