10 MOST ROMATIC PLACEAS TO STAY
1. Vidago Palace Hotel for Art Nouveau grandeur or Vintage House Hotel for the perfect glass of Port, in Porto e Norte
2. Quinto das Lagrimas in Coimbra, Beiras, on time stage for the tragic love story of Pedro and Ines - the Portuguese Romeo and Juliet.
3. Bacaco Palace Hotel in Beiras, a jewel of Manueline revivalism
4. Palacio Belmonte in Lisbon or Pousada Santa Maria do Bouro in Porto e Norte, for cutting edge chic
5. Solar de Castelo in Lisbon or Casa da Calcada in Amarante, Porto e Norte, for a more intimate atmosphere
6. Palacio de Seteais in Lord Byron’s Sintra. Lisbon, for fairy – tales romance.
7. Farol Design Hotel in Cascais, Lisbon, or Estalagem Ponta do Sol in Madeira, for a hipper experience
8. The Pousadas of Estremoz in Alentejo or Obidos in Lisbon for medieval courtship
9. Convento Sao Paulo in Alentejo, for a secret hide away in the gorgeous countryside.
10. Reid’s Palace in Madeira, for a Hollywood style setting.
10 THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T LEAVE WITHOUT TASTING
1. Try one of the 365 recipes for Bacalhau(sun dried and salted codfish)-the favorite dish of Portugal, to be found almost everywhere
2. Take part in a vintage Port wine tasting after visits to one of the many port lodges in Gaia, Porto e Norte.
3. Linger over “ovos moles”, the smooth sweet egg paste cakes from Aveiro, Beiras.
4. Dip into a melting Azeitao or Serra cheese, accompanied by a superb full bodied red from Douro or Alentejo
5. Snack on a paste de Belem, straight from the oven (don’t forget the cinnamon powder and caster sugar topping)
6. Have a ‘bica ‘ (espresso)in the company of Fernando Pessoa in Lisbon’s Chiado promenade
7. Sit at a beach bar at sunset and order clams a Bulhao pato and a bottle of chilled vinho verde, followed by a rich Algarve style cataplana - a seafood stew.
8. *Eat freshly caught seafood in a typical marisqueira (seafood house)
9. Enjoy a Portuguese ‘cozido” (stew) cooked in a hole in the ground at a steaming volcanic hat spring in the Azores
10. For a celestial finale, tuck into the convent sweets “toucan do ceu”(heaven’s bacon) barrigas de freira (nun’s belly), “papos de anjo” (angels pouch) or abade Priscos (the abbot of Priscos)
10 WAYS TO LET OFF STEAM
1. Join the locals in the street parties during the Sao Joao festivities in Port o Santo Antonio in Lisbon in June.
2. Watch a football match in an exciting new stadium like Braga, designed by leading architect Souto Moura n and dramatically set into rock formations
3. Go wind surfing or kite surfing in Guincho, Lisbon
4. Go bar crawling in Bairro Alto in Lisbon
5. Dance all night long at the Lux or Kapital club in Lisbon
6. Surf a perfect tube in Ericeira, Lisbon or Praia do Amado in the Algarve
7. ride a Lusitanian thoroughbred in Portugal’s cowboy country in Alentejo or Ribatejo, Lisbon.
8. Head for the Festival do Sudoeste in Zambujeira do Mar, Alentejo or Vilar de Mouros in Minho, Porto e Norte.
9. Have a foam bath in one of the Algarve’s clubs in summer(don’t forget your swim suit)
10. Pit yourself against the Devil’s Parlor hole at the Pine Cliffs golf course in the Algarve.
10 ULTIMATE RELAXATIONS
1. Take a boat trip up the Douro and spend the afternoon sipping Port in Porto e Norte
2. Take an invigorating thermal bath in Curia, Beiras
3. Experience the calm of one of Alentejo’s whitewashed villages such as Monsaraz.
4. Party barefoot on the beach in Praia Verde, Algarve
5. Get a mud or seaweed treatment followed by a deep massage in Viladara Thalassa resort in the Algarve
6. Le on the beach in Meia Praia in Lagos, Algarve
7. Find a deserted cove on the Vicentine Coast in Alentejo or the Algarve
8. Chill out in Choupana Hills Spa, and have a Jacuzzi on the balcony of your private bungalow with a view over Funchal in Madeira
9. Bathe in a natural ocean swimming pool formed among rocks in Porto Moniz in Madeira
10. Enjoy the best gin and tonic
10 BIG ADVENTURES
1. Go rafting in the Paiva or tamega rivers in Porto e Norte
2. Fly like an eagle in Linhares da Beirs’s para -gliding heaven in Beiras
3. climb the mountains of the Serr da Estrela in Beiras
4. Scuba dive in Berlengas or Sisimbra, Lisbon, for a different perspective.
5. Go mountain biking in Serra da Arrabida, Lisbon
6. Hop onto a ballon for an ;’Out of Alentejo” experience.
7. trek down on adrenaline filled ‘Levada” trail in Madeirs’s rainforest
8. Climb the Pico volcano on Pico island in the Azores, or walk above the clouds in Pico do Areeiro, Madeira
9. Watch the whales and dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean near Faial island in the Azores
10. Discover blue marlin or tuna whilst diving off of the coast of the Azores.
10 EXPERIENCES YOU CANT MISS AFTER YOUR ROUND
1. In Praia da Gale, in the Algarve some of the best Portuguese food can be found in “Vila Joya”restaurant, which boasts two Michelin Stars.
2. In the Algarve, relax with a thalassotherapy treatment at Vila Lara, Real Spa Thalasso, Vila sol Spa and Golf and Spa Floresta - to name a few.
3. In Hotel da Quinta Do Lao, also in the Algarve, set off to discover the idyllic Ria Formosa - n foot, of course.
4. Go back in time and enjoy the sophistication of Portugal’s posada. Explore the Castle of Palmela, not far from the greens of Quinta Do Peru, south of Lisbon.
5. In one of the most scenic parts of Lisbon, near the Monastery of Jeronimos, taste the delicious pasteis de Belem. They’re irresistible.
6. If you go to Lisbon, enjoy the pulsating nightlife. Stop in at eh exclusive Lux Fragil club, co-owned by the actor John Malkovich. If you prefer a more traditional evening, visit Clube de Fado.
7. Experience the imposing Cabo da Roca, Europe’s westernmost point; and enjoy the landscape of the Serra de Sintra, a UNESCO World heritage site.
8. In Madeira, make time to visit Quinta Splendidia, with a very tempting gourmet restaurant, just 10 minutes from the centre of Funchal.
9. In the Azores, watch the preparation of the unusual Cozido das Furnas. This traditional dish is cooked underground by hot volcanic springs. And don’t forget that whale watching is a must for all who visit this island.
10. Taste the Port in the wine cellars of Porto, and go on a romantic cruise up the River Douro, Where you can stay in one of the port wine growing Quintas of the Douro Valley.