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Portugal Districts

Portugal is divided into 18 districts. The districts are further divided into Concelho and Freguesia.

The 18 districts are Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Bragança, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisbon, Portalegre, Porto, Santarém, Setúbal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real and Viseu. Plus, there are the Azores Islands.

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Pure Portugal Blog

Toffee Apple Cake Recipe

A delicious and devilish autumn dish to sweeten up your Autumn! You will need: 140g flour 85g butter – melted – can be replaced with an equal amount of coconut oil if preferred 100g golden sugar/unrefined sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 200ml milk 1 free range egg – beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Pinch of salt (optional) 2 cooking apples Bramley or other, peeled, cored and sliced up For the Topping 140g sugar (dark brown if possible) 75g pecans, chopped ...Read more

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

  I have made elderberry syrup around this time of year for nearly a decade, over the years I have tweaked the recipe to my liking, making it slightly sweeter in recent years to suit the taste of the little people in my life too. You also can play around with the recipe adding some things or taking out others, you don’t have to use cloves and cinnamon but I add it for flavour and medicinal value. Before I start, ...Read more

Pure Portugal – Past Blogs

As part of our Pure Portugal Past and Present series in celebration of Pure Portugal turning 14 years old on May 10th we thought we would find some of the old blogs from Sophie, Andy and some of the volunteers they had way back where Pure Portugal all began at Quinta das Abelhas! You can now catch up with what Sophie and volunteers are up to at her new home Quinta dos Covões who have a Facebook page – click ...Read more

Low Carb Pork “Torresmos”

This is my low-carb take on Portuguese Torresmos! You’ll need (for 2 people): Meat & Marinade: 600g Rojões de Porco 1/2 lemon, cut into quarters in marinade, juice squeezed over meat Glass of red wine 2 cloves of garlic, crushed & chopped Salt Bay leaf For cooking: Marinated Rojões de Porco Large onion 1/2 malagueta chilli 1/2 stick celery (optional) 2 cloves garlic Bay leaf Salt Finely cut rind of 1/4 small lemon Red wine Olive oil Half a small ...Read more

Chestnuts and St Martins Summer

Castanhas e Verao de Sao Martinho  Chestnuts and St Martins Summer   In Portugal, harvest festival, called ‘Magusto’, is celebrated on St Martins day, 11th November. Traditionally the whole family sat around an open fire, celebrating a bountiful harvest by eating roasted chestnuts, drinking new wine and other regional delicacies. For example, In Lousã, they celebrate the honey harvest at the same time as the chestnut harvest “Feira do Mel e do Castanha”. Everyone gets involved, restaurants produce special dishes ...Read more

Top 5 Kitchen Utensils

Here are my top 5 kitchen essentials, the ones I have come to really appreciate since living on a Portuguese smallholding. 1. Portuguese Knives: I have never found better knives than the Portuguese ones. Similar to Opinel but at a fraction of the cost, they come in a variety of sizes and you can buy them almost anywhere – from your local market to the big supermarkets. I’ve never known anyone who’s used them to not be impressed. Not only ...Read more

Coconut Oil Deodorant

In a discussion on the facebook group Pure Portugal Living the Good Life  I offered to share my recipe for home-made coconut oil deodorant, so here it is! I love this deodorant not only because it’s natural, but because it actually works!  Years ago when I stumbled upon the recipe and first made it we gave it some tough testing – working hard around the quinta and it works where commercial brands don’t – no stinky pits at the end of the ...Read more

Top Five Kitchen Essentials

Here are my top 5 kitchen essentials, the ones I have come to really appreciate since living on a Portuguese smallholding. Portuguese Knives I have never found better knives than the Portuguese ones.  Similar to Opinel but at a fraction of the cost, they come in a variety of sizes and you can buy them almost anywhere – from your local market to the big supermarkets. I’ve never known anyone who’s used them to not be impressed. Not only essential for ...Read more

