Tourism in Portugal has grown significantly during the past couple of years. There are good reasons why... charming towns, history, fresh seafood, spectacular wine regions, exotic castles and palaces, and luxurious seaside resorts.
I visited Portugal last summer and really fell in love with the country. I felt a sense of romanticism in all the beautiful regions we visited.
Lisbon's Charm... A little something for everyone in this charismatic city in Portugal. Lisbon is Portugal's seaside capital. With so much interesting history, hilly narrow streets, nearby beaches, beautiful tiled buildings, and all the luxury shops you expect to find in every major city. Ride the historic wooden trams up and down its hilly streets or hop on a culinary segway tour (I did this with my family and it wasn't for the faint of heart - the streets are busy and narrow but it was a ton of fun!).
Experiencing the Wine Regions... Portugal has several wine regions. The most popular being the Douro Valley. This is one of the most spectacular wine regions in the world. The Douro River flowing in between the hills of rolling vineyards, it's truly magical. Alentejo is another renowned wine region running from central to southern Portugal. This area is also very beautiful with a lot of charm, history, and excellent wines. We typically arrange for private visits to historic vineyards in these regions where you get to tour the property with one of the owners, enjoy tastings, and lunch.
Spectacular Porto... Porto is a small city carved right into the Douro River. I had been dreaming about visiting Porto and it did not disappoint. The scenery, vibe, excellent bars and restaurants make Porto a one of a kind city. Stroll the hilly streets on your own or schedule a culinary walking tour where your guide will introduce you to delicious local Portuguese foods as you wander through the city.
The Food... Portugal has some of the freshest seafood in the world. Two of our favorites while visiting (had these daily!), were grilled octopus and the Portuguese dessert 'pastel de nata'. These small custard tarts are typically served warm at every meal and are so delicious it became an addiction!
Magical Small Cities... Aside from the well known cities of Porto and Lisbon, there are some hidden treasures in Portugal. Sintra and Óbidos are two magical small cities we loved during our trip. Sintra has so much history and several amazing Palaces to tour. And Óbidos is an ancient walled city that transported me back in time. Spending a couple of nights there and just strolling the streets and hilltop castle was truly special.
The Beaches... The spectacular coastline in southern Portugal is known for its beautiful beaches, rock formations, and luxurious seaside resorts. This area has caves that can only be reached via boat so a boat ride along the coast is a must.
So these are the main reasons why I loved Portugal and I'm sure you will love it too. Plus it's still a somewhat undiscovered destination by Americans so it's not nearly as crowded as France or Italy during summer months.
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