Portugal: The Europe Where The Past Ropes In The Future

An amalgamation of lush and cool North and flat and warm South, Portugal nestles between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. This aloof, yet-to-be-discovered corner of Europe offers the experience of all the many things

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The landscape that holds the capacity to transform you through the archaic castles, gilded beaches, idyllic villages and chromatic cities welcomes you with open arms post-Covid lockdown. An amalgamation of lush and cool North and flat and warm South, Portugal nestles between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. This aloof, yet-to-be-discovered corner of Europe offers the experience of all of the many things including the country’s diverse culture, finger-licking delicacies, and picturesque mise-en-scène. One of the oldest in the world, this Iberian nation is about 870 years in age. Ancient Celtic, Roman and Islamic influences shaped its customs and language. Be it drinking, dancing and feasting your way through all night’s merrymaking or delving into the secret heaven’s enchanting palaces dwelling amidst foggy forests and clifftop castles, Travelscapes introduces you to the list of best things to experience in Portugal...

Tilt. Taste. Savour. Repeat.

Who says one can only fancy French and Spanish wines? To fully know the wineries and the vineyards and be familiar with the taste of wines, visit the regions where they are produced, layover through the night, and explore the surrounding area, discovering the landscapes, heritage and culture. Being home to the popularly known wine field of Alentejo, which is famous for
producing bold and hearty red wines along with the Douro known as the home of port, you can look for wineries and vineyards nearly across the country, enveloping the archipelagos of Azores and Madeira. Vinho Verde, which means young wine in Minho
is known for producing distinguished wine from indigenous grape varietals, making it a seasoned Portuguese wine of all. To taste this fresh, fruity, and floral red as well as white wines, you can hands down select Quinta da Aveleda as the best winery.

A treat for adrenaline junkies’ souls

As they say, Portugal is “reliable for waves”, surf enthusiasts can always find a plethora of spots for surfing on its 1860 km gigantic coastal stretch. Sports to enjoy the Atlantic waves are surfing, body boarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddle surfing, and parasailing, raising the adrenalin levels unimaginably. North American surfer Garrett McNamara rose to fame after riding a 78-foot wave, only to make surfing one of Nazare’s calling cards. The choice of spots includes Figueira da Foz, Espinho, and Viana do Castelo in the north, the Tejo coast and the Sagres area in the south, and even in the Azores and Madeira. Praia Grande, Sintra is a mecca in Portugal for bodyboarders. The variety will make you spoilt for choice, but the breeze and the waves will promise a surge for those in the water and an extravagant display for those on the beach.

Algarve: Discover the undiscovered picturesque spots

Algarve, with its undiscovered beaches, is like the Southern part of Goa- consisting of magnificent places and deserted coves yet to be explored. It’s relatively warmer than the rest of Europe. Tourists say the story of Adam and Eve can be relived on Sagres Beach. Two of the most serene and tranquil secret spots in the region are the Barbelote Waterfall, and Pego do Inferno Waterfall, which is not known by many. It will never be enough to stay for as many days in the Algarve; you’ll always need more. There is a wide range of Instagrammable spots in the Algarve that shine during dusk and dawn. Take the plunge and you’ll be astonished to find the hidden gem of Portugal.

Retreat to nature: Time to be healthy and happy

Portugal has become the land of retreat. From finding shelter in the lap of nature to playing Golf in the perfectly scaped land, Portugal is a short pleasure of discovery. It is home to various flora and fauna since the weather conditions are ideal for growing in the region, evoking little delights within you. The country offers little chunks of almost everything: the mountains, vast plains, butterscotch sand beaches, and the waves on the coastline. Spend your time at a thermal spa, go for relaxation sessions through the rejuvenating effects of wine, chocolate or hot stones, which you will find at spas and resorts, savouring the holiday in style while enjoying the therapeutic properties and mineral richness of the waters at the extensive coastline and the Atlantic waters for thalassotherapy.

Groove to the rhythm of Portuguese Musical Festivals

Not-so-mundane music, bright sun and golden sea are a great combination of the music festivals in Portugal. Programs effortlessly blend the calm richness of sound with the historical heritage offering complete relaxation and fun. Lisbon and Porto are acknowledged for festive evenings, the natural continuation of the soulful party atmosphere. From the concerts on the coast to further inland festivals in the heart of nature, friendly people and nights go on until dawn while they
celebrate art and freedom, taking a dip in the ocean alongside. A variety of melodies, such as classical music, jazz or fado, captivate the historical centres and monuments of the town, such as churches, monasteries, and castles. This gives people a chance to immerse themselves in Portuguese's local culture and traditions.

Enthralling experience through the Portuguese trails

While most people see Portugal as land surrounded by waters, it has 3.759 km of certified trails. Connecting major trans-euro
routes through stunning landscapes lets you live endless stories to tell. From North to South, alongside Azores and Madeira, the
variety of cycling trails offer a broad diversity of experiences for touring, road, or mountain bikes. Ditching the cliché surfing breaks, head to the country’s hiking heartland, the Iberian land’s only National Park Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês. There are illimitable natural parks hiding inland, but what better way than to explore them on foot or on your bikes? Get away from the crowds of mainstream cities and towns, and go for unforgettable hiking experiences on Via Geira. The most stunning stretch begins at Portela de Homem, where the Roman milepost still stands.

Stargazing during the bright night

Portugal’s nightlife is far from the ordinary when you witness the monuments and resources well-lit from dusk till dawn.  Acknowledged with certification by Dark Sky, Alqueva, in the heart of Alentejo, serves as an enchanting destination in the world for sky-watching. You can engage yourself in a variety of activities such as observation with the naked eye or through the telescope, night riding in a canoe, photographic excursions and a few more under the sky full of stars. Summer festivities also light up the night sky with fireworks and duels. As only a few would know (until now), Portugal is considered a “Country of Festivals”.

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