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.
"Summer? But it's still Winter! There's plenty of time to sort the holidays... Plus we're in a pandemic..." Yep, that's true. But the truth is COVID seems to be here to stay and it's possible to travel in a safe way provided all the healthcare and safety measures are followed. Also the current offer won't be similar to the one you'll find later on.
Despite being cautious or carefree, planning ahead is always a good call. It gives you something positive to look forward to, it's great news for those relying on the tourism industry (which has been hibernating for a good while), there are more and better offers, loads of great deals and, on top of it all, flexible cancellation policies. As we see it, it's actually the perfect timing to plan the so anticipated summer holidays. After all, when the weather is grey and gloomy, we crave for warmth and long sunny days...
Douro Verde is our chosen destination for August 2020. This so-called part of the Douro Valley is located between the urban Douro landscape around Porto and the Douro wine-making region in the upper part of the Douro Valley.
Being just over an hour from Porto makes it a great weekend break destination, but it is also a great place to spend some longer holidays immersed in nature, good gastronomy, excellent wine and a valuable historical and cultural heritage.
August is always a tricky month when it comes to travelling, but this area remains quite unexplored and peaceful even during peak season. Plus it's almost harvest time, which means this territory has a special aura as the locals anticipate the vindimas.
Portugal is a small country but it has two shores exposed to the Atlantic Ocean, which means there are loads of gorgeous beaches, from the northwest tip to the southern edge. Apart from the coastal beaches, there are many beautiful ones located in the countryside and others in the archipelagos of Açores and Madeira.
As you see there is a wide variety and not to mention the most spectacular sunsets, which makes travelling in Portugal an absolute joy for beach fans. Find below which are our favourite ones.
On our When to Go Where in 2020 article we chose Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina Natural Park for July 2020. This protected area is located in the southwest coast of Portugal and is a famous summer holiday destination for many reasons. In fact, this territory has so many highlights that it's hard not to fall in love with it and keep coming back to confirm why.
Óbidos and Peniche are our destinations of choice for June 2020. Even though travelling entails extra care, these two towns remain a safe bet and combined they make up a delightful mix of what Portugal has to offer: traditional architecture, water sports, fresh fish and natural scenery.
They're located only half an hour driving from each other and there's plenty to do around the area, so spending your holidays targeting Óbidos and Peniche is a fantastic idea. We'll tell you why below.
Visiting Portugal in a safe way can be a great solution to ease the mind, find balance and enjoy the great outdoors with our closed ones.
These uncertain times pose difficulties to everyone. No work, more workload, less time, too much free time, being away from our loved ones, spending all the time with the family.... Despite all the challenges, it's time to reevaluate and make important changes in our lives: spend money consciously, support local businesses, protect the environment and really cherish time spent in good company.
Let's focus on what's truly important and keep travelling, which is the only thing we spend money in that makes us richer :)
From north to south, June is all about the summer celebrations, more commonly known as Santos (saints).
They have their origin in the summer solstice pagan rituals. This phenomenon, that creates the longest day with daylight and marks the beginning of summer, can be witnessed in the northern hemisphere around the 21st of June. Before Christ celebrations were thrown to praise the sun, the light and the fire and, at the same time, people asked the gods of fertility to ensure good crops for the following months.
Afterwards, with Cristianism spreading fast all over the country, the Church took over this celebrations and changed them to the 24th, the day St. John the Baptist was born. Later on, the 13th and the 29th were added to the religious festivities calendar to pay homage to St. Anthony and St. Peter. These are the three main saints celebrated in June and are considered the patron saints of the month.
The summer festivals season just started and many interesting ones are yet to come throughout the next 3 months. Portugal is known for having festivals well organised, in beautiful settings, with engaging audiences and real summer weather.
Here are #mybookpack top picks!
NOS PRIMAVERA SOUND PORTO
Date: June 8th – 10th | Location: Parque da Cidade, Porto
Price: Day Ticket 55€, 3 Days Ticket from 85€ to 110€.
Started yesterday, for the sixth edition in Portugal. This European Festival, called by the organizers a “gourmet version” of the mother festival (Primavera Sound Barcelona), brings independent pop music to Porto at one of its best locations: Parque da Cidade. More than a beautiful green park, it’s a wide place that ends at the sea, just by Matosinhos beach. Full care is taken on the food and drinks stands. And, as if this wasn't already a good reason, listening to Justice, Bon Iver, Alphex Twin, Metronomy and Richie Hawtin definitely is! If you are in Porto or around, hurry up to get the last tickets for Saturday.