Category Archives: Driving in Portugal

Driving and owning a car in Central Portugal.

Beaches of Central Portugal

Beaches of Central Portugal

The Silver Coast / A Costa Prata

I wrote this blog to assist people who were thinking of coming to the area and to help them understand what the coastal resorts had to offer and what the various beaches looked like.

I added addresses and GPS co ordinates so that you can use Google or your in car SatNav to find the easily. All of the photographs were taken at the locations specified.

Enjoy your travels in Portugal, jump in, the waters lovely and the welcome warm.

Figueira da Foz (The fig tree at the mouth of the river)

This is one of the busiest resorts on the Silver Coast a lively modern coastal resort centered around the Mondego river and huge sandy beach. Located in the Coimbra district although 38 kilometers west of Coimbra it is served by many trains and buses from Coimbra city.

Close to the river mouth is the modern Marina of Figueira da Foz * Sat Nav location on the Avineda da Foz do Mondego N 40. 148.10 W 8.96.206 * which also hosts a diving / scuba school and dingy sailing clubs.

The small boat club which mainly has fishing orientated members also has a small bar. I was once the first none Portuguese member of this friendly organization.


Insulation in Portugal

Insulation in Portugal

Insulation in Portugal The climates great here, feels just like California most of the time.

That is apart from when you go into a Portuguese house if its more than twenty years old. You have a range of temperatures to endure from arctic to equatorial. In the winter they are very cold and seem to suck the heat out of you no matter how high you turn up the heating or how many clothes and fleeces you wear. In the summer they can be stiflingly hot so hot in fact that its hard to sleep because the roof is releasing all of the heat that it has collected during the day straight into your bedroom !
The answer is of course that these houses are not insulated and this omission allows the arctic to equatorial conditions to prevail. What the houses need is insulation but where and how and what are more difficult questions and require some detailed explanation.
Types of insulation
The most common insulation used in Portugal is “wallmate, floormate and roof mate” This is an extruded polystyrene product and is very easy to work with.
Surprisingly cork although one of Portugal’s major natural products is both expensive ( about 3 times the price of wallmate) and hard to obtain without pre-order. Try Rock wool and fiberglass bats and rolls are available but sheep’s wool and processed paper are rare.
Where to insulate – Its simple. Everywhere roof walls, floors and windows.
Trapping warm air inside your home with insulation is the goal but it has to be done with adequate ventilation this often seems counter intuitive – heating up your house spending money and effort on insulation and then opening a window !
If you don’t ventilate you will trap moisture laded warm air in your house which will then deposit the moisture on the coolest thing in the house it could be the walls ceilings or floor. Most likely to be the windows making your house look like a late night launderette.
How to insulate

Insulation in Portugal

concrete beam removing inside a room

Concrete beam removing inside a room

Concrete beam removing inside a room  We carry out this type of work all the time because our clients want more headroom in the ground floor of their homes or because the concrete beam was poorly constructed and they are unsure how strong it is. We also remove, lift up and reposition wooden beams in this case supporting a first floor. concrete beam removing inside a roomwooden beam removing inside a room The fist step is to look at the condition of the walls that the beam is currently resting on and were its going to be resting. If these walls are not sound do not attempt to remove or reposition the beam without making the sound and waiting for the cement and concrete to dry sufficiently so that its structurally sound. Weight is your biggest enemy. If a beam was to break or fall during the move it could easily bring the support walls down on top of you. NB: many demolition contractors are killed every year by just such an occurrence. No hard had will save you in this type of accident. Support everything, move slowly don’t be tempted to drop things to the floor if you want to  stay safe. Remove all the weight off the beam before attempting to move or remove it. Use sufficient numbers of adjustable props to take the weight of the beam. Clear space in the supporting wall so that the beam can be lifted. Move the beam with the props very slowly and keep it level at all times. This is not a one man job and should never be attempted by the inexperienced raise the beam above the final resting position so that a solid foundation can be created to spread the load of the beam and the weight that it will be supporting. Once the beams foundation is set and cured. slowly lower the beam to its new position and piece it into the walls. concrete beam removing inside a room  floor replaced Do not start putting weight on the beam until it is firmly set into its new position. Or you can save yourself the stress, probable hernia and worry by calling Castelo Construction Lda SKYPE casteloconstruction        Phone 00351 927168247 we are based in central Portugal For information on what we do go to

concrete beam removing inside a room