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Destination Italy | Viva Italia! A country built to be the perfect setting for romance...

Destination Italy | Viva Italia! A country built to be the perfect setting for romance...

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Destination Ireland | A country steeped in beauty and history...

Destination Ireland | A country steeped in beauty and history...

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Destination England | Just think of elegance and tradition...

Destination England | Just think of elegance and tradition...

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Destination Czech Republic | A magical country in the center of Europe!

Destination Czech Republic | A magical country in the center of Europe!

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Destination Greece | Full of History and sun-drenched islands and coasts...

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Destination Portugal | One of Europe's best kept vacation secrets...

Destination Portugal | One of Europe's best kept vacation secrets...

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Destination Scotland | Raw, dramatic beauty of its green, craggy mountains and icy lakes...

Destination Scotland | Raw, dramatic beauty of its green, craggy mountains and icy lakes...

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Destination France | The very country which invented romance!

Destination France | The very country which invented romance!

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Portugal | Europe

Portugal is one of Europe's best kept vacation secrets. Its climate is pleasant year-round and the Portuguese are known for their warm hospitality.

A popular Portuguese vacation option is to stay in a Pousada, an artistocratic country villa or farm in wine country, and experience local Portugese life, culture and cooking. These family accommodations are located throughout Portugal's countryside.

Tour Portugal's wine region of Douro Valley where port wine is produced, or stay on the volcanic island of Madeira, a mountaineous and tropical island famous for its Madeira wine and lace. For a fabulous honeymoon, the Algarve coast is one of the world's most beautiful resort areas with a Mediterranean climate, white sand beaches, rugged cliffs, and grottoes.

The Algarve offers vacationers luxury accommodations, championship golf courses, watersports opportunities of all kinds, and world class deep sea fishing.

Lisbon is a fashionable and charming city with fine art museums, beautiful architecture, and a gorgeous setting on the coastal hills. Inland, Portugal has wilderness mountain ranges where fishing, hiking, canoeing, horse riding, pony trekking and adventure sports are ideal.

Palaces of the Estoril Coast

The natural wealth and built heritage of the town of Sintra and its surroundings led to this entire landscape being classified as World Heritage. The beautiful village, with its pleasant microclimate, was long the favorite location of various Portuguese kings for their palaces.

And Sintra has museums able to tell the history of the earliest settlers to this region, to show children s toys down the ages or the best in contemporary art.

Just a few kilometres from Sintra, there are two more amazing royal palaces.In Queluz, the summer palace of the royal family and in Mafra, a palace-convent-basilica complex, the largest Portuguese building project of the 18th century.

The seaside town of Cascais was a seaside resort favored by the aristocracy throughout the second half of the 19th century. Palaces and fine residences were built with some now open to visitors as museums.

For More Information Visit Portugal Tourist Board

Lisboa, a city of contrasts

Lisbon was founded over 20 centuries ago, built on hills along the banks of the river Tagus, as it approaches the Atlantic ocean. Beyond the brightness characteristic of these latitudes, Lisbon has long benefits from plays on light and shadow.

Encouraged throughout centuries of architecture, this is reflected in the often extremely narrow streets winding their way up and down the riverfront hills, establishing the borders of historical neighbourhoods each with their respective traditions and styles.

This game has been visually opened up by more modern architectural styles, lighter and designed for the broad sweep of the avenues, even while always remaining interlinked with the river.

Culturally, Lisbon has managed to maintain its character through this play on light and shadow. The recognition of a past replete with maritime history, opened to the World by the Voyages of Discovery, born witness to in its museums, monuments and traditions. And the present is marked by an equal openness to the 21st century world with contemporary museums, prominent cultural events and all the styles of a cosmopolitan city.
It is impossible to discuss Lisbon for any length of time without someone making the comment - "ahhh, the Lisbon light..." And hardly surprisingly.

For More Information Visit Portugal Tourist Board

Lisboa Past and Present

The maritime Voyages of Discovery turned Lisbon into one of the world’s great ports and the centre of an empire that stretched from Brazil in the West to India in the East. On the banks of the river, great monuments testify to that history.

After the earthquake of 1755, the Baixa Pombalina downtown was rebuilt in the classical style while many of its adjoining medieval neighborhoods survived and are now home to an amazing array of stores, restaurants and cafe's. Lisbon’s exceptional and highly individualistic light has charmed writers, photographers and filmmakers with the polychrome façade tiles serving to create a particular atmosphere.

