Submitted by James Folsom on Fri, 08/12/2011 - 10:47
Portugal is a place where you generally don’t think of first when you think of traveling to Europe. It is a bit off the beaten path. However it does have some very nice spots for the adventuresome traveler.
Costa Verde- If you want to visit some medieval buildings, the town of Guimaraes is a place to check out. It has an imposing castle that has stood since the 1100s. Another interesting spot for nature lovers is Parque de Panada Gerez. It is a nature reserve in the northeast corner of the Spanish border. Here a visitor may encounter many forms of wildlife in their natural habitats. An ideal destination for nature lovers and hikers.
Costa da Prata - The Caramulo Mountains. A hidden gem where one can wind down from the tensions of daily life in the city. The former Spa town, Caramulo, has a famous museum of vintage cars and an art collection containing works by Picasso, Dali and other modern masters. You may also want to visit Arouca - the main attraction of the town of Arouca, lying in a green valley, is the great Mosteiro de Arouca. The old monastery, more than one thousand years old, dominates this quiet town. Guided tours take visitors to the church and museum, with furniture and religious works of art, and especially the silver and ebony casket with the effigy of the princess and its own altar.
Costa de Lisboa Cascais - Stylish summer resort. Just a few minutes' away lies Guincho beach (a great place for those who enjoy surfing and windsurfing). Estoril - Renowned worldwide as an important tourism spot (casino, golf course and racing track). The Verdades-Farias Museum which hosts an important collection of musical instruments related to popular music. The beautiful Santo António Church stands out in this cosmopolitan resort, which also boasts an exciting nightlife.
Montanhas - (The Mountains) is a large, remote region in the northeast corner of Portugal with snow-capped mountains, dense forests, and valleys. Because it is isolated, many old traditions, customs, and festivals remain.
Algarve - This place is a must visit. Beautiful beaches with gorgeous cliffs going right into the blue water, this is a photographer’s paradise. Be advised though, this is a party area. Occasionally foreigners are attacked. Recently two Brits were killed there causing Britain to update it’s tourist advisory.
Madeira - Another gorgeous spot for the beach going type. This place has year round summer temperatures and Madeira’s abundance of protected reserves are a true wonder for nature lovers.
Açores - The Tallassa Hotel in the heart of the Villa des Lages assists with reserving a mountain Guide for your Climb up 7.7K FT of Pico, Portugal’s tallest mountain, as well as whale watching excursions and other day Nature trips. You can climb Pico in the Summer or when it is snow capped. Everyone in town is warm and friendly and most speak several languages including English.
So if you are looking for a different place to visit while in Europe, a bit away from the most popular spots, you may want to consider Portugal. You will have a great time indeed.