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Honeymoon in Portugal

The Douro valley, best for couples

Douro is best for couples
Place:  Douro
Photo: Vintage HouseThe World Heritage Douro valley is a captivating destination for couples.

In the Gaia wine cellars, taste the Port and learn about the stages involved in its production. Old traditions highlight the symbiosis between river, land and this wine, too precious to be fully appreciated alone.

From the S. Leonardo da Galafura viewpoint, the soft smoothness of the river incites warmth and affection. Take the steam train and, with your good company, delight at the beauty of the vines layered down over granite steps.

In Pinhão, enjoy the warm nostalgia conjured up by the fine tiles decorating the station. On the south bank, head into a landscape defined by rocky bluffs and the force of nature. With the most imposing views out over the river, the S. Salvador do Mundo viewpoint is a place for festivity and romance. During the annual festival, girls seeking husbands tie knots in the woadwaxen lining local paths to ensure their beloved find their way into their arms.

As winter draws to a close, the banks of the river are enveloped in the white mists of flowering almond trees. The sun’s warmth begins to mature not only the fruits but also lovers’ hearts. And by autumn, with the vines replete in their golden and ruby fruits, the labour and happiness of harvest time bring forth that romance.

Sleep on enveloped in the seductiveness of nature under fabulous views out over the Douro provided by the Vintage House in Pinhão, or the Solar da Rede country hotel near Mesão Frio, while not neglecting to visit one of the estates producing the rich nectars of this region.

Romance in the Lisboa region

Romance in the Lisboa region
Place: Pena, Sintra
Photo: José ManuelRoutes that were specially made for romance, with delightful discoveries that you can share with your partner.

Travel up and down the hills of Lisbon, through Alfama and Mouraria, listening to the sound of guitar playing and the voices of Fado singers telling of their loves and their misunderstandings, wending your way through the narrow streets in a No. 28 tram, or admiring the monumental Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the splendid River Tagus.

Savour the magic of Sintra, one of the most beautiful towns in the world, and certainly one of the most romantic. Or enjoy a ride in a horse-drawn carriage and discover the mysteries of the mountains and the Quinta da Regaleira, letting yourself be charmed by the town’s rich and unique architectural heritage, of which the Palácio da Pena has become one of the great hallmarks.

Drive through the natural park of the Serra da Arrábida, sensing the presence of poems in the air, strolling through the streets of Sesimbra, Palmela and Azeitão, exploring the mountains and the precious beaches that surround them, feasting your eyes on the region’s cliffs and crags and admiring the wonderful setting of the Convento da Arrábida, or perhaps tasting the delights of a cuisine produced by those who have studied the art for many years, and savouring some of the local quality wines.

In Óbidos, a town designed for regal lovers, travel back in time to a period when courting was a real art. You can still sense the presence of love in all its nooks and crannies, in the details of its rich architectural heritage and the purity of its many beautiful decorative tiles.

Lisboa to remember

Lisboa to remember
Place: Chiado, Lisboa
Photo: Rui CunhaLet us invite you to come and discover Lisbon. Perhaps start out on the river with a Tagus cruise. Or take Lisbon from a different perspective and wander its seven hills admiring its river-oriented layout.

After your river cruise, disembark in the city’s heart, the Baixa. Follow its symmetric, architecturally distinctive streets packed with traditional local commerce.

Head up any one of the city’s seven hills and discover a neighbourhood packed with its own history and charm. Visit the Chiado and draw in inspiration in one of the cafes frequented by the writers and artists that so enriched 19th century Portuguese culture.

Take the 28 tram to one of the city’s most characteristic neighbourhoods, the Alfama.

Discover a little of Lisbon history and day to day life on each street corner, in each local church.

And head upwards to gain a different vantage point out over Lisbon. Given its rolling seven hills, there are numerous impressive viewpoints. Each opens up a different perspective over the city even while the waves of ochre roofs and the river beyond are common to all.

Choose your favourite and let the beauty of the Lisbon light infuse your memories.

Sport on the Islands

Sport on the Islands
Place: Terceira
Photo: DRT Açores

The Azores are a natural haven of nine islands, perfect for anyone who loves sport and the open air.

You’ll definitely want to go swimming in the Azores, given the warm waters off the coastline. And there are natural swimming pools inland too, formed by volcanic action.

Boat trips, by motor or sail, are another attraction, with surfing, windsurfing and bodyboarding also available, with equipment for hire locally.

The islands, with their volcanic cones and humidity, plus their craters and lakes, possess some unique vegetation, creating a natural beauty you’ll want to explore. These are excellent surroundings for walking, with paths available at all levels of difficulty.

For the more ambitious, take a guide to ensure you get the best out of this spectacular countryside.

In São Miguel or Terceira, horse riding also provides a pleasant way of exploring the islands.

However, perhaps the best way to view the unique landscapes, with their streams, waterfalls and green valleys surrounded by the sea, is to take to the skies with a plane tour.

This will make your trip to the Azores unforgettable.

Beach of Porto Santo

Beach of Porto Santo
Place: Porto Santo
Photo: Margarete Rebelo

Enjoy the golden beaches and clear waters of the beautiful island of Porto Santo.

Relax on the peaceful beaches and swim in the warm seas of this exceptional holiday location.

Take the opportunity for a well-earned rest. And when you’re feeling more energetic, try your hand at the active sports of surfing, kite surfing, parasailing and diving.

Hire a motorbike, jeep or bicycle and explore the island.

Discover the wild side of Porto Santo, one rarely visited by tourists.

Make sure you also dine out in one of the local luxury restaurants. Try the famous kebabs on skewers or grilled fish accompanied by fried maize.

Discover Porto Santo for an unforgettable break.

Natural Parks of the North

Natural Parks of the North
Place: Alvão
Photo: Rui Morais de Sousa Reconnect with mother earth and experience all the natural beauty of the parks of the Minho and Trás-os-Montes.

The Peneda-Gerês National Park is a natural jewel of outstanding beauty.

Come and discover these wonderful natural surroundings and unique species including wild ponies, golden eagles and the Castro Laboreiro dog breed.

Discover the local traditions and customs in the villages Lindoso and Soajo. Visit their castles for breathtaking views out over the hills.

Man and Nature have achieved a fine, harmonious balance in the Montesinho, Alvão and Douro International Natural Parks. They include village communities that have done much to retain the traditions of rural life.

There is a range of itineraries to help you structure your visit.

The dams and reservoirs provide further leisure and recreational opportunities. Canoeing, bicycle and horse riding or hill walking are all excellent means of exploring while relaxing.

Be sure to keep the bathing costume handy. There are many rivers and streams to be discovered on your journey and some great spots for swimming in the natural freshness of these waters.

Source: www.visitportugal.com

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