Valencia de Alcantara

One of the joys of being on the border is that you can nip over to Spain to experience a different culture and time zone (make the most of this when you’re hungry for lunch but nothing’s yet open in Portugal).  You may doubt much difference can be gained by driving a few km across…

Castelo de Vide

Castelo de Vide is a hilltop town whose steep winding cobbled streets are decorated with plant pots, cats and washing lines, and whose white-washed stone homes mingle with churches and fountains. The remnants of the 14th century castle (which dates originally from Roman times), totter at the highest end of the town, and are squeezed…

Marvão

The fairytale castle of Marvão stands on a granite hilltop, almost 1km high, at the edge of Portugal, overlooking Spain on one side and a patchwork of Portuguese olive groves and open plains to the other. On a fine day (which is almost every day in this region) you can trace the hair-pin road you…

Castelo de Marvão Olive Oil Press and Museum

Did you know that most of the olive oil available today has not been pressed, but extracted using chemical solvents? That you can call an oil ‘extra virgin’ just by adding some acidity? That cigarette lighters used to be smuggled over the border from Spain to Portugal because you needed a licence to own one?!?…