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Portugal - Affordable piece of paradise

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Sissi Beau, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. Sissi Beau

    Sissi Beau New Member

    Maybe I'm biased because I live here, but this small country has something for everyone. Excellent food (good fish, tasty meat dishes and fantastic (nun styled) desserts). The beaches are beautiful, and we have them both by the river and by the sea. People are friendly and talkative, and most know how to speak English and Spanish besides Portuguese. The weather is Mediterranean and very mild (we do have all seasons and while Summer is hot, and Winter is cold it doesn't snow in most of the country).

    We have gardens and natural reserves - and some places of almost untouched nature especially if you visit the islands. Our history is significant and we have castles, palaces and churches to prove it! Search Mosteiro dos Jerónimos for greatness and Quinta da Regaleira cave stairs for some Illuminati secrets. Speaking of Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra (where that place is) has its microclimate and is hazy most of the time. The environment surrounding that place is full of mystery and beauty.

    And you can always go north and visit Porto (where you'll drink some famous Port wine) or south and stay in Algarve for nature and good beaches. Lisbon is the capital and has a great vibe - especially if you want to go out at night. Try Bairro Alto, a place full of bars where people get together and drink/talk on the streets.

    If you haven't been sold yet, I don't know what else can I tell you. Just that everything is reasonably priced, so you'll do some great shopping. :)
     
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  2. planetX

    planetX Member

    It was really nice to go through these detailed summary of Portugal as a tourist destination. Now it has become one of my dream places to visit.

    Can you give details of some important places to visit with family. Is there any precautions to be taken to visit Portugal, especially for female companions? Climate wise what would be the ideal time, I mean a balanced climate?
     
  3. Sissi Beau

    Sissi Beau New Member

    You can be a girl and travel alone (it's quite safe even at night). Just be sure to take the normal precautions (put your phone inside your bag and your bag nex to to you in public transportation and try not to be alone at night). I would advise you to come here during the summer, as the days are hot and the nights are perfect (still hot with a breeze), but you'll find things to do all year round. January and other winter months may be a little more cold (and the rain may spoil your trip) but you'll get to experience other parts of the culture - like the people selling roasted chestnuts in the streets. If you visit Lisbon I would say to visit Belém and Baixa Chiado (during the day)/Bairro Alto (at night) and then to go to the nearest beaches in Cascais or Estoril.
     
  4. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I've been to the Algarve twice on family holidays and we have loved both of our visits.

    Portugal doesn't seem to get as crowded as the the popular resorts in Spain, and I think that's what attracts people to there as a family holiday destination more than other countries.
     
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  5. vinaya

    vinaya Member

    I have never visited Portugal, I have not even been anywhere near Portugal, however, I know this country since I was a child. My impression of Portugal is entirely based on two things: one football, two the colonial history.

    I loved Portugal Footbal since I was a child. Luis Figo was one of my favorite players. I also like Ronaldo.

    Portugal was constantly featured in the history because it was one of the colonizers.

    I would love to visit the country some day.
     
  6. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I think the football is synonymous with Portugal with players like Figo, Ronaldo and of course the legendary Eusebio. Clubs such as Benfica and Porto have always figured prominently in European competition so when it comes to football, Portugal as a lot to be proud of.
     
  7. Benoit W

    Benoit W New Member

    Dеpеnds оn whаt typе оf hоlidаy yоu wаnt. If yоu wаnt а niсе bеасh hоlidаy, thеn try Pоrtimãо. This dоеsn't hаvе muсh in thе wаy оf tоurist sights, but thе gоldеn sаndy bеасhеs thеrе аrе grеаt.Аltеrnаtivеly, if yоu wаnt tо sее sоmе histоriсаl sights, thеn try Sintrа. This саn bе еаsily rеасhеd frоm Lisbоn аnd it lооks likе sоmеthing оut оf а stоry-bооk. Pеnа Саstlе is thе mоst distinсtivе аttrасtiоn, with its' drеаmlikе аrсhitесturе аnd pаstеl соlоurs.
     
  8. Rachel

    Rachel Member

    I have been to Portugal several times. My favourite place to stay is Lisbon, the capital, which is fantastic for a city break - and it won't break the bank either. As capital cities go it's extremely reasonably priced for the most part. My parents and I rented a lovely apartment in the city centre for a week. There is so much to do in and around the city and I love the open top tourist buses which is a great way to while away a day, while keeping your costs to a minimum. We also spent a truly wonderful day at Sintra - if anyone is in the area I cannot recommend this place enough. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in the foothills of the Sintra mountains and there is a small town and, further up the hill, the most breath-taking royal palace. The scenery is breathtaking, it really is a magical place.I think if often and am planning to return to Lisbon so I can go back!
     
