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ALL LISBON SINTRA West Lisbon SOUTH LISBON NORTH LISBON ALENTEJO PORTO NORTH & DOURO ALGARVE CENTER PORTUGAL AÇORES MADEIRA

 

LISBON

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LISBON

sunshine and the Tagus River transforms the city

 

Lisbon captivates visitors with its cosmopolitan atmosphere. Is an illuminated city, he almost uninterrupted presence of sunshine and the Tagus River transforms the city into a mirror of a thousand colors, highlighting the city’s unique architecture and beauty.

 

Stretching over seven hills next to the Tagus river, is an irresistible invitation to discover and experience the city with a relaxed and leisurely walk, taking breaks at the various sightseeing spots along the way. The viewpoints of Graça, Senhora do Monte, Santa Luzia, São Jorge Castle or São Pedro de Alcântara, among others, are just some of the scenic spots of Lisboa, where you can admire the most beautiful panoramic views of the Portuguese capital.

As we walk through Lisboa – whose history spans back thousands of years – we find streets filled with heritage monuments, as the Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém Tower, numerous Palaces, the Castle, the Catedral, just to list some of them, and characteristic neighborhoods, as Alfama, Mouraria, Rossio, Chiado, Bica, Bairro Alto and Principe Real, among others, where the city first developed and can still be experienced at its most genuine level.

 
 
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Being the capital, it has attracted rural population which brought with them their gastronomic traditions from the provinces. It has also attracted people from its old colonies, making it today a notably multicultural city.

Lisboa is also home of the famous “Pastél de Nata” that can be tasted all around the city in each cafe, or in its original place, the Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém. 


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SINTRA

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SINTRA

picturesque Portuguese town

 

Sintra is a picturesque Portuguese town that is set amidst the pine covered hills of the Serra de Sintra. This slightly cooler climate enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal, who constructed exquisite palaces, extravagant residences and decorative gardens.

 

Contained within Sintra there are more than 10 national monuments, which are spread across the hills of the region and that include ornate palaces like the Gothic styled National Palace, that was extensively used by the nobility of Portugal between the 15th and 19th centuries and the Palácio da Pena, the standout monument of Sintra. Also perched above the city is the Moorish fortress Castelo dos Mouros, whose winding battlements and towers were originally built in the Middle Ages, and decorative houses, of which the following are worth mentioning, in particular the Regaleira Palace and its gardens, filled with mystic symbolism and hidden features which include secret tunnels, Gothic towers and stone fortified walls, Seteais, a beautiful neoclassical palace that follows the Romantic architectural style found throughout Sintra and Monserrate, which styling was strongly influenced by the North African and Indian designs and was constructed and owned by three notable Englishmen, who used the house as a summer retreat.

And we shouldn’t forget the austere Convento dos Capuchos, which creation was associated with the Portuguese Viceroy of India, D. João de Castro, and his family, but became a pious community of reclusive clergy that continued to occupy the humble spaces in the complex, until the religious orders were abolished in Portugal, immortalized in a poem by the English writer Lord Byron.

In the historic centre there are pretty cobbled streets lined with traditional shops and cafes, in particular those who sell the traditional Sintra cakes travesseiros and queijadas – a landmark in Sintra and a must stop for those who visit this charming village.

 
 

A 100-year-old tramway links Sintra with this stretch of coast, providing a unique ride through the lush greenery before you are deposited at your beach destination, head west from Sintra town centre, such as Praia Grande, Adraga, Praia das Maçãs and Ursa.

Along the coast, for every fishing village along this staggeringly beautiful coastline, you will find fantastic seafood restaurants with lots of delicious fish and seafood meals to try.


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West lisbon

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this markedly rural area

To the north of the Serra de Sintra, near the coast, is the West zone, traditionally a supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables in the city of Lisbon. In this markedly rural area, there are monuments of obligatory visit, including the Mafra Convent, the Batalha Monastery, one of the most impressive examples of Gothic architecture in the country, the charming village of Óbidos, between the city walls, and the city of Caldas da Rainha, famous for its pottery, among many genuine villages.

