Excellent courses in dazzling scenery – there are around 80 golf courses, some ocean-facing greens, flanked by cliffs and white sand dunes, others framed by lakes and mountains, where the fragrances of flowers and herbs blend in a blur of sensations…Many have been designed by famous architects, such as Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore and Arnold Palmer, and they all share environmental quality and harmoniously blend into the landscape.
If you look at a map of Portugal and run a pencil along the Algarve, there is barely a centimetre distance between one Tee and the next.
Golf is obviously one of the country’s prime assets. That it will be further exploited is certain, greens fees will rise (at present, they are very reasonable) and accommodation will be harder to find. Right now, Portugal is a joy to play. A great part of the appeal can be traced to the fact that golfers can choose their preferred ambience. Whether it be the hustle and bustle of the Algarve with its coastal attractions, the newly opened Alentejo facility, golf in the mountain air or the courses situated around venerable Lisbon, contrasts in atmosphere are as diverse as the courses themselves.
Portugal’s cuisine is as rich and varied as its landscape!
The most distinctive feature of Portuguese cuisine comes from the sea. As you enjoy a simple grilled fish, always fresh like the seafood that abounds from end to end along the coast, you can be sure that you are in Portugal! Cataplanas, bouillabaisses and any other fish or seafood dish are also excellent choices.
For meat dishes, our main suggestion is cozido à portuguesa, a mix of meats, vegetables and various sausages, cooked in a delicious way. We have excellent DOP (Protected Denomination of Origin) meats, from north to south, whether it’s beef, pork or kid. Many vegetables and fruit also preserve the taste of the old times, and some also have the DOP label, especially as many are produced organically.
Portuguese olive oil is of prime quality and is part of every dish, including cod (for which it is said that there are 1001 recipes!), which we excel at preparing and enjoying.
Each dish is matched to the right wine. The whole country produces wine and, while Port wine is famous, the Douro, Alentejo and many other table wines are no less superior.
And the cheeses! While Queijo da Serra (mountain cheese from Serra da Estrela) tops the bill, all the cheeses from Centro de Portugal, Alentejo and the Azores are delicious.
The sweets, whose roots go back to the many convents where they were originally prepared, even today make us “give thanks to heaven”. And a pastel de nata (custard tart) is a must. It is delicious with coffee, which we drink in the form of espresso.
At the end of a meal, we might make a toast with some Port or Madeira, fortified wines that have been spreading our name to faraway lands for centuries. Or with an excellent sparkling wine produced in Portugal, to celebrate a memorable meal provided by the country’s talented chefs.
Vineyards cover the hillsides and plains from the Minho to Faro!
In the North, VINHO VERDE: These light, bold, fresh and rather sensual wines are ideal with seafood and fish. The vineyards, which stretch from the Douro to the Minho, climb the trellises near the picturesque town of Valença on the border with Galicia and continue south, through Barcelos, Braga and the stately city of Guimarães, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.
Then DOURO: Douro was the first wine region in the world to become demarcated, in 1756 and there are plenty of famous Port wines and excellent table wines produced in the region.
Douro is among the best destinations in the world for those who enjoy good wine. And we’re not the only ones saying so. In 2013, the Wine Enthusiast Magazine, based in New York, placed the region – the first demarcated region in the world – on the list of the 10 best wine destinations in the world.
In Central Portugal, DÃO: The River Dão rises between the mountains in the interior, and forms a narrow valley where vines have been cultivated since the 12th century. The main grape is Touriga Nacional and Dão is considered one of the wine regions with greater appeal since its wines are soft and elegant.
In the South, ALENTEJO WINES: The wines of this region have a strong, powerful character and are among the best in Portugal. Castelo de Vide, Marvão, Portalegre, Crato and Alter do Chão are places with history and tradition in northern Alentejo.
Source: visitportugal, visitportoandnorth
Art and Culture
The land that is now Portugal has been inhabited for thousands of years and its national boundaries have been defined for eight centuries. This long history is reflected in a particular culture that is the result of the mixture of the many peoples who settled here and those that the Portuguese encountered on their journeys of Discovery.
It is found in the villages and towns, in the monuments and traditions, which bring together influences that the Portuguese have applied creatively. And the omnipresent sea has also shaped our personality and taken us beyond the continent of Europe, enabling us to learn and share with the rest of the world.
Manueline art, tiles and fado are unique expressions and genuine symbols of the Portuguese, but also a contribution to World Heritage. There are 18 such classifications by UNESCO in Portugal, including monuments, landscapes and intangible heritage.
in Porto: São Bento Station, Sé Cathedral, Ribeira, D. Luís bridge, S. Francisco Church, Clérigos Tower, Lello Bookstore
in Lisbon: São Jorge Castle, Belém Tower, Monastery of Jeronimos, Chiado, Santa Justa elevator, Terreiro do Paço
Golf in Portugal – Europe’s leading golf destination 2013
Algarve – Europe’s leading beach destination 2015 (World Travel Awards)
Portugal – Best Value Destination by Lonely Planet, one of the best quality/price destinies to visit in 2015.
In 2014, already suggested by Condé Nast Traveler as best destiny, as well as Best Value Destination 2014 by Rough Guide publication.
Unforgettable landscapes and beaches
The Douro Valley, Ribeira, Tagus river, Sintra, Alentejo, Vicentine Coast and Algarve Beaches… all indescribable expressions of natural beauty!
For such a small country, Portugal’s sheer variety of landscapes comes as a surprise. If you are seeking a new, interesting locale to test your skills, consider this trip!
Climate and light
Mild climate and light all year round.
Only 3 or 4 hours flight from Northern Europe, with direct flights from many cities!
And from the American coast, is the first country that shows up when aproaching Europe.