Cabo da Roca: the most westerly point of mainland Europe.

We are in Portugal. The diverse heritage and stunning architecture make it a must-see for history lovers, while its very good cuisine is a foodie’s dream and the coastline attracts surfers and beach-goers from all over the world. If you’re planning a break to this fantastic country, don’t forget to stand on the Most Western Point in Europe Okay, technically just continental Europe, but that’s still pretty cool. To do this, you’ll need to head to Cabo da Roca, in the municipality of Sintra. The beautiful coastal trail offers stunning…

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Bolo Lêvedo: Portugal’s volcanic archipelago is home to addictively sweet and chewy muffins…

The beautiful island group of the Azores are one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. Composed of nine very isolated volcanic islands, are situated in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km west of continental Portugal, about 880 km northwest of Madeira, about 1,925 km southeast of Newfoundland, and about 6,392 km northeast of Brazil. All the islands have volcanic origins, although some, such as Santa Maria, have had no recorded activity since the islands were settled. Mount Pico, on the eponymous island, is the highest point in Portugal,…

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Memorial to the victims of the Baquet Theatre fire of 1888 at the Cemitério de Agramonte of Porto, Portugal

Sometimes, a visit to an old historic cemetery can provide an insight into the history of the city in which it is located. It is the case of Agramonte Cemetery, located in the city of Porto, that also houses one of Portugal’s most important collections of sculptures. Agramonte was created in a hurry in 1855, as an appropriate burial site was urgently needed for the victims of a sizeable cholera epidemic. Subsequently, in 1869, the cemetery was restructured and incorporated private cemeteries that were run by various Brotherhoods within the…

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Casa do Penedo: A small Portuguese cottage formed between boulders in the countryside.

There has been controversy since the first photos of the “Casa do Penedo”, emerged on the internet. The Portuguese cottage seemed too unlikely to be real and doubters immediately thought that the home as a photoshop hoax. Sandwiched improbably between two boulders in the midst of majestic Portuguese countryside, the Stone House is a wonder. According to Daily Mail, the construction was inspired by the Flintstones. The “Casa do Penedo”, also known as “Stone Castle”, is an architectural monument located between Celorico de Basto and Fafe, in the north of…

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Pitos e Ganchas, the portuguese sweet that oozes sexual allusions.

Here we are: We are in Northern Portugal’s city of Vila Real. Here, in December and February, a curious annual tradition begins on December 13, during the feast of Saint Lucia (Santa Luzia). Girls present boys with pumpkin jam: filled pastries folded into square parcels, known as pitos de Santa Luzia. Nuns living in the local Santa Clara convent, established in 1602, are thought to have been behind the treat, blending lots of cinnamon and sugar into the pumpkin filling. On February 3, the feast of Saint Blaise (São Brás),…

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Lampreia de Ovos, an egg-based Christmas dessert which celebrate a bloodsucking fish!

Here we are: We are in Portugal, where for centuries nuns doubled as egg yolk–slinging pastry chefs, cementing the country’s specialty in yellow-coloured desserts. In religious houses, the egg whites were used for ironing, and the Convent Confectionery could evolve thanks to the use of the egg yolk surplus, which originated countless recipes. There’s for example ovos moles, small, seashell-shaped candies, or pão de ló de ovar, a decadent, gooey cake. Then there’s lampreia de ovos, perhaps the most unique among the yolk-based creations. The origin of the Egg Lamprey…

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Anchors graveyard in Portugal…rust in peace!

The Cemetery of Anchors in Santa Luzia, Portugal, is surely a different place from the conventional touristic destinations. Here the dead anchors honor the victims of Portugal’s fishing industry. No one knows who placed the first of the hundreds of anchors along the sand dunes of Praia do Barril Beach. But one leads another, and locals people continued adding rusted old weights to honor the small tuna fishing community that once were on all this area, a symbolic memorial to the abandonment of this way of life. Historical reference indicate…

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Porto: Igreja de São Francisco and its Catacombs.

Ancient catacombs, with portals to the dead located in the church’s cellar, form the foundation for this church ghotic in structure and Rococo in decoration. The exterior of the church of São Francisco’s Gothic reflects the modest style of the Franciscan order, while the extreme wealth of the patrons influenced the interior’s gold stylings. Below the church’s three interior, thera are the catacombs that hold tombs for members of the Franciscan order and in a corner of the crypt, in front of a door to nowhere lies a glass, grated…

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Livraria Lello of Porto, the bookshop inspired Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.

The Livraria Lello of Porto, opened in 1906, is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, and hides an Neo-Gothic interior behind a Art-Nouveau façade. The first impression that you have when you first enter here, is that you’ve entered a church, and not in a bookstore, and remains one of the world’s most stunning shops, probably of any kind. The beautiful Neo-Gothic interior have a stained glass ceiling, carved wood paneling, and a great curvaceous staircase that stretches across the store. Was designed by Xavier Esteves and…

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The American Revolution, fueled by a portuguese wine.

In summer 1775, while General George Washington outfitted his first mobile headquarters for the Continental Army, he seems to have intuited the importance of his people comforts. His personal expense accounts between 1775 and 1776 described lot of purchases for a privileged man like himself, to remain comfortable as he superintended a volunteer army: trunks, table linen, other things, and most important of all, copious liters of wine. For everybody, the life in an 18th-century war camp was not easy, and there were lot of moments of incredible boredom, in…

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