 

The Cadaval District, buffered by Serra de Montejunto, perhaps more than any other district in the region, holds on to its rural nature, the rusticity of its ways still maintain ancient traditions of rural culture and its people.

Through the hills there are traces of the presence of Dominican monks and it is possible to detect the entry of some caves or grottos and observe or visit several windmills on the summit of the mountain.

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In this region you will also find fantastic golf courses, beaches with huge potential worldwide recognized for surfing.

Seafood is abundant (stews, clams,…), along with roasted sardines, cod and Portuguese stew, the most traditional dishes. The excellent wines are a constant presence in the menus of the restaurants. Lovers of sweets can delight in wonderful regional sweets of convent origin, like the Pão de Ló, Cavacas or Pastéis de Feijão (bean cakes).


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south-lisbon

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About the Setúbal Peninsula and the Arrábida Mountain

Just off the busy and bustling city of Lisbon passing through its bridges, we get the unreal, peaceful scenery of Arrábida. In its mysteries and its silences, on its beaches and its absorbing scenarios, in its convents and fortresses, in the flora and fauna, lives much of the the fascination that makes the Setúbal Peninsula a very unique region in the World.

 

The southwest massive of Arrábida has the largest seaside cliffs of Portugal, being the Risco the highest coastal limestone escarpment in Europe; it falls in a calm, crystal blue and emerald green sea.  Arrábida is also relevant for its level of marine ecosystems, it is an area of high biodiversity, unparalleled at European level.

Besides the unique natural heritage, Arrábida is rich in heritage building. The Fortress of "S. Filipe", The Fort of "Santa Maria", and the Arrábida Convent, founded in 1542 by Franciscan friars, are examples of a secular harmonious coexistence between human work and nature.

The fishermen and their boats, the river and the sea are inseparable from the identity of Setúbal. The colouring of the hundreds of boats anchored along the riverfront contrasts with the bronze tanned skin of men of toil.
People of the sea, accustomed to overcome all challenges, with peculiar wisdom and humour, able to paint pictures with words that make anyone mesmerized.

The Setúbal beaches hand-in-hand with the Arrábida Natural Park is one of the strong attractions that the county offers to those who visit it.

 
 
 

Embraced by the green mantle of the Arrábida mountain, that gives its refreshing shadow to the sandy beaches, highlighting the Portinho da Arrábida, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal.

The Setúbal peninsula is a true sanctuary of knowledge and flavors, where the gastronomic secrets are shared in every corner and the relationship with the sea is expressed everywhere.

Here we taste the best fish dishes and shellfish from Portugal, the confectionery is an exquisite ancient art and arise seasonally new Snacks, when combined with the magnificent wines of the demarcated region from the Terras do Sado, promises to take you to heaven during the meal.

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north lisbon

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Land of horses, bulls, wine and genuine traditions

Ribatejo is the less known Portuguese Region, almost stripped from tourists until today and a land to discover.

The Ribatejo is the most central of the traditional provinces of Portugal, with no coastline or border with Spain. The region is crossed by the Tagus River (Ribatejo translates to "shores of Tagus") and contains some of the nation's richest agricultural land, and it produces most of the animals used in the Portuguese style of bullfighting.

 

Land of horses, bulls, wine and genuine traditions, Ribatejo has much to offer to those who choose to discover it.

The Tagus River defines its beautiful landmarks and the lowland which is rich for the agriculture but also that give rise to urban clusters fortified by castles. Elements, some built in real steps, and protected by sumptuous monasteries and churches, deep marks of a History rich in events that marked Portugal.

 
 

The most welknown is the Christ Convent in Tomar, but also the Santarém, Ourique, Almourol and Leiria castles, and many old and beautiful churches mainly in Santarém, the Gothic capital.

You can also visit the geodesic centre of Portugal, in Vila de Rei, the Salinas at Rio Maior and the Caves in the Aires and Candeeiros Mountain.

One of the most beautiful places is Escaroupim, an old fishing village which offers one of the most beautiful inland sunsets we have ever seen.

