In this blog we post local travel tips and information about
Portugal and the Portuguese culture. Enjoy!
Portugal and the Portuguese culture. Enjoy!
First things first. Guimarães is a city located in the heart of the Minho region with a long history and a lot to do and discover. It is only 45 min. driving or 1h15min. by train from Porto, which makes it a fantastic place for a short escape and also a great base to explore Minho. Below are some of the city's biggest assets.
Portugal is a country of old customs and traditions, which are very dear to us and lived intensely specially during nostalgic periods. New Year’s Eve is definitely one of them. Below you’ll find some of the most curious facts about how the Portuguese spend this special night.
We understand long holidays are usually taken during Summer when warm sunny weather is a given. However, travelling during off peak season has its perks: there are no crowds, the hotel fares are cheaper and the destination is sure to be more authentic.
Plus with the undeniable climate change winter is no longer a marked colder and harsher season, particular near the coast. With an average of 300 days of sun and mild temperatures, our country is a delightful destination during winter time as well. Here we picked a few destinations that have a special charm during Winter.
With the technology boom nowadays games are always charged, plugged and played online. Most kids play alone or with virtual buddies and don't spend enough time outside, specially in the cities.
Luckily there are many old traditional games that are part of our heritage that have been passed from one generation to another. They promote interaction, physical activity and are loads of fun! With simple things such as chalk, ropes, bags and bottle tops both kids and grown ups spend time together, socialising in a fun and healthy way.
Below are some of the most famous ones, which we've organised according to their main skill.
Everyone knows we do not joke around when it comes to food. Portuguese absolutely love meal times and they’re important at a social level. Most celebrations mean gatherings around the table, where food and wine always play a lead role.
Grandmothers are usually the ones responsible for the mouthwatering menus, from the appetisers to the decadent desserts. Main dishes are cooked without rushing following old family recipes and Sunday is the favourite day to have long lazy lunches.
In Trás-os-Montes, the region located in the northeast of the country, there is a peculiar tradition about to take place…
Every year Christmas approaches and we start thinking about the family members that are about to return home from abroad, eating the so awaited cod and roasted turkey, cosy nights by the fireplace and Christmas decorations. And outside the house there’s some kind of a “competition” going on...
From north to south there are several spots on the run for “Sparkly Destination” or “Santa’s Paradise” and other Christmassy titles. Picture everything from trains, to ice skating rinks, massive Christmas trees and even real reindeers!
There are many places worth visiting during this time of the year and here are some of the very best.
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.
Late Summer and beginning of Autumn means it’s vindimas, what we Portuguese call the harvest season. In the main wine-making regions, such as Douro, Alentejo and Dão, producers and local workers are busy cutting the grapes from de vines, bunch by bunch. It’s hard work, but as we start preparing the delicious and world-known Portuguese wine it’s also time to celebrate!
Being Portugal a very catholic country, most of our traditions are strongly related to our religious heritage, particularly in the countryside. It is notorious the presence of religion in all fields, from architecture to gastronomy and, of course, our festivities. When it comes to celebrations the most important one is, without a doubt, Easter, as it represents Jesus ressurrection. Maybe that explains why we suffer in anticipation for so many days and then celebrate it with a bang!