Portugal: A Trip Across The Land of Good Wines and Delicious Food

Portugal: A Trip Across The Land of Good Wines and Delicious Food

Despite being considered a somewhat mysterious country and a tourist destination not as popular as Italy, France or Spain, Portugal has beauties that make it worth a good tour inside. Its ancient cities, magnificent medieval fortresses, clean beaches, numerous tourist resorts and a delicious typical cuisine will make your vacation in this country rich, interesting and varied. This post will try to help you in case you are planning a trip to Portuguese lands and still don’t know what places to visit. And so we have listed the best tourist destinations and activities that Portugal can offer you. So, without further ado…let’s get started!

The Most Popular Places to Visit in Portugal

We begin this section with Madeira, a group of islands located in the Atlantic Ocean, 750 miles from Portugal. These islands of volcanic origin are world famous for their clean air and seaside resorts.

Madeira, the main island of the archipelago, has practically no beaches and access to the ocean is by special stairs. Even so, the island’s main attractions are windsurfing, diving, golf, tennis, horseback riding, tuna and dwarf shark hunting. In Funchal, its capital, you can also find botanical gardens such as the Tropical Monte Garden, cathedrals and museums, being the most popular, the CR7 Museum, at the native house of the best soccer player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Portugal: A Trip Across The Land of Good Wines and Delicious Food

Since Madeira is a very popular holiday destination, many excellent hotels can be found there. In Funchal you can stay one night in Allegro Madeira or the Funchal Barceló Oldtown hotels, both belonging to the Barceló Hotels & Resorts chain. If you are looking for some black friday hotel deals, you can’t miss this opportunity. Other natural destinations not to be missed are the beaches of Porto Santo, the second inhabited island of the archipelago of Madeira; Cabo San Vicente, where Portugal offers the best sunsets; the city of Lagos, where you can enjoy beaches, seaweed and mountains such as Ponta da Piedade; and Douro, a town where you can appreciate the vineyard fields of Pinhão.

Natural Wonders Mid-Atlantic

Another must-see destination is Portugal’s Azores Islands. These are nine islands located in the middle of the Atlantic, where silence and tranquility reign. These islands, despite not having developed infrastructure, are an ideal destination for ecotourism, diving, fishing and for beach lovers. Here you can find a rich marine fauna, highlighting the whales, dolphins and corals, and these islands have healing geysers struck in sulfur caves and volcanoes like the one on Piku Island. As for accommodation, on Terceira Island there is the Barceló Angra Marina, located in Angra do Heroísmo, a World Heritage City.

Now in The Mainland

If you want to start going in chronological order, the first monument you should visit is Cromeleque dos Almendres. It consists of huge rocks or megaliths dating from the Neolithic (the last stage of the Stone Age), being the largest group of menhirs -vertically mounted stones- in the Iberian Peninsula. This monument consists of ten carved monoliths, four of which have small round holes.

Another point to visit is Guimarães, the cradle of Portugal. It is a medieval city, with cobbled alleys, beautiful balconies full of flowers, wonderful churches and palaces. Its castle, which bears the same name as the city, is a historical monument built in the mid-tenth century to protect the nearby monastery, and was used as a defensive structure for five centuries. The Belém Tower is another important monument you should see. This fort on an island of the Tagus River is one of the symbols of Lisbon. It was built in the first third of the 16th century, in honor of Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India, and was used as a fortress, gunpowder depot, prison and customs. Today, the tower is open to tourists.

In continental Portugal you can find more cities and monuments that will leave you speechless, such as the city of Aveiro, considered the Venice of Portugal; the Vasco Da Gama Bridge in Lisbon; the city-museum of Évora, where there is a Roman building from the 2nd century AD, the oldest in the country; and the Quinta da Regaleira, a 10-acre palace with luxurious gardens, lakes, grottos, enigmatic buildings that hide meanings related to alchemy, Freemasonry and the Templars.

Food and Wines: The Finest Portuguese Foodie Pair

Some traditional Portuguese dishes you can’t miss during your visit are Cozido à portuguesa, which is a lunch based on legumes, pork and beef, and It’s very consumed on winter cause it’s caloric content; Bacalhau à Brás, a desalted cod in pieces in an egg and potato omelet; and Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, which is essentially baked cod with potato, onions, eggs and white pepper. If you want to taste regional dishes, Rojões à moda do Minho are a good choice; it’s basically fried pieces of pork and it’s consumed in the north of Portugal while the Chanfana, a preparation of goat meat with pork, wine and spices baked in the oven, is very common in Beira Litoral.

Portugal: A Trip Across The Land of Good Wines and Delicious Food
Portugal, being a strong wine-producing country, many of its wines are famous worldwide, such as the Douro, Alentejo, and Dão wines, green wines of Minho, and the liqueur wines of Oporto and Madeira. In Portugal, like other European countries, it’s a tradition to accompany any food with a good Portuguese wine. If you are not sure how to explore Portugal, consider taking wine tours of Portugal to fully experience its rich wine culture. We hope you get prepared to travel to this marvelous country with all these tips! See you next time!