From Pinhão, Douro Valley
Far from being a posh winery, this is resolutely relaxed, undiluted by practiced panache. José and Manuela, both 82, work on the selection table, separating the good grapes from the bad. Their son Paulo gives the tour, and a proper insight into life above the vines and famous waters of the Douro, on which we'd earlier sailed.
The company, food and wine are all so personal, a blend of everything good about the Douro and their little pocket of it.
From Sistelo, Minho
The morning started with a homecooked breakfast delivered directly to the door and continued with a walk around the 'socalcos' - the iconic terraced landscapes give Sistelo. We followed cobbled paths eroded by centuries of animal wagons and passed several old granary barns, still standing strong in retirement.
It was a day of being stopped in our tracks - by a new view, by a herd of cattle being led along the paths and by the sight of a short-toed eagle flying above our heads, a little snake dangling in its claws.
From Marvão, Alentejo
It felt like an ancient ceremony of the Mediterranean forest. As the morning mist was clearing, I could feel, rather than hear, the cork being torn from the venerable trees by the expert hands of silent men, as if they were collecting a ritual offering.
The bright ochre of their naked trunks completed a theatrical scene that makes the connection between forest, people and raw material so intrinsic to the culture here.
From Costa Vicentina, Alentejo
The storks of the Costa Vicentina are, I'm told, the only storks to nest by the sea. And when I say by the sea, I don't mean they can see it if they twist their necks just so on a clear day. The waves are metres away. On windy days, they get wet.
Us walkers are metres away too, but those chicks look so safe perched on the vertical rocks. Between our excited voices and the crashing waves, I doubt they'll ever be spooked by any noise in their lives.
From Costa Vicentina, Alentejo
It's not that I recognize one turbot from another, but when I see this picture of a grilled turbot my mind wanders off to a lunch with friends in Zambujeira do Mar.
From a walk along the beautiful cliffs of the Costa Vicentina, to a spread of fresh fish and Alentejan white wine within earshot of the waves, it is my image of a perfect day. Or at least the kind of day when you say to yourself, "this is the life... Make sure you live it."
From Costa Vicentina, Aletenjo
I’ve seen many great sunsets in my life, but finishing a good day’s walk by jumping into the waves tinted by a giant red sun as it sank into the Atlantic must be one of the top ones.
Easy to understand why someone with a taste for beauty like the famous Fado singer Amalia Rodrigues chose this place to build her retreat house on top of the cliff... thus lending her pretty name to the beach which gave me the most beautiful sunset.
“I love this view because from up here you can see to San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro.” So said Sergio at the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte on our tour of Lisbon.
I see what he means. From the banks of the River Tagus you feel like you’re in a parallel universe where the world got all shook up and scattered about, with the Golden Gate Bridge and Christ the Redeemer landing side-by-side in the Portuguese capital.
José Sousa Martins dedicated his life to caring for the poor, earning a reputation as a bit of a miracle worker. Erected by popular demand, his statues give locals (and chickens it seems) a place to come and pray for the speedy recovery of loved ones and to lay their marble plaques at his feet.
They're not to honour those that have passed as you might expect, but to thank the Doctor for saving their lives, a century on from his own death. It is at once both deeply moving and incredibly uplifting. And wholly unexpected, might I add.