Amalia Rodrigues | Legendary Portugal Fado Singer

Our friend Carlos Evaristo had known Amalia Rodrigues during her life time. He’s recently written about her and the memories shared during their time together.

Amália Rebordão Rodrigues GCSE, GCIH (23 July 1920 – 6 October 1999), better known as Amália Rodrigues (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈmaliɐ ʁuˈðɾiɣɨʃ]) or popularly as Amália, was a Portuguese fadista (fado singer) and actress. Known as the ‘Rainha do Fado’ (“Queen of Fado”), Rodrigues was instrumental in popularising fado worldwide and travelled internationally throughout her career.

She became one of the most important figures during the genre’s revival in the twentieth century and was a leading female fadista during her 50-year recording and stage career. Rodrigues remains an iconic figure and inspiration to other fado and popular music artists such as Madredeus, Dulce Pontes, Mariza and Cristina Branco. As of 1999, she had sold over 30 million records worldwide. Amália remains the best-selling Portuguese artist in history

These photos and memories are taken from the Facebook page of Carlos, which you can see by clicking on the picture below:


I was so moved to have been asked to give a long interview on my memories of Amália Rodrigues for a special documentary on the 100th Anniversary of her birth and to do it in the living room of her home where so many times we sat with the Queen of Fado and enjoyed a happy evening of music and laughter.

Everything is as it was but how strange that the house seems so empty and silent. Lifeless without Amália, her husband César, her Secretary Lili, her Seamstress Ilda and her guitarists and friends…


I could not resist asking permission to go behind the glass barrier of Amália’s bedroom to hold again an image of Our Lady of the Rose that I gave her for her birthday decades ago and which she had told me that she kept on her night table next to her bed.

I also found the various other gifts we had given her over the years hanging on the walls and on tabes including photos I had taken of her in Fatima which she had framed.

Even a sculpture I made for her in 1984 and presented on stage in 1989 at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto still exists and is on display in the centre of a case with many other plaques and trophies that were given her.

Momentos of a long and lasting friendship that for me began at the age of 15.

Happy Birthday D, Amália!

Portugal Medievel Fair | Obidos | July 18 – August 4, 2019

In July, visit the Obidos Medieval Market, and back in time.

Surrounded by its high town walls, Obidos is the ideal scenario for hundreds of extras and actors, fully dressed in medieval costumes, who animate the town’s streets, as they portray noblemen, beggars, mule-drivers, jugglers, musicians, jesters and dancers. The main site of the entertainment events is located next to the castle, which will be the location of jousting tournaments, on horse and on foot, medieval dinners and the market, where everything is sold from medieval costumes to traditional home-made medical remedies.



Day Trips and Cruise Ship Excursions in Portugal

When in Lisbon or Porto, either during your cruise ship stop or touring Portugal by land, here are two destinations you must visit. Both are easy to access from Porto and Lisbon and both are truly unique places.

When people visit these magical places, everyone is amazed that “little” Portugal has such cool spots.

Aveiro Portugal. Moleiro Boats on the Canal


Aveiro was built on a lagoon, probably in the 15/16th centuries, that was filled with a heavy seaweed during a great storm from the Atlantic Ocean, which caused the decline of the fishing industry and began the cultivation of reclaimed land by the inhabitants. These hardy people used the seaweed to fertilize the soul and carved out small plots of land which still exist today. Their is a beauty found in the several canals with the moleiro boats (fisherman’s boats) which in old days gathered the seaweed and today carry persons through the canals, like Venice.

A short drive is the beach town of Costa Nova with small houses painted in colorful stripes. These were the storage buildings of the fishermen on old times; today these are summer homes. Some of the best seafood on the Atlantic coast in restaurants found on the Costa Nova beach… contact us for the name of our favorite one !


Castle of Obidos, Portugal


Obidos was the town given to the Queens of Portugal on their wedding day (from the King) and for this reason its called the “Queens Village”. The village is encircled by the original walls, streets are all cobblestone, winding their way through the medieval whitewashed houses with beautiful Bougainvillea growing along the walls and geraniums in the window boxes. Try a drink called “ginginha” which is a black cherry liquor served in a shot glass with a cherry inside. And make the trek along the city walls to the back part of town with the huge castle walls !

Want to visit these places? Contact us via to make sure you visit in private with friends and family when traveling during your luxury private vacation to Portugal

Douro Valley, Castilla y Leon, Aranjuez Palace and Cordoba

Four places not to miss in Portugal and Spain. Include them all into your next vacation!

The #Douro Valley in #Portugal has amazing #wine that is incredibly inexpensive, great views, and very windy roads. Take a river cruise instead of driving! The whole area was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site. Mainly known for port wine production, the region also produced world class red and white table wines. The beauty of the terraced hillsides which seem to reach into the sky, dotted with noble homes called “quintas” makes this landscape something incredible to behold. Pictures don’t do justice !



