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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

The Pure Portugal Guide To Portuguese Public Holidays & Celebrations – 2024

Whether you are just visiting Portugal or already living here you will want to be sure you know the important dates and public holidays which happen through the year, many businesses close over holidays and there are some great celebrations to join in with too! Not all businesses close for a public holiday, generally you can still find supermarkets and main shops open especially in larger places, public transport will still run usually also, but expect to find the local ...Read more

Kings Day in Portugal (Dia de Reis)

Kings Day (Dia de Reis) in Portugal falls on January 6th, it is a day steeped in history and tradition, marking the end of Christmas festivities and the beginning of a new year filled with hope and joy. Historical Significance: Kings Day in Portugal marks the adoration of baby Jesus by the Three Kings (sometimes known as the wise men) who travelled across the desert for 12 days to get to Bethlehem, they represented Europe, Arabia and Africa and travelled ...Read more

Bolo Rei Recipe

Find our the significance of this traditional recipe by clicking here Yeast Preparation: 25g active yeast 2 tsp granulated sugar 100g all-purpose flour 75ml warm water Fruit Mixture: 250g finely chopped assorted crystallized fruit 100g seedless raisins 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind 1 tsp finely grated orange rind 2 tablespoons port wine 1 tablespoon rum Dough: 150g butter 150g granulated sugar 3 eggs 2 egg yolks 600g all-purpose plain wheat flour 75ml warm milk 50g chopped almonds 50g chopped ...Read more

Christmas in Portugal

Some of us are preparing for our first Christmas in Portugal! Some of us are well-seasoned stayers for Portuguese Festivities! Having spent Christmas in many different countries over the years and having the joy of seeing many different traditions and celebrations I can truly say that none compares to the warmth and love of the Portuguese Christmas! Little villages and towns are adorned with decorations, nativity scenes ‘presépio’, coloured lights and more often now the seemingly obligatory climbing Santa. In ...Read more

12 Days Of Christmas

We decided to share the Pure Portugal 12 days of Christmas. Where for the first 12 days of December the Pure Portugal Team picked a Portuguese word relating to Christmas or winter to prepare us all for the fun festive time ahead! First Day Of Christmas Pinheiro – Pine Tree  The favoured tree to be used as the Christmas Tree! Can also be known as ‘Avore de Nata Second Day Of Christmas Rabanadas – French toast A traditional treat, sometimes ...Read more

The Portuguese Caminho de Santiago: Solo, Group or ….Forever?

Thinking of walking solo on the Caminho de Santiago? It’s a fun and challenging walk whether in a group or as a solo traveller. Having done it with a partner and by myself, I can say I enjoyed both, but would probably lean towards going solo next time. Wait a minute, you say, …what’s this about “next time”? Once you have done the Caminho, it can become a regular thing, or even an obsession. It is hard to put into ...Read more

‘Halloween’ In Portugal

Not so long ago, Halloween, as many people know it, wasn’t really something celebrated widely in Portugal, however ‘Halloween’ has actually always existed as a day of celebration in a traditional form. ‘All Saints Day’ is celebrated on the 1st of November, which is a public holiday, and is followed by All Souls Day on the 2nd of November, which is not a public holiday. *During a public holiday Banks, post offices and other public services are closed (this includes ...Read more

Portuguese Traditions By Region: Experience the Heartbeat of a Nation

Ah, Portugal! A country so rich in culture and tradition that each region feels like a new world waiting to be explored. We thought we would take you on a personal journey through the traditions that have captured the PP team’s hearts, just as they have enchanted generations of locals and travellers alike. Up North: Where Tradition Meets Celebration Have you ever been hit with a leek? In Porto, during the Festa de São João, it’s a compliment! People of ...Read more

Cultural Etiquette for New Residents in Portugal: What You Need to Know!!!

Transitioning into a new culture can often be as exhilarating as it is challenging. As you take the leap to become a resident in Portugal, understanding some simple local cultural etiquettes can help smoothen your journey. 1. Greetings Politeness is valued in Portugal. A firm handshake and a smile when meeting acquaintances. Close friends and family often greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks, starting from the right hand side! 2. Use Formal Titles Using formal titles like ...Read more

Easter In Portugal

Easter is probably one of the biggest and most important of all celebrations held in Portugal along with Christmas time.  Here is what you can expect from spending Easter in Portugal! Easter is full of symbolism, many people attend church over this time, it is traditional to eat fish only during Lent and there are Holy Week processions and Catholic rituals to be seen in small villages and large cities alike! A special gathering and celebration is held on Easter ...Read more

