Vila Madeiro Penamacor, Portugal at Christmas Time

There are many Christmas traditions in Portugal, some the same as the UK and some completely different! On Christmas Eve a celebratory evening meal (consoada) of codfish (bacalhau) with potatoes and green peppers is eaten. As is very normal in Portugal, the main meal is followed by a truck load of sugar filled desserts and […]

Our Eco Friendly Christmas Tree by Topsy Turvy Tribe

Our Homemade Eco Friendly Christmas Tree

The past couple of years we have massively changed our thoughts about Christmas, opting for a more simpler approach to gift giving and to Christmas itself. No more evenings spent online shopping, no more endless shopping expeditions and no more useless and unwanted gifts purchased for family members and friends. We have consciously decided only […]

Splash! Penamacaor, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal

Rain, Wellingtons, Waterproofs and Puddle Jumping

We have been waiting for rain for a long time here in Central Portugal. To say the land is in need of a good watering is an understatement. Unlike the UK where there seems to be no lack of the odd downpour, in Portugal rain is scarce and welcomed with open arms. There were horiffic fires […]

Portuguese Quince Marmelada

You might mistakenly think that these pear-like fruits are going mouldy, as Quince are covered in a bizarre greyish fluff whilst growing. Quince turn from dark green to a light green and eventually they are ripe for picking when they are a golden yellow and some of their fluff has fallen off. The Quince tree […]

Tractor ride with the olives!

Olive Picking in Portugal 

Olive picking starts early in Portugal, as the season begins in November. We have now picked olives in France, Portugal and Spain. Each experience has been very different. In France olives are raked with small hand combs into the nets below.  In Southern Spain olives aren’t picked until after Christmas, and generally involve tree shakers […]

Chaos and his Lego Caravan, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal

Living Off Grid in Central Portugal

Never in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine that our family would live in a caravan, without mains running water or electricity but here we are, living off grid in Central Portugal! When we first came to Portugal housesitting in 2015 we were surprised to find one of our neighbours, a family of five, […]

Fun Times at Idanha-a-Nova Lake, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal

Idanha-a-Nova Lake

Idhana-a-Nova in Central Portugal is a remote and ancient part of Portugal and home to a spectacular lake.  Idhana-a-Nova lake is within the perimeters of the Geopark Naturejo, which forms part of the Global Network of National Geoparks created by UNESCO.  Geoparks are a  place where geological heritage is connected to broader aspects of the natural […]

A Pig's Life, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal

Pigs and Acorns on the Portuguese Quinta

The acorns are falling in abundance here in Portugal; some are eaten by birds and small mammals, but they make an amazingly tasty treat for the quinta’s resident pigs! Portugal and Spain are renowned for acorn fed pigs, as it is supposed to enhance the flavour of their meat (ssh, don’t tell the pigs!). Pigs […]

Exploring, Fonte do Pego, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal.

Fonte do Pego, Portugal

Set inside a gorge full of fossils, a short walk from a preserved traditional millers house with a working watermill stone and overlooked by Penha Garcia castle you will find the most spectacular natural swimming pool.  Fonte do Pego has to be the best way to cool down ever.  A beautifully crafted swimming hole utilising the […]

Monsanto Castle, Beira Baxia, Portugal

Monsanto, Portugal

Monsanto is located in the Beira Baixa Province of Portugal and the officially titled Historic Village was once fortified by the Knights Templar. Monsanto has claimed to be the most ancient settlement in Portugal, as there are traces of early stone age man from the ice age. Nowadays Monsanto revels in once being bestowed the […]