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Alentejo

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rich in olive trees which produce Portugal’s best olive oil

Alentejo covers a vast landscape, rich in olive trees which produce Portugal’s best olive oil, and cork oak trees which supply over half of the world’s cork and whose acorns feed the black pigs from which the famous smoked ham is made. There are also numerous farming estates with large fields full of wheat, sunflowers and vineyards which produce the excellent Alentejo DOC wine.

 

Compulsory stops include the UNESCO World Heritage towns of Évora and Elvas, as well as Portalegre, Arraiolos (known for its beautiful carpets), Ferreira do Alentejo, where the largest olive grove in the world project has been growing, and Beja with a rich Roman and Arab legacy. The picturesque hill town of Monsaraz affords stunning views of the surrounding countryside and of Europe’s largest water reservoir – the Alqueva damn. 

If you’re lucky you may even get to hear a traditional Cante Alentejano, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2014, a genre of traditional two-part singing performed by amateur choral groups in the Alentejo region. Cante Alentejano is a polyphonic singing characterized by distinctive melodies, lyrics and vocal styles, and performed without instrumentation.

 
 
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And we mustn’t forget the fabulous Alentejo coast with is stunning cliffs and Atlantic beaches.


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PORTO

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Visit Porto and fall in love

Porto is a coastal city in northwest Portugal known for its stately bridges, the most known is the D. Luís iron bridge that has a walkway that crosses the world famous Douro River to the Porto Wine lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia, and this, the Porto Wines production.

 

Visit Porto and fall in love with its fabulous bookshop Lello and the totally unique spectacle of an amazing interior architecture that inspired the Harry Potter’s library, or with the palatial 19th-century Palácio da Bolsa, the Torre dos Clérigos, an iconic baroque bell tower of Clérigos Church, or the São Francisco Church, known for its lavish baroque interior with ornate gilded carvings. São Bento train station’s immense azulejo tile panels depict battles and rural life in Portugal and the Serralves Museum traces the history of contemporary art.

In the medieval Ribeira district, on the riverside, narrow cobbled wind past merchants’ houses and cafes. An old tram follows the river to beachside bars in affluent Foz. Up the coast is the fishing port of Matosinhos, where seafood restaurants offer grilled sardines on the street.

 
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North and Douro

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The beautiful hills of northern Portugal are the birthplace of the Portuguese nation

The beautiful hills of northern Portugal are the birthplace of the Portuguese nation. Attractions include the historic cities of Porto, BragaViana do CasteloGuimarães, Bragança, the landscapes of the Gerês national park and the world famous Douro valley.

The north of Portugal is famous for its smoked meats and sausages, its wine (Douro, Port and Vinho Verde, a light and slightly sparkling young wine made with local grape varietals) and for a rich and varied gastronomy.

The Douro region is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the oldest designated protected wine region (DOC) in the world. 

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ALGARVE

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destination for having a south and west coast totally bathed by the Atlantic Ocean

The most southerly part of the country, since always a summer holiday destination for having a south and west coast totally bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, the sun, the shellfish and the golden beaches make this region a more than perfect beach destination.

 

To the north there is a mountainous border with the Alentejo plain and to the east there is one with Spain.

In this interior region you can still find a genuine rurality in picturesque villages and even in the towns of Monchique and Silves.

The cities of Portimão, Faro and the sophisticated Vilamoura have a lively nightlife, golf lovers can also enjoy 5-star resorts and professional courses along the coast.

 
 
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In this region you can also find the Natural Reserve of Ria Formosa, the islands of Faro, Tavira and Olhão and their salt mines.

Fresh fish and seafood are one of the Algarve's main attractions, cooked in wonderful local dishes that include clams, prawns, cataplanas (item of cookware used to prepare Portuguese seafood dishes) and piri-piri chicken.


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Center PORTUGAL

 
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Central Portugal offers a varied and surprising landscape

Perhaps the least well-known of all of Portugal’s regions, Central Portugal offers a varied and surprising landscape of green hills, fabulous beaches, historic villages and the steep slopes of the Serra da Estrella – continental Portugal’s highest mountain and home to its most famous cheese.

