Have Your Own “Age of Discovery:” Discover Portugal This Year

What comes to mind when you think of Portugal? Port wine? Fútbol? How about the Age of Discovery, during which the Americas were found? Gear up for your own “Age of Discovery” and discover Portugal’s vibrant cities, Lisbon and Porto.

Get lost in Lisbon’s neighborhoods for an “off the beaten path” experience.

Forget being a traditional tourist and take the road less traveled through three “must-see” neighborhoods in Lisbon—Chiado, Bairro Alto, and Alfama.

Chiado is one of Lisbon’s trendiest districts. Here you’ll find loads of shopping, live theatre, and plenty of coffee shops. Bairro Alto is the place for those looking for electric nightlife. As the sun sets, the bars light up, and the fun begins.

Finally, Alfama is Lisbon’s Old Quarter and one of the most beautiful sections of the city. For some real history, check out Castelo de São Jorge, built by the Romans in 205 B.C.

Do as the locals do: Buy “ginja” from women right at their doorstep.

What’s a vacation without a good libation? And you can’t miss Lisbon’s ginja, a sweet, cherry liquor sold right from the doorstep of local Portuguese women in the Alfama neighborhood.

Originally concocted for digestive purposes, the fermented cherry drink has been produced for ages. These days, you can find many a ginja bar throughout Lisbon, but there’s not a more interesting experience than buying it straight from a local at her door!

Ginjha sales women

Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell where the sky ends and water begins in Porto.

Porto is beautifully situated on the Douro River—suffice it to say, the views are breathtaking. And that doesn’t change as you move inland from the river’s edge.

Porto’s different styles of architecture (including Roman and Medieval) will ignite your creative inspiration. Stop by the Dom Luis I Bridge, a staple sight in Porto, or the Lello Bookstore, one of J.K. Rowling’s favorite places to visit while writing the Harry Potter series.

Leave the calorie counting at home and indulge in pure Portuguese perfection.

Who diets while on vacation? Instead, indulge in Portuguese cuisines, like the sweet pastel de nata, a custard egg tart sold throughout Lisbon. While the tart may be simple, the taste and texture are divine. The crispy puff pastry holds a soft custard, complimented with a touch of lemon zest.

On the savory side, Porto’s placement on the water means there are many seafood dishes to try. If you’re looking for a snack, pick up some bacalhau, or dried salted cod.

Is it really a vacation if you don’t drink wine?

You can’t go to Porto and not try port wine. The famous red wine derives from vineyards in the Douro Valley, right nearby. It is often served with dessert, brilliantly complimenting any sweet treat.

Ready to discover Portugal?

Imagine yourself sitting by the Douro River, a glass of port in hand? How about exploring the seven hills of Lisbon? We’d love to have you on our next trip to Portugal for a Food and Wine tour. Click here to book your trip now.

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