Inspired Experiences

Why We Love Portugal

Portugal consistently emerges as a top recommendation for those seeking a fresh and unforgettable adventure, and there are plenty of reasons why. Visitors often find themselves smitten with the country, whether it be the delectable cuisine, warm and welcoming locals, robust economic offerings, exceptional golf courses, pleasant climate, or the perfect blend of all these elements. What’s unequivocal is that our clients express an eagerness for a return visit, marking Portugal as a destination that captures hearts. Allow us to delve deeper into the allure of this enchanting country.

Portugal boasts a temperate climate throughout the year. The Algarve, located at the Mediterranean Sea’s mouth, stands as the warmest region. Golf enthusiasts can indulge in their passion year-round, with outstanding courses such as Monte Rei, a Jack Nicklaus masterpiece and the country’s top-ranked course. The Algarve, though geographically small, hosts 27 Michelin-rated restaurants, offering a culinary adventure to pair with exquisite beaches and over 300 days of sunshine annually. Among our favorites is Vila Vita Parc, a self-contained 5-star resort that epitomizes the best of the Algarve.

Venturing north, the city of Porto, Portugal’s second-largest, captures our affection. While possessing a grittier charm than Lisbon, Porto’s position on the Douro River sets the stage for winery tours along the river.  Imagine a lesser known Bordeaux region. Just outside the city lies the Vidago Palace, once the retreat of King D. Carlos I. Today it is a resort with a thermal spa, an 18-hole golf course, and luxurious grounds—all offered at attractive prices. Porto itself dazzles with its shops, vibrant nightlife, riverside allure, and captivating dining experiences.

A two-hour drive south from Porto leads to Praia d’el Rey Golf and Resort, one of Europe’s premier golf destinations. Positioned by an awe-inspiring beach with a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean. The golf options, including courses like Royal Óbidos and West Cliff, make it a golfer’s paradise. A short drive away is the UNESCO world heritage site of Obidos, a charming walled town with pedestrianized streets.

Continuing south, just an hour and fifteen minutes away is the capital city, Lisbon. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe our affection for Lisbon. Here, you will eat well, visit amazing architecture, stay at modern yet charming hotels,  and you will walk and walk and walk some more occasionally stopping to have a Ginja, a Portuguese liqueur, sold in kiosks (more kiosks than yellow cabs in New York CIty) around the city. You will learn about the famous Portuguese explorers, Vasco de Gama and Magellan. AND you will taste a Pastel de Nata for the first time which is a Portuguese custard tart. You can buy them all around the city but you must try them at Pastel de Belém. It may be the most heavenly thing you’ve ever eaten. The most heavenly view will be at Castelo de S. Jorge where you can take in the entire city and down to the Tagus River.  After a full day of exploration, we always recommend Palacio Ludovice as our hotel of choice. The people who run the hotel are friendly and attentive and the rooms are modern but classic.

For those in search of their next extraordinary holiday, Portugal beckons. We proudly accept the accolades for helping create a fabulous vacation, and rest assured, your tales of this remarkable journey will resonate among your friends for years to come.

About our Author:    Mike Di Carlo is one of our Inspired Travelers and an excellent Travel Advisor on our team.  Ask him about golf in Scotland, experiential travel in Italy, Greece and Portugal.  E: md@distincte.com

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