If you’re thinking of going on a vacation this summer, then consider taking a trip to Portugal. Set on the westernmost shores of the Mediterranean, there is truly no other place like it. And it’s not just its beaches and enchanting towns that are attractive to travelers. The place, like many European holiday destinations, has some interesting history.
But if you’re not particularly keen on these things, there’s always that infamous Portuguese wine to get you by.
Not to mention the crowds of beautiful waltz dancers; who entertain audiences around every street corner.
My 5 Reasons Why List…
In this post, I’ll list 5 of the reasons why you should put Portugal on your traveling bucket list for this year.
One of the fastest ways of booking a ticket to Portugal is through the Trip Advisor platform. This can be accessed easily with an affordable Spectrum Plans account.
1. Lisbon’s ageing (Yet Ageless) Quality
The first thing you notice on landing in Lisbon is its nearness to the Atlantic Ocean. This gives the town an appealing maritime ‘feel’. The salty air sensation lingers on with you as you eat, drink and make merry.
The sea breeze couples beautifully with Lisbon’s baroque architecture, made up of centuries-old shops and apartments. Some hints of the Second World War are also found here and there. The buildings generally look faded, though with a stubborn anti-aging quality.
In addition, the city’s transportation routes still feature actively running trams. These are used by locals every day to reach their homes, workplaces and recreational centers.
Lisbon’s famous Baixa region is home to many proud tailors, herbalists and goldsmiths. Being hospitable people, they don’t mind being ogled at when you snap a photo.
At least not when you tip them a euro (without making a big deal about it)!
2. Pretty Porto’s Modern Ambiance
Pretty Porto is probably one of the most religious urban centers in Portugal. This is evident by the great number of ancient gold-laced cathedrals lining its streets. Not to mention the large number of ‘hail Mary’ banners sold in virtually every tobacco and wine shop.
Most traveling experts strongly recommend tasting Porto’s legendary tipple when in town. The city’s downtown area is neatly split in two by the Douro River; once its primary attraction. Homes built along its inner banks still showcase their medieval origins. However, those further outwards have clearly been modernized.
3. The Livraria Lello Bookstore
According to local legend, J.K Rowling used to visit the Livraria Lello back in the 90s. Its massive staircases and book-decked shelves are said to have inspired the Hogwarts library.
It’s easy to get lost in Porto’s bustling streets, so get hold of free tourists manual.
4. Custard Tarts (Pastel De Natas)
Of the many confectionaries that Portugal prides itself on, its famed pastel da natas certainly come out on top of the list. Not only are these treats perfectly warm and crispy, they also have a long shelf life. The locals’ credit this feature to the yeast mixture that goes into whipping them up. There is also some fierce competition among district lawmakers to confer the ‘national desert’ label on the dish.
Every morning, people from all walks of life line up in long queues to buy these goodies freshly baked from the Pasteis de Belém in Lisbon.
You should too, whenever you are strolling past the town.
5. The Sights of Madeira
Unlike other seaside locations in Europe, Madeira presents the perfect meeting point of land and sea. It causes people who experience its blue-green sights and sounds to think deep thoughts of a philosophical nature.
And unlike other islands in the area, it has some pretty impressive local wine and food items to offer. The gourmet and olive-oil drizzled meals prepared by native chefs are particularly mouth-watering.
But if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy the silence, and the gentle manner in which the waves skittle on the ocean surface, the most.
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