The hills towns of Castilla y León like #LaAlberca are easy to miss with all the winding #rural roads. But they’re a great treat and just an hour outside #Salamanca, Spain. #summer #spaintravel



This pink #palace in #Aranjuez, Spain was the summer retreat of #Spain’s kings and queens of old. It was established around the time Philip II of Spain moved the capital from Toledo to Madrid. Aranjuez became one of four seasonal seats of government, occupied during the springtime (from about holy week). Thereafter, the court moved successively to Rascafría, El Escorial and wintered in Madrid. It is open to the public as one of several Spanish royal sites in the Community of Madrid . #royal #españa



Why go to Córdoba? Because nearby Medina Azahara has been declared World Heritage Site, making Córdoba the only city in the world with four declarations by the UNESCO. (Arabic: مدينة الزهراءMadīnat az-Zahrā: literal meaning “the shining city”) is the ruins of a vast, fortified Moorish medieval palace-city built by Abd-ar-Rahman III (912–961), the first Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba, and located on the western outskirts of Córdoba, Spain. It was a medieval Moorish town and the de facto capital of al-Andalus, or Muslim Spain, as the heart of the administration and government was within its walls. Built beginning in 936-940, the city included ceremonial reception halls, mosques, administrative and government offices and gardens. Water was supplied through aqueducts


#VisitSpain #Córdoba #SpainCulturalHeritage



Portugal Vacation Sesimbra

On June 28th we arranged a shore excursion for persons from the USA that were on the Norwegian Pearl. They visited Lisbon with private motorist and then had lunch in Sesimbra.

Sesimbra is a fishing village that lies on the Atlantic coast about 30 minutes from Lisbon.

Located on the Setubal Peninsula, Sesimbra is one of those rare gems in Portugal that’s easy to get to from almost anywhere in the Lisbon area. It’s history starts with the Moors who built a castle where once lived the inhabitants (in the very early days of the Portuguese kingdom). The castle was instrumental in the protection of the coast from pirates that once aided with impunity the coastal areas of Portugal and even into the British Isles and northern Europe.

Those days are long gone and the sleep village that was Sesimbra has changed immensely from those times, and indeed in the last 20 years has expanded into a very busy place where people flock to the beaches in the summertime.

It’s also the place with some of the freshest seafood on the coast, which is caught from the crystal blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They even have their own “fishery” located at the harbor of town. You cannot go wrong when visiting Sesimbra if looking for a delicious meal !

If you are arriving on ship or visiting Portugal, we’ll arrange an afternoon in Sesimbra to see for yourself this very special place that almost all visitors to Portugal miss!

Side Note:

from Greg Edward (owner of Spain and Portugal Vacations)

“That’s the first place I lived when I moved to Portugal in 1994. When I lived there, none of those houses were up on the hillside, nor were any of the hotels and big apartment buildings existing on the road that drives around towards the pier. My first memory from Sesimbra was seeing old women dressed completely in black because they were widows.

We used to live very near to Sesimbra, in the town of Almoinha.

In fact our neighbors, who were from South Africa, are still friends to this day on Facebook. Although we have not seen one another in many years, they made it possible for me to feel like I was “at home” with their friendship. Many great memories are cherished from those days.”

Contact us here


#portugal #sesimbra #spainandportugal #portugalvacations #NorwegianCruiseLines #NCL #portugal #discoverportugaltravel #spainandportugalvacations



Seafood in Spain

Spain and Portugal Food and Wine Tours

Seafood (mariscos): on the coast, fresh seafood is widely available and quite affordable. In the inner regions, frozen (and poor quality) seafood can be frequently encountered outside few highly reputed (and expensive) restaurants. In coastal areas seafood deserves some attention, especially on the north Atlantic coast.

Quality seafood in Spain comes from Spain's northwestern region of Galicia. So restaurants with the words Gallego (Galician) will generally specialize in seafood. If you are feeling adventurous, you might want to try the Galician regional specialty Pulpo a la Gallega, which is boiled octopus served with paprika, rock salt and olive oil. Another adventurous option is Sepia which is cuttlefish, a relative of squid, or the various forms of Calamares (squid) that you can find in most seafood restaurants. If that isn't your style you can always order Gambas Ajillo (garlic shrimp), Pescado Frito (fried fish), Buñuelos de Bacalao (breaded and deep fried cod) or the ever-present Paella dishes.  source:

Visit Portugal and Spain

We know Spain and Portugal

Alhambra in Granada, Spain

There’s always reasons to visit Spain… and Portugal, whether it’s for the glorious sunshine, lazy-day siestas or soaking up those beautiful sights – the whole country is a open book of experiences that are definitely too beautiful to resist.

The best part about visiting Spain is the sheer diversity you can find all across the country – the cultures, food and even languages can change quite dramatically depending on where you find yourself on the Iberian Peninsula.

Despite the diversity, a few rules hold true, no matter where you’re planning on visiting, and it doesn’t matter if this will be your first time or returning, Portugal and Spain always manage to find brilliant ways to surprise and impress you.

Do we know Spain and Portugal?

Yes we do, and we want to make sure that you know Spain and Portugal.

That’s why we work together with you to arrange an exclusive vacation tailor-made to see some of the places that we have visited and just the last two months as shown on the maps on this post.

Visit and start planning your trip to Spain now.

December 2018 may seem early but the further you plan advance the more opportunities we have to develop some special experiences and ensure accommodations that match your style of travel, sophistication and luxury you’re accustomed to.

#PrivateTravel #VIPTravel #Spain #Portugal#LuxuryTravel #SpainVacation#PortugalVacation #travelin2019