Lisbon’s Belem District ripe for discovery

You can't really say you've seen Lisbon without seeing the Belem District

Lisbon’s Belem District ripe for discoveryIf you aren't already convinced that Portugal is a travel bargain worth a visit, you will be. Let me tell you about the Belem District of Lisbon. There is a day or two worth of sightseeing here, and you can't really say you've seen Lisbon without seeing Belem. If much of Portugal is explained by…

Lisbon, Portugal a travel bargain

Portugal is not always on major tourist routes, but there is plenty to see there, especially in Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal a travel bargainLisbon is an overlooked European capital. Tourists tend to flock to Paris, Rome, London, but that little country on the edge of Europe? Portugal is not always on major tourist routes, but there is plenty to see there. If you’re looking for a trip to Europe, but you’re hoping to stick to a tight travel…

The Algarve: Portugal’s magnificent beach of a south coast

Imagine golden sand, 25C with a blue sky in May, and the cleanest blue-green ocean you’ve ever seen. Add boardwalks stretching for kilometres and fabulous food

The Algarve: Portugal’s magnificent beach of a south coastImagine golden sand, 25C with a clear blue sky in May, and the cleanest blue-green ocean you’ve ever seen. Add boardwalks that stretch for kilometres across salt marshes and sand dunes. Every so often, include colonies of beach lounge chairs, arrayed under stretched blue canvas canopies. Add swirls of swallows and gulls above, and cue…

Sintra, Portugal, is simply magical

Sintra is one of those places where there is so much packed in that you'll say to yourself: "Wow! How come I never knew about this before?"

Sintra, Portugal, is simply magicalSintra, Portugal, is one of those places where there is so much packed in, so many fairy tale castles and brooding fortresses that you'll say to yourself: "Wow! How come I never knew about this before?" From Lisbon, a trip to  Sintra is a simple day trip, although you could easily spend a couple of…

Fado’s heartfelt strains infuse Portuguese life

The wistful working people’s music traces its roots to class struggles, but is now widely embraced – and is a soundtrack for everything, including haircuts

Fado is the essential working people’s music of Portugal. It’s rooted in the class struggles and awareness of the early 1800s, and first celebrated the lives of sailors, agricultural workers, tavern dwellers and ladies of the night. It evolved at the same time as the classic Portuguese guitar, a 12-string instrument crafted by a few…