Pattern printing workshop with Heather Moore + Os Azulejos do Porto, June 2019. Join us us in Porto, Portugal for a tile and pattern filled adventure. Click here to learn more



About the trip:

This Ace Camp will offer you the opportunity to explore the world of Azulejos (tiles) and Patterns of Porto, Portugal with Print + Pattern Designer Heather Moore. Situated on the banks of the Rio Douro, Porto is Portugal’s new “it” city, with stunning 18th- and 19th-century buildings, plenty of indie bars and restaurants and a laid-back vibe. Edgy-yet-opulent this city entices with its walkable historic center, balconies adorned with flowerpots, and the city’s love of food, wine and design is apparent in concept stores and contemporary restaurants offering innovative small plates. An ideal day in Porto combines both the grandeur of its history and its very up-to-the-minute cool.

Heather will take you on a journey to discover how tile works as a powerful pattern generator through various printing activities on different surfaces such as paper, fabric. Together, with Marisa and Alba from Os Azulejos do Porto, we willl explore different aspects of patterns and tiles, from very traditional to more modern, their history, traditions and use around the city, and painting on tiles themselves.

Tiles (called azulejos) are everywhere in Portugal. They decorate everything from walls of churches and monasteries, to palaces, ordinary houses, park seats, fountains, shops, and railway stations. They often portray scenes from the history of the country, show its most ravishing sights, or simply serve as street signs, nameplates, or house numbers.

TIP! The largest Festival of the year in Porto occurs on June 23rd, the Feasts of São João, the most revered saint of Oporto is one of Europe's liveliest street festivals. Traditions range from launching hot air balloons into the sky and hitting plastic hammers on the heads of passers-by, to waving garlic in people’s faces, jumping bonfires and offering friends and relatives potted basil plants decorated with traditional poems. It’s a time to get together with friends and family and take a walk through the streets towards the spectacle of the best firework display in town. This is a fun festival but only for those who are comfortable with large crowds and lots of walking :)

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MOBILITY: You should be comfortable walking or standing for extended periods. Excursions include navigating uneven terrain such as hilly and cobblestoned streets and plenty of stairs (our hotel may not have lift access).

Photos: Heather Moore

This Ace Camp includes:

  • 5 nights*

  • 3 dinners

  • 3 lunches

  • 5 breakfasts

  • Pattern printing workshop with Heather Moore

  • Guided Walking Tour: Azulejos Adventure

  • Tile painting workshop with Gazete Azulejos, including your own painted tile to take home

  • Local chef dinner experience with wine tasting

  • An Ace Camps Cotton Tote Bag


*Rooms are shared with one other guest. Each room will have two twin beds.  

Group Size: Minimum 8 guests and maximum 10 guests.

Airfare to Porto, Portugal is not included.

You will be sent a list of supplies to bring with you for Heather’s workshop after registration.

PRICE:  $2145 USD



Heather Moore of Skinny Laminx lives in Cape Town, South Africa with a handsome bloke, two noisy cats, loads of plants and a couple of bicycles, all just a short walk away from the Skinny laMinx store and studio, where she designs patterns and products that get sold in her shop, and sent all over the world.

Heather’s simple, clean pattern designs and unusual colour palette are inspired by everyday things, her love of midcentury style and a dose of African chic.

Learn more about Skinny Laminx HERE.


Housed in a former art school, our hotel presents a modern and comfortable atmosphere. Located on a quiet street it is a short walk to the city’s traditional shopping area and 10 minutes from the city centre. Make sure to look a little closer and relics of the site’s former school of arts come into view. Student grades from the 1960s are pinned along the corridor, and marks can be seen scribbled in the corners of the 150-odd artworks displayed in the hotel – all painted or sculpted by past students. The most impressive exhibition can be admired in the The Artist Bistrô’s cosy dining room.


Os Azulejos do Porto

Meet Alba and Marisa from Os Azulejos do Porto, who are working to preserve and promote the facade tiles of Porto buildings by creating the first and only public archive + digital catalogue.

