Travel Happiness: Portugal
I was recently watching a Professional Golf match on TV, which was being played in Portugal. It brought back beautiful memories of a trip some years ago and the longing to want to return.
Portugal is a great choice for Americans who like to travel to Europe. Founded in 1139, Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe, having kept the borders since the 13th century. Populated by several different civilizations, Portugal features a vast and rich array of the world's history. With a varied landscape, blessed by mild weather similar to the West Coast states in the United States, Portugal offers visitors scenic golf courses, stunning beautiful beaches, quiet country sides, steep mountains, and captivating islands.
Portugal's good cuisine and excellent wines are praised by the discerning American Traveler who enjoys fine wine and food. Portugal, with its rich and diverse history, offers many traditional festivals, sports, and cultural events year round. One can also appreciate the outstanding value a vacation in Portugal represents.
Since the country is a diverse and compact destination, you can combine a golf holiday with a beach vacation, a pilgrimage with an historical sightseeing tour of historic castles and ancient Roman cities. There is a never-ending combination of vacation packages.
One should start a Portugal vacation with about 3 days in and around Lisbon. There is a great sightseeing including the National Museum with side trips to Estoril on the Atlantic Ocean; a beautiful seaside resort with casinos. Fatima's Sanctuary is a famous pilgrimage site visited by thousands from all over the world all year round. Lisbon offers great shopping opportunities, great entertainment and nightlife--always lively.
As you head south, you pass through some incredibly beautiful countryside and many interesting sights, but for now, I am anxious to get you to the Algarve Region where there is always something new to see and discover. A region which is internationally known for its pleasant climate, beaches cut from cliffs sculptured by the sea and long stretches of golden sand, the mountain ranges with their unique natural beauty, and amazing landscapes preserve the customs and traditions of long ago, the colorful fishing boats and the scent of the sea, and the hot and fun filled nights which are full of glitter and glamour.
There are 53 golf courses in the country--23 are in the Algarve. So, it is all available in Portugal. Golf, great accommodations, friendly people, fabulous food, nightlife, casinos, beaches, and shopping is certainly worth a trip to this beautiful country.
Art Richards is the owner of Richards World Travel, Inc. in Hagerstown. (www.richardsworldtravel.com)