For those who know the magic of Portugal, it will come as no surprise that hidden in its southern most part lies Beja, an undiscovered jewel that once was the setting for the greatest love story ever told. There, a young twenty-six-year-old nun, the daughter of a rich nobleman met, fell in love and was abandoned by a French officer. Her passionate letters to him published in 1669 took Paris by storm and incited a crucial turn in world literature that inspired generations of artists including Braque, Modigliani and Elizabeth Barret Browning. Built on the highest hill in the Alentejo, Beja still holds the same appeal.
Portugal has topped many cultural hot list recently, and it is no surprise. Portugal was one of Artisans of Leisure's mostfrequently booked destinations in Europe. In addition to two key reasons--great value and an increasing number of luxury hotel options--are Portugal's impressive culture, incredibly rich history, excellent food andwine, high-quality traditional crafts, and great modern design. Add to that newand renovated venues and you have news that is fit to frame.
: The fields of the Alentejo can appear purple at sunset, and the cork forests, and a field of sunflower and grapes are only occasional punctuated by a fortified hill town. Moors, Romans, Carthaginians and other great civilizations have been drawn to its natural beauty.
Portugal might be a small country, about the size of Maine, but it offers a big variety of food, artistic practices, music, and traditional crafts among many other things. We’ve put together a list of experiences that are bucket-list essentials of a trip to Portugal and that you won't be able to get anywhere else.
The Valley of the River Douro is famed for its wines around the world, but in Portugal its olives are also highly prized.
So for a beach without high-rises, a laid-back feel, healing sands, and even bits of china washing up on shore from shipwrecks, check out Porto Santo. Yes, it has golf, tennis, new hotels and carting, but once you see the beach… you won’t want to go anywhere else!
History hidden in plain sight? Sacred places and ancient mystery? Sounds like a fun TV program, but in Portugal there a few places where you can explore hidden underground monuments where the clock stopped centries ago.
About midway between the east coast of the United States and mainland Portugal sits the Azores, a collection of nine islands scattered over several hundred nautical miles. The closest point to Europe from the United States, the Azores were once the one-and-only stopping-off point for ocean voyagers traveling between the two continents. Today, the Azores are an autonomous region of Portugal, even though they are more than 800 miles west of Portugal’s mainland. A direct flight from Boston to the Azores takes about four hourS.
Four ways to reconnect with Family and Friends
Portuguese people are often described as melancholic and nostalgic, but when it comes to love, they could not be more intense.