Alba and Marisa are dedicated to researching historical, technical and design facts about ever tile they catalog, including finding the author, dating the time period and figuring out which factory produced it.

The decoration of facades with tiles is something that has been made in Portugal since the 19th century, and it’s a very important part of its artistic heritage. In Porto it’s estimated that more than 1.000 tile designs exist.

Marisa and Alba will be leading our tile painting workshop and Azulejos walking tour.


ACE CAMPS  will email you when it is time to organize your airfare. This email will always be sent 60 days or more before your trip departs unless you book within 60 prior to the camp. 

There will be no refunds for this Ace Camp due to the planning and logistics involved. 


June is usually quite warm in Porto and is the perfect time to visit and see all that the city has to offer. The average temperature during the day reaches 20°C or about 60°F, but average highs are 23°C (that's about 74°F). At night the lows average 16°C (about 61°F). At least 25 out of 30 days the temperature will be above 21°C and you can expect at least 7 days when the thermometer reaches above 30°C.


The ACE CAMP TOUR LEADER is a part of your group and are there to look out for your safety, to help resolve issues, and to make sure you get what you want from your vacation. The Tour Leader will make sure that everyone who wants company has it, including dinners when no group meal is scheduled.


DAY ONE - Arrival Day

Arrival in Porto, Portugal. Make your own way to our hotel. Have a rest, walk the city, head for a beverage or explore the neighbourhood. You might want to arrive early in the day so you can catch the regata of São João festival in Porto which starts mid afternoon and you can watch it from the banks of the Douro river, close to D. Luis bridge, or even from Fontaínhas.

This evening we have a meet + greet welcome dinner with Heather.

DAY TWO - Pattern + tiles with Heather

Breakfast at the hotel

This morning we will have our first session with Heather. We start the day with a workshop showcasing how tiled design is created.

Lunch at a local cafe

This afternoon we continue our pattern workshop with Heather. We will begin to explore how pattern can be generated with a single motif, and we learn how to design and carve a lino block.

Dinner this evening is TBD

DAY THREE - Azulejos Adventure

Breakfast at the hotel

Today we have a full day with Marisa and Alba from Os Azulejos do Porto. We start our morning with a talk about the history of facade tiles of Porto, getting a better understanding of their most important uses throughout the last several hundred years.

Marisa and Alba will teach you about the two different tile painting techniques used in the region and from here you will have the chance to paint your own facade tile. {The tiles will be fired and delivered to our hotel before we leave Porto}.

Lunch - TBD

Now that we have a better understanding of the history and production of tiles, Marisa and Alba will take us on a walking tour around certain neighbourhoods in Porto so we can discover this antique technique of using tiles to protect and decorate the facades of the middle-class buildings. You will learn about different types of tiles, how the various styles fit into history, and how replicas are made nowadays in restoration.

Dinner this evening is on your own to explore all the amazing flavours of Porto!

DAY FOUR - Surface Printing with Heather

Breakfast at the hotel

Today we have an all day workshop with Heather. Take what we learned from our Azulejos Adventure yesterday and let it bring inspiration to your work. You will continue with your lino block carving and printing tiled patterns on various surfaces that Heather will introduce you to.

Lunch at a local cafe

Dinner this evening is on your own.

DAY FIVE - A day to explore + Group Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel

Today is a free day to explore this incredible city together or on your own. You might take a river cruise, go shopping in the markets, visit the incredible Livraria Lello & Irmão ~ the oldest bookstore in Portugal and considered one of the best book shops in the world.

This evening we have a special “locals” dinner together to celebrate our week together. You will try several dishes showcasing the diversity of Portuguese culinary tradition prepared with local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.

DAY SIX - Departure Day

Breakfast at the hotel

This morning we say our goodbyes and head on our own way. We can help you arrange airport transfers together if possible.

Nota Bene: this is a prospective itinerary. It is subject to modest modifications, dependent on local weather, new opportunities and the desires of the group.