Globetrotters don’t talk much about Portugal, certainly not enough. The country deserves to be at the forefront of global tourism but sadly that isn’t the case. Portugal isn’t just a picturesque country with an amazing history but it also has a lot of contribution to the world that has gone unnoticed in mainstream knowledge. Not many people know that a majority of the vegetables we eat today are actually Portuguese. Unlike the British and the Spanish that focused more on colonization, the Portuguese focused more on trade. It was that trade which brought vegetables and certain fruits from Portugal to the far west in the new world and to the far east in the old world.
If you are traveling to this lovely country, do visit these places.
Lisbon should be on top of your list. The downtown area of Lisbon, called Baixa, has some of the oldest shops in Europe. If you love culture and local art, then this is where you should be. There are three streets which are a paradise for any shopper: Gold Street, Silver Street and Drapers’ Street.
Algarve is possibly the most popular thing about Portugal after Luis Figo and Christiano Ronaldo. The villages, beaches, the sun and the sea of Algarve make it a picturesque haven. There are some spellbinding golf courses as well if you are an enthusiast. Some of the places in this region have a continuing history of more than six hundred years.
See the Palácio da Pena. Explore Porto, the capital of the country and also the gateway to northern Portugal. Try some wine while in Porto. This is the place where port wine got its name from. Spend a day or two in Óbidos. The honeysuckle and bougainvilleas, the white washed houses and the climate would more than satiate you. Check out the islands of Vila Franca do Campo in Azores. It isn’t in mainland Portugal but an autonomous region not very far from Boston.
A Few Tips
- Consider sending part of your luggage as parcel to Portugal if you exceed baggage limits. Also, consider hiring courier services for shipping out your purchases. Chances are your shopping would make your entourage heavier by several pounds.
- Do not attempt to see more than half a dozen places in Portugal in one trip unless you have a month or two. A fortnight or a week should be limited to less than four places, ideally. That would give you enough time in each place.