On foot, by tram, boat or walking the banks of the Tagus, and even on the metro - an open underground museum of contemporary Portuguese art, any means serves to reveal the cultural diversity of the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

For More Information Visit Portugal Tourist Board

Centro de Portugal History

Inland, along the border, are the fortresses and castles that define Europe’s longest standing border. To begin with, visit Almeida, Castelo Rodrigo and Castelo Mendo. These are just three of twelve historical villages, classified on the merit of their rich heritage and surviving traditional cultural capital.

And the great cities have seen great stone monuments to national historic eras. Visit the historic centres and admire the se cathedrals of Aveiro, Coimbra, Viseu and Guarda. Then, move onto the art collections and museums, including Aveiro with its exhibition housed in the fine Convent of Jesus, the Grão Vasco Museum in Viseu and the Museum of Guarda. In Castelo Branco, the Museum comes along with adjoining attractive gardens dotted with statues of the kings of Portugal. In Coimbra have the sumptuous Baroque University Library along with an interesting Museum of Physics. And in close proximity, drop in on 2,000 years of history at Conímbriga and the extensive remains of a Roman villa.

For these and so many other reasons, if historic itineraries are for you then the Centro de Portugal are waiting.

For More Information Visit Portugal Tourist Board

Border Castles

Listen to ancient stories of heroic deeds and glorious battles while discovering the remains of buildings that tell us so much about the country’s origins.

There’s so much to enjoy: from the castles of Alfaiates, Sortelha, Vilar Maior, Sabugal, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Bom, Castelo Rodrigo, Penamacor, Monsanto and Pinhel, to the fortress of Almeida. Most of them are classified as national monuments, going back to the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries and closely linked to the need to defend Portugal’s territory.

Almost since the beginning of its history, Portugal has had a pressing requirement to defend itself from attack by neighbouring Spain. Almeida is an interesting example not to be missed, with its fortress that was transformed into a mighty bastion of the border area.

And don’t miss the experience of the 20 Castles Route, as you get to know the Portuguese people and their history.

For More Information Visit Portugal Tourist Board

Porto and the Gaia wine lodges

Take in the bustle of the Ribeira. Look to the skies and discover the towers of the fortress Se looming above.

Visit the Clérigos tower, the fine D. Luís bridge and admire the impressive historic centre, granted UNESCO World Heritage status. Pick out examples of the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Neo-classical and Industrial – architectural styles that sit side by side, and are now complemented by the designs of such buildings as the Porto School of Architecture.

Visit the Serralves Museum and the Faculty of Architecture.
And all trips to Porto have to involve one of the world’s most famous wines: port. Visit the places that defined the history of port, such as the Vinho do Porto manor house and the Museum.

In Gaia, there are more than fifty companies that make this wine. Visit them and see the aged wooden barrels in which the port is slowly matured. And the best news of all? You’ll even get a free taste or two.
Walk through the historic city centre and discover the strong character of this city and its people.

For More Information Visit Portugal Tourist Board

Historic Villages

In the past these villages, perched high on hilltops, played a crucial role in protecting the surrounding lands. Their vantage point made it almost impossible for would-be invaders to approach undetected. It was a hugely effective form of defense.

Over the centuries, Moors and Christians, Spaniards and Portuguese, have all tried to take the villages for themselves. And as a result each village has its own spell-binding tale to tell. One such example is the village of Almeida, whose formidable fortress capitulated to the French in the 19th century after heroically resisting for 17 days.

Whether you want to experience Portugal’s breath-taking landscapes, its historic fortresses, or the warmth of its people, the villages offer it all.

Built from granite and schist, and located in the heart of the country, they have witnessed over 900 years of Portuguese history. But while the villages are amazingly peaceful places to visit, they have not always been so tranquil.

For More Information Visit Portugal Tourist Board

Exploring Porto

Porto is one of Portugal’s oldest cities. To find out more about its history and culture you can walk its well-signposted guide route.

Experience a nostalgic journey with an old-fashioned tram ride to Foz, where the River Douro meets the Atlantic Ocean. Or visit the great churches and monuments evoking some of the great personalities and events of Portuguese history.

Explore the riverside neighborhood of the Ribeira Circuit and discover the Casa do Infante, the Trading Palace, or the renowned Rua Ferreira Borges and the well-preserved Rua de Miragaia. On a Douro cruise you’ll see the imposing bridges that connect the past and future of the city of Porto, and also get the best views of the narrow streets leading up from the river.

Just a few kilometres away you’ll discover Póvoa de Varzim and Vila do Conde. Another highlight of the region is Amarante, one of Portugal’s most romantic cities, with its timeless Tâmega river, known locally as the ‘eternal bride’.

For More Information Visit Portugal Tourist Board

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