Everyday Portugal

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Destinations, Portugal, Travel Photo Thursday | 25 comments

Everyday Portugal

Welcome to week 357 (2/1/2018) of Travel Photo Thursday, and to Everyday Portugal. During my 2 months of slow travel in Portugal in 2016, I spent a lot of time wandering around with my camera capturing everyday life. Here’s a peek at what I’ve dubbed “Everyday Portugal”.

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Wash day in Portugal

Big city or small town, it’s common to see laundry fluttering in the wind outside many residential windows. I captured this shot in Lisbon. This picture is also seen in the windows of many Portuguese homes. I was told it is a sign that the people living in the house are devout Catholics.


Wash day in Lisbon

This shot, taken in the seaside village of Alvor, made me laugh out loud. Alvora is one of the many quaint villages you’ll find in the Algarve, and easy to get to even if you don’t have a car. I took a minibus from Albufeira. It takes about an hour and you catch the same bus back late in the afternoon.

Undies in the Sun, Alvor, Portugal


You can’t go anywhere in Portugal (or much of Europe for that matter) and not experience the vibrant cafe culture. Coffee is cheap, and the food offerings impossible to resist.  This cafe is located next to the Albufeira Train Station and I often went here to meet my friends Anita and Nash. We spent a lot of time exploring the Algarve in their trusty car. Sometimes I would even take the train to another town to go exploring. The train is a great option for exploring the Algarve; cheap and reliable. I always arrived early, so I could visit the cafe and enjoy a cup of Galao, one of my favourite Portuguese coffees. Solo travelers take note, Portugal is very safe. Ladies, during my travels around the Algarve, I found the men to be very respectful.

Coffee Time in Albufeira, Portugal


Fatima Hands

You will see these intricate door knockers, known as Fatima Hands, everywhere in Portugal. I was told by a Portuguese friend that in days gone by the markings on the hands told whether or not the occupants of the house were single or married/male or female.



Portuguese Wine

If you’re a wine drinker, you’ll get along just fine here. Wine with lunch and dinner is everyday Portugal and often cheaper than bottled water! Portuguese wine is now one of my favourites! Too bad, they don’t import many here in Nova Scotia.

Portuguese Wine

Algarvian chimneys

They are a distinct architectural feature of the Algarve and can range in shape from simple cylinders to more complex geometric shapes. The chimneys are very much a part of everyday Portugal in the Algarve,  and you’ll find this beauty in the quaint mountain town of Alte.

Alte Village Chimney



Porto isn’t always rainy, but if you visit in the winter be prepared for the rain to be part of your Everyday Portugal. I spent a little over a week in the city and it rained every day. Rain or sunshine, it’s a beautiful city and not to be missed.

Rainy Porto


Have you been to Portugal? Let us know in the comments. 


Please welcome our co-hosts this week: Jan from Budget Travel Talk  Ruth from Tanama Tales  Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations


You can browse the Travel Photo Thursday archives here.


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  1. I always love looking at your photos, Nancie! I’ve only been to Portugal for work and it was just a few days, most of which I spent inside. I’d love to go sometime!

    • Hi Rachel. Portugal is one of my favorite destinations. It’s laid back, steeped in history and culture, affordable, and the people are lovely, and I shouldn’t forget the food!

  2. Beautiful pictures! We’ve been to Portugal a few years ago, unfortunately only to Lisbon and Porto.

    • I love Lisbon and Porto as well. I’m hoping to get back later this year and plan to visit some other areas of the country.

  3. I did not know that about the hand knockers. I wonder if they got new ones for wedding presents?

    • Hi Lydia. I’m not sure if they were replaced or not when they married. It would be interesting to know.

  4. As much as I love the washday photo from Alvora,my favorite is definitely the moody, rainy day shot from Porto. Lovely photos.

    • Hi Jill. Yeah, I’m with you. Love that shot. Porto is a gem even in the rain.

  5. Portugal was such a great place – at least the tiny taste we had of it on two cruise stops. Your photos coupled with the fact that Aegean Airlines just added Porto to their destinations, makes me think it is time to return!

    • Hi Jackie! I fell in love with Porto. Now, I want to go when it is isn’t cold and rainy. I hope you there soon. 🙂

  6. I would love to spend some time in Portugal! I know I would like the country since it share several similarities with Spain (but it has tons of unique features too). I didn’t know about the Fatima hands. We used to hang clothes outside too (in Puerto Rico).

    • Hi Ruth. I am sure you’d love Portugal. We always hung our clothes out here in Canada when I was growing up, but not so much anymore. Although, my 95 year old still does!

  7. Looked like you were all over the place Nancie! I was really amazed at the clothes hanging everywhere, even on the door knobs!LOL The weather is just perfect! I’d choose rain over the icy snow all day! The Algarve? That’s where Portugal’s famous beach lies right?

    • Hi, Pierre. Yes, the Algarve is famous for its beaches. I’m with you on the snow. All of our snow disappeared in Nova Scotia overnight. Rain today, and hope the snow stays away!

  8. We loved Portugal! It’s such an underrated country. We loved that it’s not as crowded and everything was cheaper. We only had a few days and spent it all in Lisbon with a day trip to Sintra. We’d love to return and explore Porto and the Algarve region.

    • Hi Mary. I hope it stays underrated, but it seems to be getting more and more attention. I’m sure you’d love the Algarve.

  9. I love the details of your post – identifying catholics and then the door knockers. Do you have to change your door knockers if you get married? What if you get divorced? But then I guess if you’re catholic not such a problem! These details and idiosyncrasies are one of my favourite things about travelling!

    • Hi Amanda. Good questions and I can’t answer them. When I went looking for info. on the door knockers I didn’t find much. I can tell you they are morrish in origin. Being Catholic, probably didn’t consider divorce 🙂

  10. Hi Nancie! I really like reading your words about your visit to Portugal. Something I would like to add, if you allow me, is some information related to the top photo. It’s true that whenever there is a picture of the Little Jesus seen from the outside of a house it means that the residents are Catholic people. However, this only happens during Christmas and New Year season. Laundry fluttering has nothing to do with the religion of the residents. Nowadays, many houses are not equipped with drying machines. Lisbon and particularly the south of Portugal are windy and people take advantage of it so that they can get their laundry dry without spending electricity. Thanks for spreading information about my Country that is always willing to welcome you again and whoever wants to set their feet on this land…

    • Hi Belita. Thanks for the clarification. My apologies that I wasn’t very clear. Understand that the picture in the window is not related to the laundry:)

  11. Loved these photos of Portugal that show simple scenes, Nancy. We had so much fun discovering places in the Algarve with you! P.S. We’re pulling up our shallow roots in Lagos at the end of March and moving to the outskirts of Albufeira (your old stomping grounds) where we found a terrific villa to share with friends. Lots of room and our door is open whenever you make your way here again! 🙂

    • Wow, Anita! That’s great news. I’d love to take you up on your offer the next time I visit the Algarve. Happy moving. I can’t wait to hear all about the new place.

  12. Loved your photo of Algarve Undies drying on the door. It reminded me of when M & I were in our early 20’s and driving our old old campervan around the U.K. We used to hang undies and more on a line and fly it out the window when we were driving in the countryside. Just had to remember to pull it in before we slowed down.

    • Hi Jan. What a great story. I’m sure you got a few looks as you were motoring along. 🙂

  13. I loved those pics of the washing. I haven’t been to Portugal, maybe one day.

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