Ermida, Peneda Gerês National Park, Portugal

Getting to the tiny Serra Amarela mountain village of Ermida is an adventure in itself. A single track road twists steeply up the mountainside, affording occasional gut-lurching glimpses of a rocky river bed in the canyon below. I decided to play it safe and pull over into a lay-by to admire the view ratherRead More →

Views, Serra da Estrela

The muted clanging of sheep and goat bells drifts up from the valley to where I’m standing, high in the Serra da Estrela in central Portugal. Coupled with the pure mountain air and magnificent views of rocky ridges and distant plains, it’s idyllic indeed. So lovely that I’m kicking myselfRead More →

Pool, Casas do Côro, Marialva

How do you revitalise a sleepy historical village that’s off the beaten track? Paulo and Carmen Romão from Casas do Côro have made a huge difference to Marialva by buying up several traditional granite cottages and renovating them to form a luxury rural retreat. They haven’t taken over the entireRead More →

Grooved granite boulders, Sortelha, Portugal

After reading about Sortelha’s “great charms” in a guide book, I was keen to see if it would live up to the hype.  It does. So much, in fact, that of the Historical Villages of Portugal I’ve visited so far, Sortelha and Monsanto are my favourites. I’ve already told you what’sRead More →