Europe’s Hidden Gem

The Portuguese are accredited to have been one of the first explorers to find the New World; however, we are yet to discover their hidden treasureWe know that many of you Viaturistas already have had the pleasure of discovering the riches of Portugal. But there are many that are still missing out.

Let us give you a little insight to some of Portugal’s beauty.


LisbonPortugal_Lisbon_TownSquare_ss.jpeg

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It’s a gorgeous costal city with delicious seafood that will leave your mouth watering for more. You’ll fall in love with this city simply by walking around and staring at the enchanting elegant buildings. You almost feel as if you have entered a time machine and gone back in time to a blissful and more sophisticated period. Yet the city’s atmosphere still feels young and modern full of life and fun. Every night you can eat lobster, oysters and other delicacies like kings, at some of the top restaurants, being that it’s very inexpensive. If you’re a fan of Spanish cuisine, then you’ll love Portuguese food. Following dinner, the city’s warm and safe vibe welcomes you to dance through the street till late hours while listening to talented street performers. However, Portugal_Lisbon_Tram_ss .jpegdon’t forget to peak into the small “Fado Bars” where everyone sits close together, drinking wine and quietly listening to signers take turns at passionate, powerful heartfelt songs about love. Fado is the traditional music of Portugal and it’s definitely worth the time checking out. Lisbon is incredibly big and filled with endless amount of things to do. We recommend 4-5 nights to fully enjoy it’s beauty.

Other places to visit in Lisbon:

  • Lisbon Oceanarium
  • Jeronimos Monastery
  • Alfama District
  • Miradouro de Senhora do Monte
  • Chiado Plaza
  • Praca do Comercio
  • Torre de Belem
  • Watch light show at Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta
  • Castelo de Sao Jorge
  • Miradouro da Graca view

SintraPortgual_Sintra_PalacedePena_ss.jpeg

Sintra is a small town 45 minutes away from Lisbon. This charming Hansel and Gretel ambiance town is a prelude to its royal treasures. At the top of the town lays the most unique palace you will ever see. The Pena Palace was the home of King Ferdinand II and his Queen. He wanted the palace to have many different styles which include: Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Neo-Islamic and Neo-Renaissance. It might sound “de chile, de dulce y de manteca” but it’s arranged in a way that simply takes your breath-away. The palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. Make sure you leave enough time to jump in the cute speed-away cars and cruise down the hill to town.

If you still have time, check out the medieval Castelo dos Mouros and the Sintra National Palace. Sintra is such a small town that even doing a day trip from Lisbon will give you enough of a fill.


Douro

unnamed.jpgPerhaps after all the Fado bars and walking around the palaces you’d like some peace and quiet. Douro is the perfect relaxing romantic getaway. Enjoy the serene nature views while drinking some of the best wine imaginable (Porto, the dessert wine is what Douro is famous for). Once you’ve recharged your batteries, take a hike to see the spectacular views of the river and the grape vines. However, you can’t go to Douro and not relish in a few wine-tasting tours from some of the world’s most famous wine makers. Most hotels have day tours that can take you wine tasting to different vineyards. We recommend 2 nights of tranquility and wine in Douro.


Oporto

OH-Porto, what a beauty! Oporto is the pearl of Portugal. Everywhere you turn, there’s something to take your breath away. Everyone knows about the famous Eiffel Tower in France,Portugal_Porto_BridgeatNight_ss.jpeg but I’m sure you didn’t know about the Eiffel Bridge that Gustave Eiffel also built, typically known as Maria Pia Bridge. On the top, there is a metro that transports you to the other side of the Douro River. You can also walk across the bridge to admire the spectacular views and then take the cable car down to feel like a bird flying over paradise. From there, roam around the little captivating town, eating, drinking and savoring the sunset as it dives into the Douro River and glows the town. Porto might seem small, but there’s no other town like it. Its loveliness is truly unique and unforgettable. If it were up to us, we’d move there. But 3-4 night stay will do for a pleasurable vacation.Portugal_Porto_Boats_ss.jpeg

Other places to visit in Oporto:

  • Cais de Ribeira
  • Palacio da Bolsa
  • Sao Francisco Church
  • Livraria Lello & Irmao
  • Avenida dos Aliados
  • Porto Cathedral
  • Clerigos Tower
  • Parque da Cidade do Porto

From mesmerizing aqua blue beaches, heavenly cuisine, luscious green landscape, delicious wines, mystical old streets and buildings, fascinating history, powerful heartfelt music to kind welcoming people. Portugal has to be on your list of the next place to visit, or you’d truly be missing out! Oh, and by the way did we mention affordable! Soooo… what are you waiting for?!


Check out our popular tours to Portugal:

Best of Portugal (10 Days) – July 7, 2016:
http://www.viatur.com/2016_Gema_Escondida_Jul17.html

Spain, Morocco and Portugal (16 Days) – August 13, 2016:
http://www.viatur.com/2016_Espana_Marruecos_yPortugal_Agosto13.html

Best of Portugal (10 Days) – December 25, 2016:  http://www.viatur.com/2016_Gema_Escondida_DEC25.html

 

 


Author: Alejandra Perdomo 6/9/16

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