Until the twentieth century Madeira played an important part in the social life of the upper class. It was especially favored in cities such as Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Philadelphia, New York and Savannah where they celebrated with so-called ‘Madeira-parties’. At these events, you drank several vintages of Madeira to a light meal like terrapin-soup.
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.
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Portugal is an old nation. And hundreds of castles, towers, and forts kept it independent for centuries. Today you will find their ruins in almost every city, town and village. It’s hard to pick, but here are a few of our favorites.
If we had to choose one truly remarkable thing about Portugal, it would be the cuisine. There are amazing natural landscapes and miles of beaches, not to mention the rich culture but Portugal has many delicacies that are only found in certain regions and they are worth a special trip.
Alqueva, Portugal - Portugal's Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve, the world's first "starlight tourism destination," was recognized at the World Travel Awards as Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction. After winning two World Travel Awards earlier this fall, Dark Sky Alqueva has just been named as the World’s Leading Tourism Project for 2020,...
Windmills came to the Azores during Portuguese settlement during the 15th century. They were used to pump water and to perform various actions in support of local agriculture.
The vast majority of people who visit the Azores stay on São Miguel. And this is understandable. It’s the home of the João Paulo II International Airport and the island offers a wide variety of tourist activities. The other islands in the archipelago all have their own unique appeal though.
Portuguese olive oil comes in different grades. The best is always the cold-pressed extra virgin. The better the quality, the better the flavor, texture and shelf life. Portugal is in the top 10 producers of olive oil in Europe, accounting for about 2 percent of consumption and more than 1 percent of production.
Located only 10 minutes away from Madeira’s capital Funchal, Câmara de Lobos is emerging as an alternative place to dine and stay. The town is set around an amphitheater-like harbor surrounded by colorful houses that make this a charming and picturesque place to visit. Fishing and agriculture remain the main activities, but tourism has expanded into the nearby areas and this sector observed significant growth in Câmara de Lobos.
Life moves at a different pace in the Alentejo. Days are sunny - but never dull. From the north in the Ribatejo area to the very south of Lower Alentejo the diversity of landscapes and culture makes for a wide offering of adventures. Visitors won’t only unwrap the history of the region, but also enjoy nature and so many open-air activities in this unique place with mild winters.