 

Known to the Portuguese simply as the “Beiras”, this region is home to some of Portugal’s most iconic dishes and is immediately associated with hearty and flavorsome food such as suckling pig, numerous goat dishes as well as Bairrada wines.

The city of Coimbra, in the heart of the Beiras is home to Portugal’s oldest university as well as some of its most traditional sweets. The historic cities of Viseu – famous for smoked meats and sausages and for Dão wine - and Castelo Branco with its cheese are not to be missed. Other compulsory stops along the coast include Aveiro – with its traditional salt production and its famous egg sweets – and Nazaré, a fishing town where old ladies in black skirts still hang fish out to dry in the sun.

 
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Açores

 
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this archipelago is the most western point of Europe and consists of nine fantastic islands

Located in the north of the Atlantic Ocean, this archipelago is the most western point of Europe and consists of nine fantastic islands: São Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, Faial, Graciosa, Flores and Corvo

 

Sculpted by volcanoes over thousands of years, the Azores host extraordinary geological formations that include lava tunnels, waterfalls, hot springs and crater lakes. The volcanic peaks offer spectacular views, being Ponta do Pico the highest site of Portugal, with 2351 meters of height. Perennial forests, endemic plants and pasture and cultivated land cover a large part of the slopes, while the exuberant flowering hydrangeas color the landscape from spring to autumn. 

Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel, is the owner of a rich historical and architectural heritage and Angra do Heroísmo, located on Terceira Island, is also worthy of an extended visit. It is a charming city classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. But the Azores is synonymous of, first of all, nature in its purest state, its population is genuine and welcoming and the islands, distinct among them, contain breathtaking landscapes. 

 
 
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The territory is weakly populous, with only 250 thousand inhabitants for an area of 2333 km2. However, in the summer months it suffers a significant increase of residents with the arrival of the immigrants who visit their lands of origin and participate in its numerous festivals and pilgrimages. 

 
 

Azorean gastronomy is very rich in spices, since the archipelago was a point of stop of the caravels that returned from their trips to the East. The offer of seafood and meat dishes is very abundant, always prepared with the freshest fish and seafood. The specialty of the Island of São Miguel is the Cozido das Furnas, a vigorous stew cooked underneath the earth taking advantage of the thermal heat of the island. The local wines and liqueurs produced with grapes are grown using techniques dating back to the 15th century and have a unique flavor.

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MADEIRA

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A green oasis in the Atlantic

A green oasis in the Atlantic next to Marocco, the island of Madeira is blessed with a subtropical climate and boasts lush vegetation, natural swimming pools and ancient forests. The neighboring island of Porto Santo, a short boat ride away, with its long sandy beaches is part of the same archipelago.

 

The main places to visit are Funchal, the capital of the Madeira Island chain, a cosmopolitan and full of history, culture and entertainment city - Its name comes from "funcho", a wild herb once abundant at the time of its first settlement -, Caniço, Pico do Areeiro - 1,818 metres above sea level -, the east coast (Santa Cruz and Machico), the west coast (Câmara de Lobos, Ribeira Brava, Ponta do Sol and Calheta), the north coast (Porto Moniz; São Vicente and Santana) and Porto Santo.

Madeira’s agriculture, on volcanic soil, has been heavily influenced by Portugal’s African colonies. The delicious gastronomy includes fresh fish and kebabs (espetadas), typical bread as well as a variety of locally grown tropical fruit, a typical punch and sweet Madeira wine.

 
 
 
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The main places to visit are Funchal, the capital of the Madeira Island chain, a cosmopolitan and full of history, culture and entertainment city - Its name comes from "funcho", a wild herb once abundant at the time of its first settlement -, Caniço, Pico do Areeiro - 1,818 metres above sea level -, the east coast (Santa Cruz and Machico), the west coast (Câmara de Lobos, Ribeira Brava, Ponta do Sol and Calheta), the north coast (Porto Moniz; São Vicente and Santana) and Porto Santo.

Delight yourself with the countless views, on an island of such outstanding natural beauty. Although it is small, Madeira is rich in majestic scenery and rare beauty.

Go and explore the charms and delights of this floating garden!

 
 

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