Lisbon to the Algarve Coast from the most southwestern tip of the country to the southeastern Spanish border.

Évora, Elvas, Monsanto and more. 

There are a series of forts and castles built along the eastern border to protect the country. The building started roughly in the 12th century.  The Alentejo region is the start of these forts and a great wine country. The views you will see are of Spain from the view of the castle or fort walls.  Evora has a fair number of roman ruins, there is a church of bones where the clergy there stacked skulls and bones along columns and walls in decorative configurations ... go figure.  Monsanto was amazing.  There were still people living in the village and their homes and the castle ruins utilized and incorporated the immense boulders that were part of the natural geology in that area.

Douro Valley and Porto

The Douro Valley was a great change of pace from the more arid eastern part of the country.  When we were in Porto we saw the President of Portugal boarding a boat to tour the Douro river.  Somehow we have a knack for coming across Presidents of countries.  It's happened three times for us now, LOL.  The first picture below was from the car as we descended down into the valley.  Pinhao is the village at the end of the road.


Coimbra is a vibrant university town.  I've heard there is more tourism there now, but at the time it seemed like mostly locals.  Up until now we had been eating local cuisine.  When we reached Coimbra we were starving for something besides kale soup, potatoes and roasted lamb which was the typical meal for the small rural villages we had been exploring.  Somehow in Porto we kept ending up in traditional restaurants.  You will see the pizza and fresh salad was a highlight.  Coimbra is beautiful and intriguing with activist students, lots of political graffiti, and religion all mixed together... and dogs.

Knights of Templar church and castle replete with knights tables and quaint and adorable Óbidos village.