15 best things to do in Viana do Castelo

Best things to do in Viana do Castelo - climb up to the Santuario de Santa Luzia

Viana do Castelo is a place closely intertwined with the sea. Fishing boats destined for the cod-rich waters near Greenland once left the port of this small city in the northwest of Portugal, and their legacy has left its mark on the people, culture and cuisine. Feel the warmth of the locals who call this […]

Lisbon’s best day trip: Sintra 1 or 2-Day Itinerary

1 Day itinerary for Sintra includes the Moorish Castle

I always say Sintra is Lisbon’s best day trip and encourage anyone visiting me here in the Portuguese capital to take at least a day to explore. Fairytale palaces, dense mystical forest, charming villages, oversized mossy boulders and a wild, rugged coastline define the historic Sintra village and wider region, and while there’s so much […]

29 best things to do in Sintra

Pena Palace is absolutely beautiful. It's one of the best things to do in Sintra near Lisbon

Sintra is Lisbon’s best day trip, for sure. Each year millions of visitors flock to the UNESCO World Heritage Sintra village to explore enchanting 19th-century palaces and eat a travesseiro. But there’s much more to do here than tick off the top sights and twirl around a palace (though there are plenty of opportunities to […]

36 hours in Coimbra

Coimbra weekend travel guide - Jardim Manga Coimbra

You won’t see the inside of Coimbra’s most stunning building on this blog, or almost anywhere. So concerned is the leadership of Portugal’s oldest — and for hundreds of years only — university with protecting the bibliophilic treasures enshrined on the holiest floor of its ancient library that no photos are allowed. Think of it […]

Explore Monsanto, Portugal’s magical rock village

Wind whips my face and bells toll as I look out over the plains towards Spain, wondering what it was like to wait here endlessly for an attack. High on this rocky mountain top, standing on the walls of a castle built in 1171, I can see how this fortress helped hold the border when […]

How to spend 48 hours in Porto

Sé Cathedral do Porto is Porto's best sunset spot

Porto is the ultimate weekend city. In two days you see and taste it all – from the tile-covered churches to port wine tasting to the city’s famous hearty sandwiches. The architecture and tiles are different to Lisbon, the city is cooler (in temperature) but the people are perhaps a little warmer. There’s not much […]

13 best things to do in Olhão

Things to do in Olhão

Fisherman, locals and tourists move at the same slow pace through the narrow, whitewashed streets of Olhão. Charming and full of character, this town perched on the edge of the Ria Formosa feels as though time has paused.  Ornate chimneys and flat, Moorish-style roof terraces make the old centre of the small city closer to […]

10 things to do and see in Caldas da Rainha

Things to do in Caldas da Rainha

Caldas da Rainha, a small city about one-hour drive north of Lisbon, is known for two things: hot springs and ceramics.  Sometime in the 15th century, Portugal’s Queen Leonor established a hospital and church here, hence the name, which means “Queen’s hot springs”. By the 19th and 20th centuries spa towns had become all the […]

The best things to do in Estremoz

Estremoz, Portugal

Black pigs, sheep and cows graze beneath the never ending fields of cork and olive trees. White-washed quintas with mustard yellow or cobalt blue trim dot the hillside, surrounded by medieval castle walls and creeping grape vines.

Join the list

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive the latest stories once per month