Having an adventurer’s soul is no easy thing. Time after time, it forces you to step out of your shell and explore the world in all its rawness. And when the urge hits, you have no choice but to cater to it. The question is why shouldn’t you? Day and night, you find yourself at the mercy of a world hell-bent on the pursuit of progress at the cost of everything else. It forces you into a robotic routine, involving car-lined streets, heaven-kissing skyscrapers, meeting dispirited people, financial pressures, and everlasting stress. This is enough to stifle you. That is why you need these occasional trips, the journeys to the end of the world and the trips to the exotic sides. Because these travels offer a breath of fresh air, a much-deserved release of the pent-up frustration and an energy renewal.
However, the question often comes up: Where to go? You can visit numerous places in a lifetime. Some offer thrilling safari rides through the golden sand deserts. Others promise cool treks through dense green forests. Certain places are famous for their bustling markets, while a few are popular for their haunting architecture. It’s all relative. But a land which offers you a taste of everything, from natural beauty to fast-paced modernity, is Portugal. Yes, this is a destination that has been declared as the best out of all European ones as of 2018. If this is not reason enough to head over there right now, then do check out the following ways Portugal takes the cake for the traveling community this year.
Fantastic Weather All Year Round
Portugal’s geographical location is strategic enough for it to experience a temperate weather all year round. The summers are not too hot and the winters are not too cold. This makes it the perfect destination to visit any time of the year.
Delectable Delicious Cuisine
Two words: fresh and hearty. If you’re tired of munching on the same old processed food that’s usually stocked in your freezer, then do indulge in the burst of flavors that Portuguese food has to offer. Whether it is Caldo Verde, vegetable-based soup, or salted cod, whole crab or chicken Piri Piri, the entire cuisine is worth the try. The most famous, however, are the pastries, with Pastéis de Nata, yummy custard tart, taking the cherry.
Portugal is a place rich in history, being one of the oldest countries in Europe. That is why it houses quite a significant number of preserved castles, which automatically pull the curious traveler. Such is the appeal! The magnificence and mysteries of these old sites, which you might have seen in documentaries on your Spectrum TV, can be caught in real life here. Just don’t forget to visit the Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon, because the views from this castle are simply breathtaking.
The Magical Town of Sintra
People often say that walking through this town is like stepping into a fairy tale, and they’re quite right. Sintra is a thing of beauty. A joy to the eyes. A redeemer of everything aesthetically pleasing. Surrounded by cool pines, this picturesque town has everything from quaint alleyways to hilltop palaces. There are sprawling gardens and not to mention, the Instagram-worthy facades plus the unique tile-work.
Fine Wine and Vineyards
How can fine dining experience be ever complete without a glass of wine to accompany the morsels? Yes, lucky for us, Portugal is actually quite renowned for its wines. Especially the port wine, which can be sipped while you take in the beauty of the Duoro Valley on your boat ride.
Stand still on a metropolitan street at a rush hour and tell me what you see. Millions of people walking around with their eyes glued to their smartphone screens. The interaction between them? Negligible. And it is a sad fact that the social and communal feeling is slowly dying out among us. But not in Portugal. Yes, this country knows how to celebrate its holy festivals. People come out on the wildly decorated streets, take part in parades and processions, and enjoy the live music and the unending supply of sardines. Especially famous is the Popular Saints festival held around in June.
Glittering Sand Beaches
Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen because you simply cannot miss out on the beaches Portugal has to offer. Especially the ones in the Algarve, like Praia da Rocha and Praia da Falésia that are not only clean but nothing short of magical. The glittering blue waves are a majestic sight, indeed. Besides these, you can find more beautiful beaches along the west coast too. They’ll be a little colder, but the evening pink-and-orange sunset is sure to fill you with a romantic warmth.
When I say that Portugal has it all, I mean it. Where there are sunny beaches, there are snowy mountains too, which count as an ideal winter getaway. Yes, Serra da Estrela offers an amazing opportunity for winter sports. Shout at the top of your lungs while skiing down breathtaking hills.
Portugal sure is diverse, when it comes to landscape variety. Right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, it houses an archipelago of nine gorgeous islands, which you should definitely visit. Why? Because the natural beauty laid out across this Azores archipelago is definitely worth taking in. An archipelago that is recommended by nearly every traveling expert goes by the name of Madeira. Oh, its beauty is difficult to put into words. You need to see it to get my point.
Traveling through Portugal is a rich and royal experience, which, by the looks of it, is enough to empty your savings account. But, the truth is quite different. Yes, it is a pocket-friendly destination, offering everything for half the price than you’d expect. Whether it is the food, the accommodation, or simply getting around the town, the expenses are quite within the average traveling budget.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags now and head for Portugal.