Portugal, a Home Away from Home

Our founder Seb shares his journey through Portugal. Exploring the country's importance to Torsa, he also highlights the importance of finding balance through his other love, surfing.
July 24, 2023

Hi everyone, Seb here.

This week I wanted to share with you something a little more personal. Through starting Torsa, I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in Portugal over the last few years. This is, of course, mainly due to our manufacturing facilities which lie thirty minutes North of Porto. However, Portugal is also a place I can fulfil my second love (after Torsa and training of course), surfing. I wanted to take you on a journey through Barcelos, Lisbon and Porto to share what I get up to for Torsa and for leisure.


Starting with business, Portugal is a hive of activity when it comes to apparel manufacturing. It’s a place where many European premium and luxury brands base their manufacturing. This is because of the high level of craftsmanship, dedication to details and innovative practices and techniques. 

Barcelos - just north of Porto -  was the natural and ideal choice for me four years ago, and having visited over twenty factories in the region, we landed on a couple which we are very proud to call partners. 

The great thing about manufacturing in Portugal is that it’s a quick hop over the Bay of Biscay, meaning I can do the trip with ease many times a year. With the Portuguese also speaking perfect English, it’s allowed me to build strong relationships, and friendships, with my factories.

Innovation and craft are pillars of Portuguese manufacturing, and that’s why sportswear in the region is growing rapidly. Demand is certainly exceeding supply, so I am fortunate I’ve been able to nail down strong working relationships over the last few years, and growing alongside our Portuguese partners.



Although my trips to Portugal for work are short and sharp, I have always enjoyed the spare hours I’ve had browsing the city of Porto. It’s usually where I base myself for my trips, with a short drive thirty minutes North to our manufacturing region. 

Porto is a small city, but one with lots of charm and beautiful architecture. It’s often known as the foodie city of Portugal. That, accompanied by great cafes and access to beaches, makes it a perfect place for me to spend an afternoon after factory visits.

Whether it's embracing the Portuguese culture of red wine and pica-pau, or zipping over to the city's famous surf beach of Matosinhos, Porto has a little bit for everyone. 


To eat

  • Euskalduna Studio
  • Gruta
  • O Buraco


Breakfast and coffee

  • Época Porto
  • Combi Coffee Roasters
  • Hakko


To stay

  • Torel Palace Porto
  • Canto de Luz
  • Tipografia do Conto




The country’s capital city is simply wonderful. One of my favourite European cities, oozes natural charm through being steeped in history and heritage. Locals are friendly, accommodating and rarely without a smile on their face.  

Although some may bemoan just how hilly the city is, the steep incline and narrow streets adds charm to the city, making the area feel like an interconnected web of neighbourhoods. What the hills do bring are some amazing viewpoints across the city, and if you really don’t like walking, there are trams and cable-winched elevators that can take you to your desired destination.

Lisbon offers up countless gems, whether you're after beautiful architecture, amazing seafood, or just a vibrant weekend abroad bathed in sunshine, you'll find it in Lisbon.


To eat

  • Pica-Pau
  • O Velho Eurico
  • Trinca


Breakfast and coffee

  • Neighbourhood
  • Heim Cafe
  • Hello, Kristof


To stay

  • Torel Palace Porto
  • Canto de Luz
  • Tipografia do Conto




Moving onto my second love, surfing. Ericeira is a delightful little fishing town thirty minutes North West of Lisbon. One of only 12 World Surfing Reserves (and until very recently the only one in Europe), Ericeira is a surfers paradise for beginners through to advanced surfers. A number of world class surf breaks line the coastal town, and whenever I afford myself a short break, it’ll most likely be to enjoy the waves of Ericeira.

The popularity of surfing in recent years has meant more tourism to the area, and with that comes new restaurants, cafes and things to enjoy.

Walk along the cliffs at sunset for an experience hard to forget. 

To eat

  • Onegai Sushi bar
  • Mar das Latas Wine & Food
  • PRIM
  • Coisas de Comer (traditional Portuguese chicken)


Breakfast and coffee

  • Balagan
  • Dear Rose
  • Jangada


Best beaches

  • Ribeira d'Ilhas
  • Praia do Sul
  • Praia de São Lourenço


To Stay

  • Immerso Hotel
  • Aethos Ericeira 
  • You and the Sea


Portugal will always feel like a second home to me. Being able to combine my work and love of the ocean is something I'll always be grateful for. With more trips planned before the end of the year, I'll continue to take you on a journey with me as I explore what more this wonderful country has to offer.

Thanks for reading, until next time.