Azulejos of Portugal – our attempt at traditional tile painting


After lunch and a bit of a rest in our room we went up to the lounge to catch up with our fellow travelers.

As we were going through the reception our Cruise Director Phillipie with his beaming smile and shinning eyes asked us if we were going to do the Tile Painting.


We laughed and said I actually hadn’t thought about it but would watch the others.  Within minutes both Muriel and myself were seated ready to do some tile painting.  He has that way you know where you can’t say no.

We were shown a quick video on how to do it.  Yep you guessed it went right over my head.

We started with white tiles coated with a raw glaze.  2 viles of liquid, one with water and the other with the traditional cobalt blue to paint the tiles.  To get the different shades of blue you mix with the water.

They supplied stencils and a charcoal doll.  You placed the stencil on the tile and rubbed with the charcoal doll.  Once you have done that the stencil is taken off and then you can color in your tile.

Muriel used free hand and as you will see its really good.

We had a choice of transfers, I chose a dog.

Once we had finished painting our tiles they were put in a container which is like a cd holder with several slots.  They would be placed in a kiln and we would get these back when we returned to Porto in 10 days.

There was also  quite a bit of jewelry for sale and cork handbags.  My one regret is I didn’t buy one.  The bags were beautifully made.

I did buy a painted pill container as I had misplaced mine.  Great for when you are going out and need to take your medication with you.

Who knew that we would have so much fun painting tiles.  It was very therapeutic.  Great start to our cruise.



Muriel’s free hand tile.



My dog with a bone

It was lovely to bring a souvenir home that we had made.  Im going to use mine to put a teapot on.  I just have to find the right teapot.  Perhaps blue and white one, or the colors of Portugal.  I can’t decide but when I see it I will know.

They also had  quite a bit of jewelry for sale and cork handbags.   Cork products are for sale every where in Portugal.  My one regret is I didn’t buy one.  The bags were beautifully made.

Pill container

I did buy a painted pill container as I had misplaced mine.  Great for when you are going out and need to take your medication with you.

Do you think our tiles look as good as the Railway Station Tiles,  Congregados Church and the Twin Churches Carmo and Carmelitas.  Ha Ha you can be honest.


The amazing tiles on the side of the Twin Churches Carmo and Carmelitas



The railway station in Porto.



Congregados Church – Porto Portugal


A wee bit of history of the tiles or Azulejo Tiles.  Did you know they didn’t originate in Portugal?  I certainly didn’t.  They were introduced to Portugal via Spain by the Moors who had learned the craft from the Persians.  Azulejo means polished stone.


On our coach tour we had another fun time at a tile factory and did some more painting on tiles.

Will chat about that later.  So much more to show and tell on our cruise along the Douro River.









36 thoughts on “Azulejos of Portugal – our attempt at traditional tile painting

  1. You’ve convinced me that a trip to Portugal is definitely in order. I’ve been following your trip and I especially enjoyed seeing these beautiful tiles and learning about the process for making them. You all did a beautiful job on yours and it’s nice that you have a memento from your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You all did a great job of tile painting. And they echo the work on the photos of all those murals or tiles on the buildings. I am such a lover of blue.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I visited Portugal in 1995 and had known nothing about the country’s ’tile’ fame before arriving. I’d really love to head back there now as I speak a bit of Portuguese. I’ve not travelled in years but finally went to Italy (for 3wks) last year and thought it was my dream destination and that I’d like to stay there for an extended period (months for example), however… once there I realised the importance of language so would like to revisit Portugal now even though my language skills are very rusty!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that you got to do some tile painting – it’s such a great way to remember somewhere special with something personal like this. Loved your dog tile and the flower one was really nice too.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Persia! The colours look like Chinese porcelain, which would have been my first guess, because that’s where the Dutch Delft blue ceramics came from. Although… I suppose there’s incredible tilework all across the north African civilisations straight through to the Silk Road cultures, so that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful memories of this country, and though we never had the opportunity to paint any tiles, I took so many photographs of tiles. Funnily enough the house we were housesitting in never had any decorative tiles. Lovely photo of inside the railway. MSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A very interesting post. I have a soft spot in my heart for Portugal for various reasons……an amazing vacation…….a best friend. You are likely happy you said “yes” to tile painting. You and we learned something new and you have a souvenir. Thank you for sharing:)

    Liked by 1 person

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