  9. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

    I've only ever heard great things about Portugal, but your recommendations have me sold! What a lovely place. I would love to travel there one day. Having seen pictures of the natural beauty, as well as hearing stories about the very welcoming Portuguese, and the beautiful tones of the native language, I have to say that it does come as as idyllic.

    @Rachel el - I never realized the Sintra mountains had a royal place! That sounds truly heavenly. Were you allowed access to the royal grounds, like with a tour or anything? Or was it open to photographs only?
     
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  10. Rachel

    Rachel Member

    It's not occupied now by any Royal members, it was originally built around 1100 AD and became part of the Portugese Crown after the first King of Portugal conquered the capital city, Lisbon. It's now maintained by UNESCO and is fully open to the public. It's absolutely stunning. If you are based in Lisbon, the journey takes just over an hour on the train and the price of the journey is very inexpensive - I seem to remember paying around 15 euros for a return ticket.
     
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  11. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

    Wow, that's awesome! And totally budget friendly.
    I did a quick internet search on it. Pictures probably don't do it justice, but it definitely is as stunning as you say. So putting this palace on the bucket list :)
     
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  12. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    When I was in school, I thought all along that Portuguese speak Spanish. Sorry for that wrong assumption. I have no other idea of Portugal and I admit that I have sampled Portuguese food when we went to Macau. On our first trip to Macau, we had that meat dish with rice and (I think noodles, not sure). My husband enjoyed the food. When we went back to Hongkong (by ferry) we went to Food Republic, a fastfood in Hongkong, and had lunch. My husband picked Portuguese food again. He said he liked it because it is similar to Spanish food which is our orientation.
     
  13. Rachel

    Rachel Member

    I really didn't enjoy the food in Portugal. It all seemed very much the same - veal or pork, potatoes and vegetables. Me and my family struggled to eat well until we found the Hard Rock Café! I do appreciate that we were in a tourist area, but every single restaurant sold exactly the same food, it was really odd. Luckily, we found a tiny café/bar - really no bigger than my front room, and the guy there used to make us fantastic feta cheese salads, so we ended up eating there most nights.

    What's the national food of Portugal?
     
  14. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    Portugal is one of my dream destinations actually. You people have several things I really like. You have great climate, sandy beaches, warm and nice sea. You have good wine and like to drink it I think, same as me and you like football. I do not need more that that. I could go and move there permanently. Another thing, you do not like Spaniards :). I have no idea where would I go but It would be near Africa somewhere so south part of your country.
     
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  15. My cousin went to Portugal a month ago and he left with mediocre experience. The only considerable place to eat, live and shop was the central tourist area, he said. This pretty much confirms what Rachel said.
    I'm not sure I'd like to visit Portugal myself. However, let's not forget that Portugal is quite a historic country.
     
  16. sararas

    sararas Member

    I haven't been to Portugal myself. But I truly wouldn't mind coming there for a visit. Much like Corzhens I had a bit of taste of Portugal when visiting Macau. It being a country ruled by the Portuguese for so long, the influence is definitely there. While I'm no Catholic, I love the churches that we saw in Macau. If I had a grand time visiting the places in Macau that were showing 100% Portuguese influence, then it would be safe for me to assume that I would enjoy a visit to Portugal.
     
  17. reverserewind

    reverserewind Member

    Yep, that's true. This country makes a significant amount of money off tourism, thanks to it geographical location. I believe it's worth going there one day, especially If you're from Brazil and speak their language perfectly.
     
  18. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    Gee, this comment looks like a big plus for Portugal. A great climate coupled with sandy beaches boasting of fair-skinned sexy women clad in bikini, oh, that's truly a come on for tourists. Now I remember eating Portuguese food when we were in Venetian Hotel in Macau. The food was meat and rice with vegetables, I forgot the name. And it was surprising because for a cheap price, the serving was good for two people with small stomachs like us. We are not wine drinkers but we would appreciate a drink or two with good Portuguese dishes.
     
  19. We have a little bit of Portugal in Malaysia. In 1511, Alfonso de Albuquerque attacked and subdued the city of Malacca. The Portuguese occupation only lasted a bit more than a century but they left behind a fort which still stands to this day and a community of Portuguese people who still live there. Here's a picture of the Portuguese still living in Malacca:
    d0RrovZ.