Portugal’s meals, wine and historical past could have you spellbound

Portugal is probably not one of many headliners with regards to European journey, however this nation is certainly value exploring. Its wealthy historical past, excellent meals and wine, and charming tradition make it a must-see for anybody contemplating a visit to Europe.

Many select to see it in fashion by taking an ocean cruise, stopping in on the nation’s well-known ports together with the capital metropolis of Lisbon.

However a river cruise, similar to Viking’s 10-day Portugal’s River of Gold takes within the well-known Douro Valley wine area and opens doorways to a few of the most unique experiences, past to coastal capital of Lisbon.

Listed here are 5 causes to go to Portugal:

Douro Valley vineyards, Portugal. Photograph: Viking

1. Unimaginable wine

When you’ve tasted Portuguese wine, it’s arduous to show again. Pattern a few of the most interesting of the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Listed website owing to it being the world’s oldest demarcated wine area.

Take a tour of the traditional craft of wine-making by exploring a wine cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia and pattern a number of types of its famed fortified wine and port.

Bake bread the standard Portuguese means. Photograph: Viking

2. Mouth-watering meals

In case you’ve ever tasted a Portuguese tart or pastel de nata, you have already got an appreciation of the ability of the meals producers on this nation.

Delicacies in Portugal is famend for its easy, but flavoursome tastes. Cod, cheese, smoked sausage and sardines are widespread substances in lots of dishes, whereas bread-making is an artwork in itself.

Check out a standard bakery for your self and see how bread is made the standard means with wooden and outdated grapevines.

3. Historical past all over the place

Portugal’s historical past is so deep and diverse, it may be arduous to know the place to start out.

Lisbon, one in every of Europe’s oldest cities, is house to the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery, a landmark courting again to the Age of Discovery within the 1400s when Portuguese caravels set sail trying to find new worlds. The wealth that explorers introduced again for church and state stays mirrored in buildings just like the monastery at the moment.

The historic city of Guimaraes was Portugal’s first capital within the twelfth century. The medieval outdated city is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site, with palaces and monasteries courting again to the tenth century to be present in the primary sq..

Azulejos Tiles Railway Porto
Azulejos Tiles in Porto Railway Station. Photograph: Viking

4. Tradition abounds

Inside just some days of your Portugal travels you’ll discover the distinctive blue-and-white ceramic tiles often known as azulejos adorning buildings all through town. Take a tour of Lisbon’s Nationwide Tile Museum to grasp how these tiles illustrate on a regular basis Portuguese life and occasions.

One other cultural touchstone is fado music, which originated in Portugal within the 1800s and centres across the themes of life, struggles and keenness.

5. Charismatic villages

Away from the cities you’ll discover charming villages in each route. Suppose quaint cobblestone laneways and 16th century homes with their intricate Manueline-style home windows.

The medieval fortress city of Castelo Rodrigo earns a spot on any traveller’s itinerary due to its historic fortress, which is listed as a nationwide monument. It’s additionally house to Sinagoga Avenue, a tribute to the Jewish neighborhood established there within the wake of the Spanish Inquisition.

Discover Portugal in consolation with Viking.