3 PLACES TO LEAVE YOUR HEART IN PORTUGAL
This land of western Europe, located near the cradle of the Mediterranean, is most travelers daydream. It is beyond all expectations that I am committed to become a most curious adventurer for the three weeks I will spend in this country. Therefore, it gives me a slight place in your life to open three separate doors to Portugal, three places to share with you where I left my heart ...
LA PRAIA DA URSA
Direction: the west. It is at the most western point (Cabo de la Roca) that is this fairy beach, so beautiful that I needed to pinch myself to bring me back to reality. It is sourrounded by tones that go from turquoise to pink, that you can walk on the trails of the cliffs hedge. Cliffs that are up to 140 meters above the Atlantic Ocean. A little further, I watch a couple taking pictures with balloons while admiring the breathtaking panorama in front of me. Located 42 kilometers from the capital of Portugal (Lisbon), Praia da Ursa is the subject of many photographers from all over the world.
SUGGESTION: prepare a picnic and spend the day there to discover every nook and cranny. This site is appreciated by nature lovers and photographers. The entrance is free and therefore, accessible to all.
THE DOURO VALLEY
If the desire to be in a mountainous region is felt, why not stroll the winding roads of the Douro Valley? Declared World Heritage by UNESCO, it is a vast landscape and a most popular destination. You will find vineyards, a small authentic village named Pinhão as well as companies that create port and offer tastings to visitors.
SUGGESTION: the valley is beautiful when the road is made by car, because the perspective of the river from the top of the valleys is sensational. There are also different types of packages offered (directly from the city of Porto) by boat for people who do not necessarily have access to a car. However, we must remember that the pollution of the river due to too large a mass of tourists who opt for the maritime voice is a reality. For the sake of protecting the environment, I recommend you go for carpooling as I did, if possible.
I think that Sintra is really a must in Portugal for several reasons: to go back in time and stroll through its narrow streets lined with ancient fortifications, explore the different palaces and castles, enjoy a good meal in one many restaurants on the mountainside for a 180 degree view, get lost in the huge gardens and why not try the tuk-tuk (transportation) to get to the top of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.
SUGGESTION: If your goal is to visit one or more palaces / castles, I strongly suggest you buy your tickets online (internet) to avoid the lineup once there. In addition, if you want to take photos with as few people as possible in your focus, I advise you to be there 30 to 45 minutes before the opening, as it is a popular tourist site. The opening time of all palaces / castles is at 9:30 in the morning.
In the end, it was very difficult to summarize my favourites of Portugal, because there are so many beautiful places to admire! If I may, I would add that the Algarve region (the southern part of Portugal) is really a must. The beaches are fabulous, the colour of the water is beautiful, the old cities are full of life and colourful and the Portuguese are very nice. My favorites for this region are: Lagos, Albufeira and Tavira. I hope this article has been helpful and inspiring to you. I say good trip to Portugal and I wish you to accumulate beautiful memories, because after all, we will not bring our car on our death bed, but our memories.