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 […]

Sabugal Castle Lock, Guarda, Portugal

Sabugal Castle, Guarda, Portugal

Sabugal Castle or Castelo do Sabugal was built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The monumental medieval fortress dominates the village, rising above the river Côa with panoramic views of the Sierra Malcata mountain range. The site has a rich history, populated since prehistoric times, fought over by the Moors, Christians, Jews until it became […]

Olive Oil Vats. Ladoeiro, Idanha-a-Nova, Central Portugal

Olive pressing at the Lagar- Central Portugal

In Central Portugal it is olive picking season. Last week we helped several people in our community to pick their olives. This week, it was time to gather up our bounty and take the olives to the Lagar to be pressed. The behemoth and giant of olive oil production, Spain lives right next door to […]

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 […]

Medieval Music at Idanha-a-Velha Festa, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal

Medieval Festa in Idanha-a-Velha

Last weekend we went to a Medieval Festa (festival) in the nearby historic village of Idanha-a-Velha. There are a network of villages throughout Central Portugal that have been designated as historic (Aldeias Históricas de Portugal). The twelve historic villages host annual festas to celebrate their rich history. Idanha-a-Velha’s event celebrated the life of their very […]

Casa do Ramalho, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal

Walking in Penamacor Central Portugal

We have discovered some wonderful walking trails in Penamacor, Central Portugal. Penamacor itself is very remote, you are free to wander without interruption. Penamacor is so far inland that you are almost in Spain, only 12km from the border.  Portugal is fantastic for walking, particularly inland in Central Portugal due to the more temperate climate, […]

Atmospheric Skies, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal

Stunning Sunrises and Sunsets

Living on the land provides some rich rewards and reminds us daily that there is nothing more beautiful and good for the soul than nature itself.  Mother nature’s greatest achievements must be the gorgeous sunrise and sunsets that we are able to witness regularly in Portugal. 

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 […]