My personal A-Z of Portugal

A new venture for me- I’m creating a page to “house” my personal A-Z’s of Portugal.

What’s it all about?  Well, the idea of a series of personal A-Z’s came initially from Julie Dawn Fox.  Based in Central Portugal, this lovely lady set herself the challenge of writing at least 26 posts (one for each letter of the alphabet) describing different aspects, likes and dislikes of life in her adopted country.

She kicked off the series with A is for Alva, relating to the River Alva which flows past the end of her garden.  Julie’s enthusiasm was catching and before too long lots of people were taking up the challenge, myself included.  I’ve had a home in the Algarve since 2004, and part of my reason for starting a blog was to share aspects of my life there.  So it wasn’t long before I’d contributed A is for Alte – a lovely inland village of natural springs, bougainvillea and whitewashed houses.

B is for Beaches (what else?) was the natural follow up,

and then a tiny nearby favourite of mine, C is for Cacela Velha.

Time to spread my wings and fly up to Porto, and the river of gold, for D is for Douro.

Next came E is for Elvas, Evora too.

F is for Fonte , all about fountains and springs.

What would “G” be for?  The River Guadiana, of course.

H is for Happy Heart tells of Guimaraes, European City of Culture for 2012.

I is for Ilhas is devoted to one of my favourite aspects of the Algarve, the offshore islands of the Ria Formosa.

Cabanas at sunset

Cabanas at sunset

You remember my D is for Douro post?  Well, I finally made it!  And the result, of course, is P is for Porto.  I absolutely loved it!

The cable cars over the River Douro

The cable cars over the River Douro

A bit of a leap forward into T is for the Tavira Vase.  The Islamic Museum in Tavira contains this fascinating piece of pottery.

The Tavira Vase

The Tavira Vase

Still in the Algarve, O is for Olhao is my jump off point to get to the islands of Armona and Culatra- two of my favourite places.

Every kind of craft comes idling home

Every kind of craft comes idling home

As Winter approaches I always start to daydream, so Q is for Quinta was born.

And a barco rabelo! What more would I need?

And a barco rabelo! What more would I need?

Trying to keep my Polish A-Z level with this one, having written about Queen Jadwiga of Poland, next I introduce the six Portuguese kings named João and a tale of wild boar in J is for João and “javali”.

"Javali" or wild boar

“Javali” or wild boar

Meantime the challenge is growing.  Such diverse places as Australia, Dominican Republic, Greece and the Netherlands have champions.  Not only that- the alphabet challenge is being interpreted in new ways.  Alyson Sheldrake of The Thought Palette has chosen to apply it to Art, her specialist subject, while Susan Writes Precise focuses on her fascination, Words.

No reason why you couldn’t join in.  What’s your passion?  What could be better than a forum to write about it?  Read more about the challenge by clicking on the logo below, designed by Alyson.

Never one to do things by halves I’m also completing My personal A-Z of Poland – my father’s homeland.  Why not join me there?



    1. I would probably disagree with you. Sorry! 🙂 It has character but in my view not always desirable character, and the salt marshes are beautiful but you will be bitten to death by insects. i’ll pop over in a while and check.

  1. Hi Jo,

    this A-Z is a lovely idea and was interested to read your picks for Portugal. Hope to take up the challenge some day soon, for me it’ll probably be food related. Paulo

    1. That would be interesting, Paulo. Where are you based? I have to say it’s quite an old challenge and wasn’t my idea but I liked many of the posts I wrote so I’ve kept them. 🙂 🙂

  2. How gorgeous!
    I have family just outside Porto and my wife is Portuguese.
    I think we will ‘return’ one day and live there.
    This post has made me ”home sick”
    But in a good way!

    1. We bought with the intention of retiring there. It’s more than 12 years now and since my Dad died last year there isn’t much more to delay the move. Your wife must miss Portugal? Do you get back regularly or is that too expensive? 🙂

      1. Yes, we miss Portugal and we don’t get back nearly enough. With the South African rand the way it is , everything ”overseas” is expensive!

    1. The page needs an overhaul. Has it induced you to pack? 🙂 I’m supposed to be planning an itinerary for another friend but I haven’t time to plan for myself. Plan??? Anathema, you say 🙂 🙂

    1. Hello, Sandra 🙂 Thank you for the lovely comment. The page is unfinished because there are still a couple of gaps in my Alphabet. I’m not even sure if the challenge is still running. Julie Dawn Fox has an excellent Portuguese blog. I don’t know if you know her? I should look at updating this because it’s actually over 10 years now since we bought our Algarve home. I’ve enjoyed every second there and I love your country. 🙂

      1. I’m from Madeira but I have been in Portugal many times and have family in Lisbon 🙂 I’d love to go on a road trip from north to south, stopping everywhere and visiting everything! Lol maybe someday 😀 It’s my pleasure, you have a very interesting blog!

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