8 Incredible Travel Experiences You Can Only Have in Portugal

portugal

Portugal is truly the hidden gem of Western Europe. Located next to Spain on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is home to some of the finest beaches, richest culture, and most delicious food in all of Europe. From Porto and Lisbon to Madeira and the Azores, there’s something for every luxury traveler to fall in love with in Portugal. Begin planning any of these luxury experiences with a Next Trip Journeys travel specialist today

1. Stay in luxury at Lisbon’s most iconic address

Corner Suite at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz, Lisbon
Corner Suite at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz, Lisbon

The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is the most impressive hotel in the capital city, with enough contemporary local artwork to impress even the most discerning critic. Views of the cities rolling hills surround you from all sides, with many of Lisbon’s most popular tourist attractions and best restaurants located just steps from the front entrance. 

Fitness enthusiasts will appreciate the hotel’s rooftop running track and swimming pool, perfect for getting in a little exercise while you’re on vacation. The Cura and Varanda restaurants on site will satisfy your food cravings and them some, offering Portuguese fine dining and local specialities that rotate seasonally. 

2. Tour the Palacio da Pena in Sintra

Palácio da Pena, Sintra
Palácio da Pena, Sintra

Anyone visiting Lisbon shouldn’t miss a chance to take a day trip to Sintra and Cascais. In the former, you’ll be able to visit the Palacio da Pena, Sintra’s most colorful and popular site. The palace was built on the highest peak in the area, offering some of the best views in the country. 

Sintra’s city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a private tour is a perfect way to take in the charm of this incredible spot. Tours also visit Cascais, a city by the bay with a jagged coastline, sandy beaches, and crystal clear waters. 

3. Unwind at a wellness resort

Cascade Wellness Resort, Lagos 
Cascade Wellness Resort, Lagos 

If you really want to unwind and come home feeling relaxed, there’s nothing better than a visit to the Cascade Wellness Resort in Lagos. Each wing of the hotel reflects the journeys of Portuguese navigators across four continents – Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. Tastefully decorated rooms and suites showcase these journeys.

The resort is within walking distance to Dona Ana Beach, and offers pristine suites and holiday villas for travel parties of all sizes. The full spa offers beauty and massage treatments, hot tubs, a sauna, and a steam room. They are all yours to enjoy and take care of yourself. 

4. Sample authentic port

Graham's Port Lodge, Vila Nova de Gaia
Graham’s Port Lodge, Vila Nova de Gaia

The majority of Porto’s famous port houses are located on the south side of Douro in Gaia, home to some of the names any port enthusiast will be familiar with, like Graham’s and Taylor’s. Tour the port houses before tasting some of the delicious, sweet wine. A travel specialist can help you set up a tour to some of the best spots in the area. We’d recommend visiting Kopke Wine House, where you can choose from an extensive list of rare varietals and pair your selections with decadent chocolates that match just perfectly. 

5. Learn how to make Portugal’s most delicious treat

Portugal’s Famous Pastel de Nata
Portugal’s Famous Pastel de Nata

There’s no better bite in Portugal than a pastel de nata, the world-famous Portuguese egg tart. If you aren’t consuming multiple of these tarts every day, you’re not experiencing Portugal right! Lisbon’s Compadre Cooking School is the perfect place to learn how to make pastel de nata, peri peri chicken, and dozens of local codfish specialties that are so closely tied to the Portuguese way of life. 

Private, hands-on cooking classes allow you to learn the process of making Portuguese food at your own pace from some of the most talented chefs in Lisbon. Getting to know Portugal through its gastronomy is a great way to introduce yourself to the country. 

6. Take a sunset cruise along the Algarve’s coastline

Cruising Along the Algarve’s Coastline
Cruising Along the Algarve’s Coastline

A luxury sunset cruise is the perfect way to cap off a day in the Algarve, one of the most scenic destinations in all of Portugal. Experience the sunset with a glass of wine or champagne and bask in the beautiful colors that reflect off of the water. Tours can take you to the sea caves around Albufeira, offering you a chance for a swim in the warm waters if you need to cool off before the sun goes down. The coastline is scattered with photo opportunities, so don’t forget to bring a camera. Tours can be arranged for couples, families, or large groups if you speak to a travel specialist before you visit. 

7. Fly over the Cabo de Roca

Cabo de Roca
Cabo de Roca

The Cabo de Roca, also known as the Cape of Roca, is the westernmost point in continental Europe. Take a helicopter tour from Lisbon over this magnificent lookout point as you enjoy views of the 18th century Queluz National Palace, which is often compared to Versailles in France. A private flight can be arranged, lasting roughly 30-minutes that will give you memories that will last a lifetime. 

8. Take a trip to the Azores Islands

Azores
The Furnas Valley from Above

The Azores are home to the country’s finest seafood, fabulous beaches, and a unique history and culture that comes from only being settled 500 years ago. The islands make for an intimate getaway, with only 140,000 people living in the Azores and only a handful of flights departing from Lisbon daily. The Furnas Valley offers every shade of green imaginable, while the black sand beaches and natural swimming pools only make the experience more incredible. If it’s a one-of-a-kind experience you’re looking for, nothing is more off the beaten path than the Azores Islands. 

For those who enjoy luxury accommodations and unique experiences, a trip to Portugal is the perfect vacation destination. Start a conversation with a travel representative at Next Trip Journeys today if you’re looking to visit a country packed with things to do and places to see.

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