Are you under the assumption that Portugal is all about sun and beaches?
Have you ever considered a boat trip up the meandering river Douro, stopping at centenary Quintas for fabulous wine-testing on the way? Or a gondola-like tour of the ‘Venice of Portugal’? Or maybe even a whale-sighting trip in the middle of the Atlantic?
This, and much more, awaits you in Portugal. Why not see it for yourself and visit the many regions of this versatile country. It will be a journey to remember.
Portugal can be divided into seven main regions:
A visit to the North of Portugal is a trip back to Portugal’s beginnings. A land of Celtic settlements, medieval castles, mountain fortifications and imposing monuments, every hill and edifice has its own tale to tell. Green valleys and slopes produce the finest wines, every village produces a gastronomic marvel and the combination of old charm and new trends in cosmopolitan Porto will leave you entranced.
This is a region of striking contrasts, where mainland Portugal’s highest mountain peak lies alongside pretty coastal seaside towns. Home to one of the oldest university cities in Europe, to fabulous wine-tasting routes and the solemn sanctuary of Fátima, your travels will take you past glacier valleys, pine forests, beaches and the birthplace of Portugal’s legendary queijo da serra cheese.
Enchanting. Lisbon’s unique light accentuates the dignity of its monuments, the scenic river Tagus glistens in the sunlight and the city’s unassuming cobbled streets lead you into resplendent squares. Old and new co-exist harmoniously in a city that has a rhythm all of its own where you will want to soak up its charm very slowly. Glamorous Cascais lies further along the coast and just beyond that, the magical hills of the town that has always enchanted the more romantically-inclined... dreamy Sintra.
The Alentejo Region
Rolling sunflower fields dotted with cork oaks and olive trees, a coastline full of beautiful beaches and a very sedate pace await you in the Alentejo. Most of its towns tell of Roman and Moorish invasion, its hilltop villages overlook tranquil rivers flowing towards the coast and the mouth-watering cuisine testifies to the inventiveness of its people. Its first-class heady wine embodies the region itself.
A fabulous climate, a wide choice of beaches, animated seaside resorts, sophisticated villas and golf courses galore have all come together to make the Algarve Portugal’s best-known region. Also a land of striking natural beauty, its protected wetlands are home to migrating birds and its mountainous interior is a delightful mix of blossoming almond trees, quaint historical towns and a peaceful farming life.
This ‘floating garden’ in the Atlantic owes its attraction as much to its beautiful landscape and sub-tropical vegetation as to the wonderful climate and warm, inviting waters. Madeira Island’s tempting sea acts as a powerful magnet on the hearts of its people and visitors, beckoning all to its shores and offering endless opportunities for enjoyment. The warm hospitality you will feel here will make you want to come back for more.
The Azores islands
A region of untouched wild landscape, all-pervading tranquillity and a way of life that is equally devoted to land and sea, a trip to the Azores is an authentic discovery voyage. A land of volcanic craters, breathtaking lakes and dairy farming, its sea attracts dolphins, whales and ancient sea mariners from all corners of the world.