Gather & Stitch Embroidery Retreat: Viana do Castelo, Portugal

August 15 - 22, 2020

Explore the traditions of embroidery, weaving, and the clothing of the lavradeira, the local farm girl of the 1800s near Viana do Castelo, Portugal.

Embroider with a professional artisan, visit Porto and Ponte de Lima, meet a traditional weaver at her studio where she grows her linen from seed and a heritage-certified embroiderer in business making traditional and contemporary pieces for over 30 years. Create your own embroidery inspired by the traditional clothing and linens of the region in a special project. Enjoy vinho verde at a local family winery and traditional Portuguese cuisine. Finish the week with the Mordomias parade, part of the annual Romaria Senhora d’Agonia festival, a living ethnographic display of over 600 women in traditional clothing walking through the streets.

We’ll travel by private bus and relax at our own renovated 17th century casa in a small village near Ponte de Lima. The house and property have a pool and a beautiful outdoor setting for enjoying home-cooked meals and embroidering.

Group stitching with Fatima.jpg


It's been a little over a month since my return from Portugal and I still have a huge smile on my face. I had a WONDERFUL time. There were so many highlights: the visit to the weaver's and embroiderer's studios, learning new stitches with Fatima, the Quinta, the Parade and the FOOD. I'm so looking forward to traveling with you again. -Denise G.




Saturday, August 15

1:00 Meet in Lisbon for private bus ride to the Minho region.

Arrive at the farmhouse and get settled.

Welcome dinner.

Sunday, August 16

Breakfast at the house.

Introduction to the textiles of the region, our project for the week, and basic embroidery 101.

Lunch at the house.

Village stroll and drawing with Portuguese landscape architect and co-facilitator António.

Vinho verde tasting at a vineyard.

Dinner at the house.

Monday, August 17

Breakfast at the house.

Visit local, certified, embroidery studio.

Lunch at the house.

Presentation by local heritage researcher and translator.

Embroidery workshop with professional artisan and translator at the house. (part one)

Dinner at the house.

Evening stitching practice or free time.

Tuesday, August 18

Breakfast at the house.

PONTE DE LIMA: morning visit to traditional linen weaver’s studio.

Lunch on your own and free time in Ponte de Lima.

Embroidery workshop with professional artisan and translator at the house. (part two)

Dinner at the house.

Time on your own.

Wednesday, August 19

Breakfast at the house.

Optional Day Trip to PORTO. Explore tile-covered buildings, old churches, museums, and shops on your own or join us for a textile and craft-focused tour. You’re also welcome to relax and embroider at the casa.

Free time and lunch on your own.

Dinner at the house.

Evening stitching practice or time on your own.


Please note: Itinerary is subject to small changes due to weather, scheduling, opportunities, and the desires of the group.


Thursday, August 20

Breakfast at the house.

Morning stitching practice.

Lunch at the house.

Continue embroidering or bundle-dye fabric and thread with foraged plants.

Dinner at the house.

Time on your own.

Friday, August 21

Breakfast at the house.

VIANA DO CASTELO: Visit the town and the Costume Museum.

Lunch together.

Gather for the parade in the afternoon.

Special closing dinner.

Evening stitching practice and pack up.

Saturday, August 22

Breakfast at the house.

Sharing our embroidery work together from the week.

Private bus back to Lisbon with lunch en route.

Depart or continue your stay in Portugal on your own or with us in Évora (details coming soon).

Our casa near Ponte de Lima, Portugal.

Our casa near Ponte de Lima, Portugal.

Enjoy meals and embroider with this view.

Enjoy meals and embroider with this view.


Shared Room:




EMAIL ME to hold your place.

It was such a huge delight to spend the week in Viana! I learned an enormous amount, met so many lovely people, and above all soaked in the beautiful surroundings and culture of Portugal! -Anne J.