Portugal. Europe's Undiscovered Gem and Gastronomy Destination!
Americans are discovering what sophisticated European travelers have known since the Romans first introduced Lusitania to the world nearly 2,000 years ago. That Portugal is one of the most unique, exciting affordable destinations on the Continent.
The Roman influence is seen on their temples, bridges and aqueducts and the Moorish occupation also left their mark like the colorful Azulejos (tiles) that decorate many of the Portuguese buildings. Medieval castles can be found along the Portuguese landscape, many featuring the original Manueline architecture unique to Portugal.
Portugal has more than its share of UNESCO World Heritage Cities. The capital Lisboa is the westernmost city in Europe, predating London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years and full of important monuments. Like the Tower of Belem, Jeronimos Monastery and the Castelo de Sao Jorge in the historic Alfama district. The Discovery Monument and Plaza of the Americas honors Prince Henrique the Navigator and Vasco de Gama along with many other important discoverers who sailed in the 15th and 16th centuries during the Portuguese Age of Discovery.
Once you leave Lisboa you can travel nearby north and visit the lovely resorts town of Cascais by the Sea or historic Sintra on a Hill, home of the Pena National Palace Castelo and once a favorite vacation destination of the Portuguese Royalty. Nearby you can visit the Sanctuary of Fatima a very important international spiritual pilgrimage destination. Then continue to the historic and quaint towns of Obidos and Nazaré by the Sea. On route to the city of Porto, stop and visit the impressive Manueline style of the Batalha Monastery and the city of Coimbra, home of the important Coimbra University and historic Biblioteca Joanina, Baroque Library.
Another must-see Heritage city Porto, is a favorite stop for cruise lines as well the starting point for River Cruises down the beautiful Duoro River and Wine Valley, surrounded by excellent vineyards and wineries. This city has become a favorite destination of gastronomy lovers, full of charming and historic Quarters, established Port Lodges as well as important monuments. Like the Sè Cathedral and Tower of Clèrigos, to name just two. From Porto you can also visit the medieval city of Guimarães, Portugal’s first Capital during the 12th century. As you continue north the city of Braga is also a popular destination.
But Portugal has much more to offer! The western Regions of Beira Alta and Baixa and Alentejo situated along the border with Spain are home to some of the most beautiful historic towns and magnificent Castles. The southern Region of Algarve Portugal’s Riviera is a favorite jetsetter destination and home to quaint towns, like Lagos, Albufeira, Portimão and Faro to name a few, with long stretches of white sandy beaches, natural caves and impressive hotels and resorts.
We invite you visit this exciting destination and savor its great gastronomy!