Travel Along With Us –
Discover Portugal

Dawn and I decided to run away from home this Christmas. Hit the road for a little R & R — and a little inspiration. The ideal holiday, we mused, required no work and no thinking on our part. The ideal destination would be beautiful – with stunning scenery, architecture and gardens – and have fabulous food and friendly people… Then – lo and behold! – a brochure arrived in the mail. A cruise on the Duoro River in northern Portugal, with jaunts into northern Spain. On sale, no less! We booked immediately and never looked back.

The trip exceeded all expectations – and we came back to begin work in the new year inspired and excited and bursting with design ideas. We’ll share the best of the best with you right here on The Art of Outdoor Living.

 Here’s an overview of what’s to come as you travel along with us and discover Portugal.

Discovery… around every corner.

Discovery… around every corner.

bustling streets of Portugal

Bustling streets and beautiful decorations… Feliz Natal!

Panoramic View of Portugal

Stunning panoramic views…

hilltop fortress in Lisbon

Mugging for the camera at a hilltop fortress in Lisbon.

sublime landscapes along the river

Sublime landscapes along the river…

country side


ancient architecture

Architecture… from ancient to modern.

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Successive eras of conquest – and building… one on top of the other.

Soaring buildings in portugal

Soaring, awe-striking scale…

majestic interior

…interiors as majestic as exteriors…

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…hyper ornamentation… inside and out…

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Extraordinary wealth… brought from the colonies.

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We’ll visit the iconic Mateus estate.  (Remember Mateus wine from high school days?)

architectural details

We’ll have show and tell — architectural details…

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…including whimsy and New World discoveries captured in stone.

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And gardens. We’ll share lots of gardens…Residential gardens tend to be practical and productive in the countryside.

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In the cities, little space remains for private residential gardens.

classical and monumental

Public gardens tend towards the classical and monumental.

stairway to heaven in portugal

We may have found the stairway to heaven…

formal garden in portugal

Plantings in public spaces tend to be formal…

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…although whimsy and fantasy in the garden are not out-of-bounds.

ancient relic

We’ll share botanical wonders… like this ancient relic…

Camellia garden

Camellia forests!  (What?)

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…and botanical freaks!  (Can you name the chubby-trunked tree above?)

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We’ll share some charming garden vignettes…

tips for the garden

…and bring you some practical tips we picked up along the way.  (Above: Supple cuttings are used to secure grape vines to the cordons.)


We hope to be good friends at the end of our travels…

Douro River

…as we explore northern Portugal together on The Art of Outdoor Living.


Sneak peak into our next blog post…

Travel Along With Us –
Discover Portugal: Paving the Great Way

I got a bit obsessed with the wonderful paving found everywhere we visited. I’ll share my paving “look book” with you on my next post

Paving in portugal

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4 thoughts on “Travel Along With Us –
Discover Portugal

  1. Margie
    This is really a wonderful blog
    I am planning to be in the area for 6 weeks late this year
    You have reinforced my interest to go
    Larry Hawes

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