Fermented / Pickled Olives

Hello Guys, I just would like to share this amazing recipe of fermented/pickled olives. It is easy and 100s of years old. I always ate it at my friend’s houses but never made it. This year we have a great harvest of olives and I made two jars and will do a lot more in the coming days. It is easy and there is no need to soak th oilves in water and change the water, etc. PART ONE Wash ...Read more

Perfect Greek Yoghurt

Rise and shine – it’s a new day, and it could begin with glorious Greek yogurt, bananas and honey for breakfast. How To Make Perfect, Creamy Greek Yogurt I owe a lot to Greek yogurt. Once, years ago, while living in the UK, I entered a competition promoted on the top foil of a Greek yogurt called “FAGE” – pronounced “fáh yeh”. To my amazement, my slogan was one of six winners, and my then spouse and I were whisked ...Read more

Sweet Pepper Relish

The Pure Portugal office is set within land that is used by the landlady’s sister and her husband. At the moment I am listening to the gentle tinkle of sheep bells, as the herd is here eating up the corn stalks and fertilising the land. The sheep are in a small pen made of metal gates (cancelas) that slot together, and the pen is moved to a new patch of land every day – this is a great way to ...Read more

Eating Invisible Flowers: the Delicious Mystery of FIGS

© Keith Irwin Their skins are golden or leaf green, delicate cream with a pale pink blush, amber, mauve, royal purple shading into eau de nil, or inky violet tinged with midnight. There are dozens of varieties in Portugal, and their names echo like the words of a song – surely a love song in praise of the beloved’s beauties: Olho de Perdiz, Douro, Pingo de Mel, Paraíso and Princesa. Every year, millions of people around the world watch the ...Read more

Courgette Saturday!

There is nothing quite like the feeling of abundance as we move into August here in Central Portugal. Nature never ceases to show us her abundance every day, in the form of our gardens. Whether large or small, permaculture style or more standard, with a little care in the form of water, a handful of estrume(manure) here and there, and with the added force of the portuguese summer sun, the earth cannot fail to produce gluts in many forms. I ...Read more

Chutney (Glutney)

Today I’m making chutney. Going on holiday last week meant that courgettes had turned into marrows, perfect for making “Glutney” from my favourite preserving recipe book Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No.2. Slipped into the page with the Glutney recipe I found a piece of paper with our own variation written on it, for “Aliss’s Chopped Chutney” so I thought I’d share that recipe here – and the photo it brought back memories of, 5yr old Jorge stirring the huge pan of chutney. ALISS’S CHOPPED CHUTNEY ...Read more

Super Wednesday

Every Wednesday Fran and I work together at the Pure Portugal office in the Freixo house.  Fran has nicknamed this “Super Wednesday!” and as well as getting a lot of work done, we also have a lot of fun 🙂  If we’re feeling a bit sluggish, we get ourselves going by jumping around to music, one of our favourites being from a breath workshop we both attended, Gloria Gaynor’s “I am what I am” or we’ll do some yoga / ...Read more

ABM Restaurant Birthday Party

We’re regulars at the ABM Restaurant in São Paio, Gouveia – it’s one of my favourites. The staff are friendly and the food is always good. Today they celebrated 22 years with a “sardinhada” – a barbecue with grilled sardines, potatoes, sweet peppers and onions, which is delicious. Accompanied by traditional Portuguese guitar music and dancing. Afterwards there was champagne and birthday cake!   Find Restaurant ABM on facebook ...Read more

Licor de Ginja / Ginjinha

We have lots and lots of cherry and ginja (wild cherry) trees here on the quinta, so as well as stuffing ourselves straight from the tree for breakfast and “sobremesa”, I collected ginjas to make the traditional licor which I use in the winter warmed up as a cure (or at least a comfort) for colds and flu (not that I get too many living a much healthier life here in the mountains). Ginjas are smaller and more acidic than ...Read more