Portuguese bread (and a little rant)

Some days ago I ranted a bit on Facebook and Instagram because of the insane amount of tourists today who are worried, mostly, with collecting stamps on their passports and taking selfies for the gram – you know what I mean. Years ago I stopped reading travel blogs (except for a select few) because of how most of them just seemed to have a checklist of places to visit but apparently didn’t really reap any real, life-enriching benefit from all ...Read more

The Harvest Fair in Arouca

While doing this road trip through the EN2, visiting partners and the Pure Portugal community, we’ve had the chance of participating in some events. Last weekend we went to the “75ª Feira das Colheitas”, the harvest fair in Arouca. It is an annual big event with crafts and arts, regional products and many activities for families. We saw a parade of ox carts bringing the crops, in gratitude to the mother earth and we met some inspiring eco social projects ...Read more

Memory Jars

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.” ~Robert Brault To visitors it looks odd when they first come over and see, there, set upon a windowsill or the kitchen side a huge jar filled with little slips of paper, to us its normal, it is one of the treasured items which has followed us around to the dozen or more houses we have lived in over the last decade ...Read more

Discover Portugal: Mata do Bussaco

We had heard whispers about a magical palace reconverted into a hotel, with a restaurant and wine produced exclusively for that estate. When we finally went to explore, we discovered a lush, green forest full of trails and vestiges of an almost forgotten era, with at its heart a legendary convent turned hotel. Welcome to the fairytale that is Mata do Bussaco (also spelled Buçaco). The Buçaco forest bears two papal bulls on one of its gates, forbidding women from ...Read more

Discover Portugal – Sintra

An easy half hour away from Lisbon, Sintra is a lush valley a stone-throw away from the Atlantic Ocean. With its stunning view of the ocean, it’s no wonder that it was always a favorite getaway and the location of Lisbon’s elite family’s holiday and summer homes. Although the term “homes” is used loosely, because Sintra is in fact full of mansions and palaces, with quite a few open for visits – and well worth the detour! If you’re in ...Read more

Place Of The Month – March 2018 – Monsanto

The place that time forgot….Somewhere from out of the Flintstones……The most Portuguese village in Portugal… just some of the ways that March’s Place Of The Month is described by people. credit: visit portugal In actual reality this beautiful and fascinating little village, sat 758 metres above sea level in the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova, near the Spanish border is called Monsanto. In 1938 it really was dubbed the most Portuguese village in Portugal and in 1955 it was also named as ...Read more

Kings Day – Dia de Reis – 6th January

  The Dia de Reis falls on the 6th January. In the UK we know this as 12th night, usually the time when Christmas decorations come down. It is the day that festivities officially come to an end, Kings Day in Portugal marks the adoration of baby Jesus by the Three Kings (sometimes known as the wise men) who travelled across the desert for 12 days to get to Bethlehem, they represented Europe, Arabia and Africa and travelled by horse, ...Read more

New Year’s Eve In Portugal

Most of us know how well the Portuguese can throw a party, and no better excuse than to throw one for New Year’s Eve, cities all over Portugal come alive with music and fireworks to see in new Year. Often, even smaller towns and villages will have a local celebration in a favourite restaurant that you can go along and join in with! All over the country people will gather and party away long into the small hours. Whether it ...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

Imbolc Blessings

  The first lambs of the year are in the fields and the Mimosa is in flower…. time to celebrate the first signs of spring!! The old Celtic name for this time of the year is called Imbolc and it is traditionally celebrated on 2nd February. It is time to celebrate the passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year. We have been busy on our Quinta clearing the land of brambles and broom, and preparing the earth ...Read more

Lets drink “Café”!

Portuguese people really love to drink coffee and they do it like no one else! In a cooled cup (chávena fria) in summer, or in a heated cup by boiling water (chávena escaldada), drinking coffee (tomar café) is so much more than the obvious act of drinking something! It is in fact, a social and cultural act that promotes socialization and conversation among people, joining friends to spend some time together or it may simply mean that we are going ...Read more

Feira Medieval da Caminha

Today I’m off on holidays! We’re going to take the camper van “oop north” and visit the Feira Medieval da Caminha, as well as other places along the way, Braga being one of them – and a visit to Inês in Esposende being another! I’m really looking forward to it, feeling in need of a break, and Portugal’s popular medieval fairs and markets are really worth a visit.  Held in towns with medieval castles, the backdrops to the fairs are both ...Read more