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The old saying “the grass is always greener” is true – since lockdown started, all I’ve been able to think about is travel. It’s made me think about my past travel habits, too. Because I love the Canaries so much we’ve visited there pretty much every year for the past seven years, and because of this I haven’t really done much other international exploration.
Once everything is back to normal I’m determined to visit some places I’ve never been before. The bucket list is huge, but one country I’ve been thinking about a lot is Portugal. It first appeared on my radar after seeing photos from a friend who visited a few years back. I’ve never been, but there are so many amazing sights out there that I just have to visit. FareHarbor offer an amazing selection of tours and other options for the country so I decided to take a look, and I’ve now got some new things to add to the bucket list! Here are three things to do in Portugal that I’d love to undertake in the next couple of years.
Explore the country with a Douro Valley hike
The Douro Valley is a gorgeous rural area of Portugal which is perfect for trekking and cultural immersion. Situated East of Porto and North of Salamanca, the valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site that makes a perfect break away from city exploration.
Usually the Douro Valley is a peaceful and quiet place, yet for three weeks every year this changes. This is due to the harvest, which makes for quite an experience. There are a whole host of different vineyards and farms in the area, making it the ideal trip for wine lovers.
The Douro Valley is just a beautiful place, with the Douro River the third largest river in the Iberian peninsula. It’s surrounded each side by terrific mountainscapes, featuring winding roads and a lovely juxtaposition of natural beauty and cultural buildings. It even has it’s own microclimate, which is why it’s perfect for growing grapes and olives. Going on a Douro Valley hike would be perfect. What better way to end a picturesque walk than with a glass of wine in your hand?
Taste the culture with a Braga food tour
Aside from wine and hiking, something I absolutely love whilst abroad is food! It generally features quite heavily in my holidays, and I’ll try out as many local cuisines as I can. Sometimes this can be difficult though. Many restaurants cater to tourists with less authentic meals (I see a lot of fry ups and Sunday roasts floating around in Corralejo when I go, for example). In some places you really need to know where to go so you can experience fully traditional meals.
Braga is a city in Portugal that is foodie heaven, with so much authentic food accessible to tourists. A Braga food tour is great for those that want to experience it all (like me). Imagine being able to experience all those different delicacies in one go! Portugal especially would be amazing for this, with their vibrant flavours and culinary delights.
Typical cuisine from the area features meals such as Bacalhau à Narcisa, a fish dish which is considered to be the favourite within the area. You’ll also find Cabrito assado à Moda de Braga, a lamb dish that you’ll easily find around Easter-time, and the intriguing caramel dessert Pudim à Abade de Priscos which contains both Port and bacon!
Discover the capital with a Porto walking tour
And finally, the city that really inspired me to explore Portugal – Porto. Porto is the second-biggest city in the country and a popular place to visit for good reason. Obvious from the name it’s famous for its port plus the fact it’s one of the oldest cities in Europe, evident from its gorgeously archaic cobbled streets and Gothic architecture.
A walking tour in Porto would be a great way to experience it, as there’s just so much of it! I’m definitely one to fall in love with multi-coloured, historical streets, and I just love being able to set foot in ancient examples of architecture, such as the Sé Cathedral. There’s also a bookshop that’s considered one of the most beautiful in the world! Plus you’ll find some absolutely fantastic street art that just blew me away when I saw the photos my friend put up online.
Sold? If, like me, you’ve just got to visit Portugal, then it’s worth checking out these popular tours from FareHarbor. Just click on the title to see more information and you can book directly from there (I’d advise bookmarking this post and coming back once normal travel has resumed, rather than making any bookings now, though). I haven’t had a chance to test them yet due to the pandemic, but from what I can see they offer some really cultural and enjoyable experiences.
And if you want something else from Portugal entirely? FareHarbor offer loads of other experiences, from day-long private city tours to entire packages over 7 days. Time to get travel planning!
What are some things to do in Portugal that you’d add to your bucket list? Or, if you’ve already visited, what did you enjoy doing most in the country? Share your goals and experiences in the comments. Please also like and pin if you enjoyed this post! For more travel inspiration, check out the following articles: