Need to be inspired? Feel that you need a push in the right direction? Want to do something different, fun & exciting?
Let Portugal be the answer that you seek!
We have put together a list of 9 fantastic things to do and see in sunny Portugal, all of them just waiting for someone like you to take full advantage of them.
1) A dreamy boat trip down the Douro Valley
Almost 900 km of dreamy & idyllic valley, held together by the twisting Douro River is a simply wonderful experience.
Stop at restaurants, spas’ and small country villages on the way through a spectacular piece of Portugal, mesmerising by boat & hypnotic at night.
2) Surf the waves of the Silver Coast
If you like it big, crashing & salty, then the Atlantic coastline north of Lisbon has a place for you on its waves. From the thunderous canyon monsters of Nazaré, to the World Surf Reserve of Ericeira; there is a spot for all levels of difficulty.
If its watching or participating you are guaranteed an exhilarating ride as you make your way down the Silver Coast of Portugal.
3) See live Fado in the Alfama District
Profoundly deep washed back with melancholy and emotion, Fado is undoubtedly the soul of Portuguese music & like a fine wine it takes you to a place far far away.
Going back as far as the early 1800’s Fado originates in Portugal. It has many famous singers – Amalia Rodrigues being one of them. If you are in Lisbon then Clube do Fado in Alfama will not disappoint.
4) Go olive picking in the Alentejo
The smell of the ‘Oliveiras’ in Alentejo Portugal is heavenly and between October & January it’s olive harvesting time. The region produces about two thirds of the countries olive oil.
Walk through the orchards and take part in this timeless process, while basking in the warm autumn sun.
5) See real Portuguese artisans making beautiful crafts
Portugal has an incredible amount of talented artisans who specialise in many traditional crafts. Pictured above is José Lourenço who hand crafts exquisite wooden marquetry boxes using exotic woods to create amazing veneered designs.
There are many places that you can go and see the artisan at work, one fascinating place is the José Franco windmill town in Sobreiro, who created by hand over many decades a scaled model of the old life in Portugal, they also have a great bakery where you can buy chorizo bread.
6) Eat amazing seafood & bread with chouriço
Mouth watering hot bread with chorizo, or silky smooth ‘just caught this morning’ seafood – take your pick as Portugal is blessed with an outstanding choice of all things flavoursome.
The delicacies of the sea really come to life in June in Lisbon, when they hold the festival of the sardines. Every ribbon lined street has a pop-up grill, and the air is full of joy and the smell of grilled sardines.
7) Take a stroll around a Roman temple
The historic centre of Évora in the Alentejo region of Portugal, is a World Heritage Site, and right in the middle of it stands the ancient Temple of Diana. Built in honour of Augustus in the 1st century by the Romans.
A fine example of Roman architecture surrounded by the city centre full of cafes & shops makes it a great place to spend some quality time – and if you like a bit of romance, there is a lovely horse and carriage ride through the ancient streets.
8) Hit a hole-in-one in the Algarve
Four!! If you like to chase the dream on the fairways of green, then the Algarve golf experience is where you need to be.
World class courses, all levels of difficulty, surrounded by amazing ocean views & all with a club house at the 18th to ‘refresh’ after a hard days work!
9) Eat a world famous cake by the house of the president
Sensational is the only way to describe the taste of ‘Pastéis de Belém’, served warm with a touch of cinnamon & a small coffee, the egg custard tart wrapped in puff pastry & caramelised on top will take you to food heaven.
The pastry shop that sells these angelic treats is found a stones throw from the official house of the President (Belém Palace) a suburb of Lisbon and if you are lucky you may catch sight of him as you queue up to buy one of these world famous bites.
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Written by Alan Stewart for Foundarte