Roasted Chestnuts, or Castanhas Assadas, are a Portuguese fall classic. Most typically roasted on open flame, castanhas assadas are a typical fall food to enjoy, especially during the fall São Martinho festival celebrations. Castanhas are the perfect amount of soft, sweet, and savory. And they are sold on most busy street corners in the fall and winter.
From the plains of the Alentejo towards the south, to the more northern valleys of the Dão and Douro Rivers, comes the fall harvest. During September and October, visitors can tour the vineyards and even help harvest or crush the grapes in some cases. Some wine estates, large and small, offer visitors a chance to stay onsite, with perhaps a wine tasting or a complete wine pairing dinner to end the day.
Throughout the country, vineyards sit among stunning landscapes and are easily toured by car or on a bicycle. In the Minho region, the grapes used for the Vinho Verde wines grow on trellises. The vineyards of the Douro region run in a series of tiered, steep terraces.
From seacoasts to valleys, from gardens to forests, the Azores offers a wide range of fall landscapes to explore on foot. Country hedgerow lanes and open fields lead to extinct volcanic craters. The Azores are best appreciated slowly and on foot, and most islands have designated hiking areas.
Little used country roads, mountain passes, and seaside roads lend themselves to visitors in search of sweeping mountain and ocean views, waterfalls, and volcanic lakes. Well-paved and graded roads make cycling a pleasure for any experience level.