In April and May, 2012 we went on a "walking tour" of Portugal. We left home on April 11 and returned on May 21.

Portugal is a very interesting country - lots to see and do.

First, there is evidence of so much history - from the Neanderthals, through early humans, the Roman Empire, the Moors, the Age of Discovery, Salazar and now the troubles that are currently being experienced all over Europe.

Then, there is the beautiful countryside.

  • The Alentejo in about the middle of the country is very rural. The land is pretty flat - but with small hills here and there where ancient forts and white-washed stone villages were built. In spring the uncultivated areas are covered in wild lavender and beautiful white flowering cistus.
  • The Algarve in the south is popular with northern Europeans, including the English, for winter get-aways. The coast is spectacular - beautiful Atlantic coast line with craggy cliffs and pretty sand beaches.
  • The Lima Valley in the north is lush and green. Unfortunately it was raining all over Europe that week and we got our share of rain and fog. There are Portugese routes for the Camino de Santiago (which we crossed at Pont da Barca) but we did not walk the actual camino.

  • And probably most importantly, the Portuguese people are very welcoming. Everyone involved with tourists speaks English - which is a good thing because Portuguese is very hard to speak - though if you know any Spanish, a lot of the words "look" familiar. Everyone was very kind to us.

    I wrote a detailed day-by-day blog of our 5 weeks in Portugal in our Chuckling Chimes Travel Blog and Mike put in tons of photos. It was pretty easy to do since Portugal has cell coverage everywhere. Go to the 2012 section in the Archives.

    The company which organized most of our walks is Portugal Walks . We thought Julie did an excellent job. She arranged all our week-long walks in the Alentejo, the Algarve, and along the Lima River in the north. She organized our charming accomodations and set up and worry-free pick-ups and drop offs. We only went on one walk with Julie - the rest of the time we simply followed her printed directions.

    In Lisbon we went on three day-long walks with Lisbon Spirit . This company was excellent and we learned so much about Portugues culture and history during our days with them.

    image courtesy Portugal Walks

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