Portugal


A country that was a maritime powerhouse with colonies stretching far and wide, its history part of all our studies, charming and quaint, historical and poignant…let Tranquil Escapes take you on a voyage of discovery… Olá Portugal!!


Portugal is blessed with a beautiful coastline all along its western end, which means beaches, cliffs and pretty seaside villages. Its history written by its rulers, the Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Christians, has made the country resplendent with art, architecture and culture that is diverse. Being a global maritime empire, many characteristics of the colonies they ruled over are now part of the fabric that is Portugal. Food and wine lover celebrate…For seafood lovers, with preparations of cod and sardines, this is paradise! For wine lovers, Port wine from Porto cellars are just famous!

Of the many sights that you can get bowled over by, the dark topaz waters of the Atlantic Ocean crashing againt the cliffs of Cabo da Roca, the western most tip of the European mainland, will take the cake!!

Good time to Visit: May to October

Duration: 8 to 12 days

Ideal for: History & Culture, Couples, Families, Food, Wine lovers


Highlights


  • Lisbon

    The best way to capture the essence of Lisbon is by simply boarding Tram No 28 and grabbing a window seat! As it winds its way along narrow streets some of them at a steep incline, ensure you keep your camera ready… all the facets of this city are there to see. You can get off the tram near the impressive Castelo de Sao Jorge and explore the castle and the stunning views it offers. From the castle walk down the streets of Alfama with its whitewashed, red tiled houses and colourful grafitti. Stroll through the historic Baixa district, find yourself a nice café and soak in the atmosphere of one of the many squares, take a ride in the Santa Justa elevator that dates back to 1902. The districts of Bairro Alto and Chiado can be your evening and night-out haunts. Belém, a suburb of Lisbon, has some enchanting places to visit. Climb 120 steps of the Tower of Belém, visit the Monument to the Discoveries a tribute to all the explorers of Portugal and get awestruck with the splendid Jeronimos monastery. But the most important reason to not miss a trip to Belém, according to us, is to savour Portugal’s traditional custard tart, ‘Pastel de nata’ at Pastéis de Belém (no one makes them better and do pack some for the road!!).

  • Sintra

    You can plan a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon. This day trip is one of a kind, as you ascend from one sight to the next, the degree of amazement you feel will also similarly ascend! ! Start off with the National Palace of Sintra, a Gothic structure at the centre of the town. As you finish your tour of this Palace look up into the horizon and get mesmerized with the majestic ruins of the Castle of the Moors as it looms solemnly over the town. You could either choose to walk up to this castle or wait and take the bus. Walk along the perimeters of this castle for some of the best views, watch out for a sight of the Pena Palace. Once you’ve had your fill of this imposing castle, you can head further up to the Pena Palace. Built in the ‘Romantic’ architectural style, its pastel coloured walls, white domes and eclectic carvings…put in mind everything whimsical! If you have time on hand and can plan a 2 day trip to Sintra, there are many more sights that you can visit…like Palacio de Monserrate or the Convento dos Capuchos. On your way back to Lisbon you can stop off in the fishing town of Cascais to enjoy a nice cosy dinner.

  • Algarve

    The southern end of Portugal is Algarve. Stretching from Faro to Lagos, with resorts, villas and restaurants dotting the sandy coves and low lying cliffs, this area is a Mediterranean coastal holiday paradise. The Algarve has on offer something for everyone. If you are looking for a good resort town with good beaches, plenty of activities and an exciting nightlife, head to Albufeira or Praia de Rocha. For promenade lovers Quarteira is the place to be and for the smart, stylish and swanky there is Vilamoura, with its golf courses, yatches and pretty marina. If small town magic is what your are looking for head to Lagos for some of the good ol’ old world charm or to our personal favourite, Faro. Faro, with its historic centre enclosed within Moorish walls, ferries to Rio Farmosa and to few pretty islands just off the coast, Faro is a fine introduction to Algarve. . If you have an appetite for the strange and macabre, visit the Chapel of Bones…nothing beats it!



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