Portugal might be a small country, about the size of Maine, but it offers a big variety of food, artistic practices, music, and traditional crafts among many other things. We’ve put together a list of experiences that are bucket-list essentials of a trip to Portugal and that you won't be able to get anywhere else.
An old Portuguese saying tells us that past waters do not turn the watermill. So often guests to Portugal don’t realize that Portugal is a nation defined by its rivers. From names, to culture to region, the waters that flow through Portugal define the nation.
So many people plan their trip to Portugal as Lisbon to the Algarve. Now these are great places to be, but would you plan a trip from, say, Genoa to Rome without stopping in Tuscany? Well, there is this part of Portugal that is unique, romantic and a destination all its own in between. Meet the Alentejo where there are no big cities with tall skyscrapers, large avenues, and luxurious shops - instead, the Alentejo is composed of smaller towns with low, whitewashed houses and narrow streets, where the traditional handcraft and cuisine are the attraction.
If we had to choose one truly remarkable thing about Portugal, it would be the cuisine. There are amazing natural landscapes and miles of beaches, not to mention the rich culture but Portugal has many delicacies that are only found in certain regions and they are worth a special trip.
Unless you consider it truly essential to visit some Portuguese beaches in the following weeks, coming to Portugal - as an American citizen - is only possible if there is actual essential reason for now. Individuals wanting to travel for tourism will still have to wait a while to see if the current rules (see the legislation) ease for Americans coming to Portugal. If you hold a Portuguese passport, you can travel now.
If you ever plan to motor south — in Portugal-travelmy way, take the highway that is best Get your kicks on Route EN2.
Portugal’s wine industry is growing as more folks discover this unique nation and more and more are discovering its wonderful wines. And, while good table wines are grown all over Portugal, we picked a few towns that blend the culture of the soil and grape to make a perfect escape:
If you’re looking for a place where tranquility abounds, the Alentejo is the place. This is a constant feeling you get when you find yourself surrounded by the endless Alentejo landscapes, its slower pace of life, and its wide and endless plains. It’s a land of simplicity where nature takes the leading role and the past lives on. Cork is part of the natural wonder that people from the Alentejo have upheld for centuries - it is harvested from a specific layer of bark, on the cork oak tree.
All passengers must present, at the time of departure, proof of the COVID-19 test, with a negative result, performed up to 3 days before departure. Portuguese citizens and others with legal residence in Portugal will, however, be able to perform this test on arrival in Portugal (bearing the costs).
Portugal was a neutral nation in World War II. But, as one of the only open and non-combatant cities in Europe during the war, the streets of Lisbon became the "The Capital of Espionage” In a spy-based proxy cold war. This fascinating chapter of the long history of Lisbon was the focus of Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945 by Neill Lochery.