Compared to other European countries, Portugal remains relatively less known. It is only recently that a greater influx of tourists has started to be seen in the land of fado and vinho verde. As a result, Portugal has managed to keep an authentic and simple charm that makes it an ideal destination for a relaxing vacation on the old continent. Discover the charms of Porto and Lisbon, enjoy the beaches of the Algarve and taste the wines of the Douro Valley, while letting yourself be carried away by the melancholic tunes of fado.
Lisbon is a perfect blend of narrow streets and steep hills offering breathtaking views over the rooftops of the capital and the Tagus River. Lose yourself in the alleys of the Alfama District, dotted with flowering trees, or hop aboard one of its mythical yellow trams to discover the treasures of the city of the seven hills without tiring yourself out too much. Alfama is also the birthplace of fado. This music genre originated a few centuries ago and its melancholy will not fail to move you. Spend time in a local restaurant or concert hall in the evening to hear the voices of the fadistas. At night, peaceful and quiet Lisbon turns into a real party. To fully enjoy its nightlife, you have to go to the Bairro Alto. The streets vibrate perpetually to the sound of music. This neighborhood never sleeps...
A short train ride from Lisbon will take you to Sintra on the Atlantic Coast. The town of Sintra is like something out of a fairy tale. Formerly a place of residence for the Portuguese monarchy, Sintra is home to many castles that are absolutely memorable to visit. Discover the colorful Pena Palace, perched on top of a hill, or the Regaleira Estate, a castle rising out from the lush forest surrounding it. Monserrate Palace and the Castle of the Moors are also worth a visit. There are so many sites of interest in Sintra that it will probably take you more than a day to see them all!
Porto is a city with an irresistible charm. Admire the colorful azulejos (hand-painted ceramic tiles) that adorn the facades of buildings such as the Igreja do Carmo, located near the University of Porto. The medieval district of La Ribeira never fails to impress. Walk along the banks of the Douro River to enjoy a unique view of the city. Admire the houses facing the famous river and you will feel as if you stepped back in time. From Plaça de Ribeira, walk up the hill and you will arrive at the foot of Sé do Porto, an imposing cathedral overlooking the city.
The Douro is one of the most famous wine regions in the world. From Porto, you can reach the Douro Valley by car, by train and even by taking a cruise along the river. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery no matter what mode of transportation you choose. The sights of the terraced vineyards and dramatic landscapes overlooking the river is worth the detour alone, but we bet you won't stop there. Near the city, discover the cellars where port, the famous Portuguese sweet wine is aged. Then, head deeper into the valley to visit the Alto Douro, home to some of Europe’s oldest vineyards.
In the South of the country, the Algarve Coast, is home to famous seaside resorts. The best known of all is probably Lagos. Its majestic golden cliffs crumble into a turquoise sea, offering a magnificent vista over splendid beaches, such as the Praia Dona Ana, where you can enjoy a refreshing swim. Don't miss the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, which stretches along the Coast, offering many options for hiking through a landscape of swamps, dunes and coves. Finally, go to the very end of Europe by visiting Cabo de São Vicente (Cape of Saint Vincent), whose lighthouse marks the southwestern limit of the continent. A breathtaking view of the sea awaits you from the top of its steep cliffs.
The country's official currency is the Euro (EUR).
You will need a power adapter and maybe a converter. Electrical outlets used in Portugal are not the same as in Canada. Voltage is 230V and frequency is 50Hz.
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