When you think about the Douro valley, what does immediately pop in your mind? The staircase-like vineyards? Picturesque little villages? The river Douro snaking between the mountains? Steamy comfort food? A glass of Port wine? Probably a few of them since travelling around the Douro is a sensory experience.
No matter the season, Douro is a great destination and below we'll show you why.
In the last couple of years Comporta has been on the bucket list for many travellers who choose Portugal as their holiday destination. This small coastal town marries the best of the beach and the countryside and has a lot going on in its favour, such as beaches with long stretches of sand, delicious gastronomy, adorable little houses and stylish retreats. During off peak season it is an even more peaceful and inspiring destination. In fact, one of the best times of the year to visit is Winter, when silence, desert beaches, fresh fish and wide golden rice fields can sum it up.
When the weather is grey and cold, there's nothing better than sitting in a warm cosy place, armed with a hot cup of coffee and a good book. We’ve dedicated this month’s second journal post to coffee shops (cafés, in Portuguese) and bookstores.
We've chosen the town of ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ and the village of SISTELO as "Where to go in October 2019", not only because they have a handful of characteristics that make them a complete destination but also because they have a special charm during this time of the year.
When the green shifts to warmer colours and the leaves start to cover the pavements and paths, these hidden gems in the north of Portugal are a perfect hideaway. Below we gather some of the must do's when around.
Portugal is one of the finest destinations in Europe for birdwatchers. Despite its small size, our country comprises a big concentration of distinct habitats, which attract a wide array of bird species, from tiny ones to others with a large wingspan. In total there have been registered almost 450 different wild birds across the country.
In this journal post we tell you some curiosities about birdwatching in Portugal so grab your binoculars, field guide and notebook.
Autumn is a beautiful season for many reasons. The leaves turn brown and red, fall down and cover the pavements. Warm jumpers and fuzzy coats finally get to parade on the streets. The coffee and tea consumption increases and keeps us warm. And in the cities the air starts smelling of roasted chestnuts.
In October temperatures tend to decrease a fair bit, particularly in the mountainous regions. When the thermometer lowers people start craving for hot beverages, blankets and a cosy fireplace to stay warm. Aldeias do Xisto are a great destination during this time of the year. There you’ll find a curious mix of genuine people, comfort food and beautiful natural landscapes, which creates the perfect scenario to really unplug from the frantic rhythm of the daily routine.
Walking is free, relieves stress, sparks creativity, helps you sleep better, is a great way to stay fit without intense physical effort, and the list goes on… Everyone is well aware of the uncountable benefits of walking on a daily basis and it is fairly easy to squeeze a short walk here and there on weekdays and a longer one during the weekend. However, holidays tend to ruin good habits and the walking routine is replaced by the tempting moto “eat, sleep, repeat”. What if you could pair both and go for a “walk, eat, sleep, repeat” kind of day?
Rota Vicentina is the perfect place to do so. It matches spectacular walking trails, beautiful beaches, fresh and delicious food and peaceful villages where relaxing and going offline seems almost mandatory.
Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal, cornered against the immense Atlantic Ocean. This Portuguese region has been home to many civilizations throughout the years. Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans and Moors all left a little bit of their heritage behind, which is still present in different fields such as architecture and art. In fact the word azulejo (tile) comes from zulaich, which means “small rock” in arabic.
When speaking about Algarve the first thing people mention is naturally the beautiful beaches. They are definitely a great reason to visit, specially if you’re in need of a vitamin D boost, but despite its stunning coastline Algarve is still an amazing destination. The peaceful vibe, the natural landscapes, the food and the historical heritage are also good enough reasons to visit.
So instead of soaking up the sun at the beach, we challenge you to discover the other Algarve.