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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Castelo View, Castelo Novo, Castelo Branco, Central Portugal

Castelo Novo, Portugal

The picturesque historic village of Castelo Novo (New Castle) is in the heart of Central Portugal, set within a natural amphitheatre enclosed by the Gardunha mountain range (Serra da Gardunha).  This incredible looking village has Baroque, Roman and Medeival influences.   The drive towards the historic village of Castelo Novo gave us a shocking taste of what was […]