Traditional fado folk music fills the club and spills out on to the streets and the smell of bacalhau and caldo verde lingers from earlier meals of the day. You hold a glass of port wine as you gaze out on a thriving, historic city and the sea which greets it, welcome to Portugal.
When considering European destinations, Portugal is a less expensive alternative that still offers every element of the perfect vacation. One could surf the world-renowned, yet family-friendly waves of the Algarve beaches, or go hiking in the Parque Natural de Serra de Estrela. Live your own fairytale exploring the palaces and picturesque village of Sintra including one of the 7 wonders of Portugal, the Palacio de Pena. Those hoping to explore wineries and natural landscapes might take a boat or train along the Rio Duoro valley and end the night in Port wine’s namesake town of Porto with wine and traditional fado music.
Portugal also features unique destinations such as the chapel in Evora which is built from human bones, or Monsanto village which was constructed around giant granite boulders. Check an item off your bucket list by trying Lisbon’s delectable pasteis de nata, a recipe that’s only known to five people in the world. Find yourself in Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal, taking a gondola ride or perhaps watching whales or exploring thermal springs in the Azores, Portugal truly has it all and more.
Portugal is one of the oldest nations in the world and it celebrates a fierce history in exploration. Bartolomeu Dias was the first European to round Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, Ferdinand Magellan led the first voyage around the world, and Vasco de Gama, who was the first to reach India by sea, lies in the atmospheric capital of Lisbon. In addition to exploration, they also take great pride in their biggest export, Port wine, and their celebrations. Whether partying for the night or the Santos festivities, you’ll watch the cities come to life, and the festivities continue until morning.
Portugal has an abundance of artists, authors, and musicians who fill the streets with colorful sounds, expressions of self, and imaginative tales for young minds. Hans Christian Andersen, a storybook writer, resided in Sintra for a period and said, “To travel is to live.” If you were looking for a reason to travel, what’s better than living your own fairytale adventure in mysterious, compelling Portuguese villages, adventuring in nature in the land of the explorers, or partying the whole night in vibrant party scenes.
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