A mere hour from Lisbon is a portal where all who enter will be taken on a culinary journey around all of Portugal. Two weeks every October for the past 27 years, Santarém, a town choc-a-block with Gothic treasures, plays host to the National Gastronomy Festival, the country's main culinary event
The castle of Mértola is located on the highest point of the village. Even though the castle is of Muslim origin, the current building dates from a reconstruction carried out by the knights of the Order of Santiago after the village was taken by the Christians. The most notable feature of the castle is its 30 meter-high keep tower, finished around 1292, which has an inner hall covered with Gothic vaulting. The defences include a city wall, which still encircles the village.
Portuguese table wines ranked very highly in end-of-the-year reviews in two top wine magazines. These high ratings coincide with a significant increase in sales the wines have seen recently. Over the past three years, sales of Portuguese table wines have increased 40 percent and red wines grew by 125 percent.
From hotels built in regal palaces to love stories that span the ages – Portugal is home to numerous places perfect for igniting (or reigniting) the flames of love.
Life is good, but wine is better. --Fernando Pessoa, (1988-1935)
Setúbal, is set on the northern bank of the Sado river estuary, about 26 miles south of Portugal's cool capital, Lisbon. A colony of dolphins now lives in the Sado, making nature and the wild even closer. And, just south of Lisbon, it has the charm of a big city without the huge costs...
To most North Americans the sardine is a little fish that comes in a can. To the Portuguese, the "sardinha" is THE flavor of summer. From north to south, Portuguese relish the smell of fresh-grilled sardines. So, what is the difference? In the summer 6- to 8-inch sardines are caught in Portugal territorial waters--from the mainland to Madeira, to the Azores, and back.
Ask in any café in Portugal for a bica and what will follow is a taste of heaven. It may look like an espresso, but the truth is in the beans and no one does it like the Portuguese. It’s helpful to know that the Portuguese have a huge sweet tooth. They love pastry and each region has its own unique claim to special cakes and pastry. What does this have to do with Portuguese coffee?
The Valley of the River Douro is famed for its wines around the world, but in Portugal its olives are also highly prized.
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