Magical Madeira

madeira sunset

  From the air, Madeira is an otherworldly sight. As I flew toward the island and passed over its miniscule neighbour of Porto Santo, it really did feel like I was approaching a distant, mythical land. Basking alone in the Atlantic Ocean, it is geographically apart from elsewhere, situated approximately 650 km west of Morocco and 1,000km southwest of Europe’s mainland, meaning that a ... Read Full Article

Where to Stay in Lisbon, Portugal: Editor’s Picks

Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade

Lisbon doesn’t have just one downtown, so we’ve compiled a list of ‘where to stay’ options that represent the city’s most popular areas. These include the Bairro Alto neighborhood, the Belém neighborhood, and the Costa da Caparica beach area. We’ve also  given special attention to hotels that offer free wireless internet. When deciding where to stay, it helps to know that hotels tend to be cheaper ... Read Full Article

Top Things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

jardim zoologico garden

  Finding things to do in Lisbon, Portugal is an easy task; Lisbon has led a very adventurous life. From its very beginnings, Lisbon has been molded by a variety of cultures and influences. Likely founded by the Phonicians in 1200 BC, Lisbon also has a strong Roman history and influence and was ruled by the Moors for over 450 years while  adopting and adapting to the rich Moorish ... Read Full Article

Hidden Gems of the Algarve, Portugal

Caso do campo

Located in southern Portugal, the Algarve region is a popular destination for those seeking beach resorts, loads of sunshine, and award-winning, golden, sandy beaches - topped off with a fabulous nightlife. If you have already been to the Algarve, then you know just how much this region of Portugal has to offer. For those of you who have yet to enjoy an Algarve holiday or will be retuning for ... Read Full Article

Up Close Guide to the Azores Islands

Sete Cidades, Sao Miguel, Azores

  Situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the  Azores Islands are the very top of one of the earth's tallest mountain ranges, the Atlantic ridge. With a temperate climate year-round, this rugged and verdant volcanic archipelago comprises nine islands, ranging in size from 270 square miles (Sao Miguel) to just 7 square miles (Corvo). The islands form an autonomous part of ... Read Full Article

The Central Portugal Experience

quinta de bispos

  Exploring central Portugal provides travelers with an authentic Portugal experience. The small town hotels, wineries and restaurants offer an inexpensive window into the lives of the people in this part of the world. Quinta de Bispos is an eco country inn, beautifully located on an old citrus farm on the south slope of the Caramulo Mountains in central Portugal. Quinta de Bispos is ... Read Full Article

The Allure of the Azores

Sao_Miguel_ Azores

  The plane is descending, flying low over a volcano. Steam rises. Cat, my youngest daughter, is excited. “Look, you guys! The earth is boiling.” And it is! Like the other islands of the Azores, Sao Miguel is volcanic. It’s also verdant and utterly beautiful. The Azores Archipelago is in fact the visible part of the Atlantic ridge, some of the highest mountains on earth, measured from ... Read Full Article

Portugal’s Principal Wine Regions: Minho and Douro

douro_river_portugal

  When one hears the words “European wine,” typically French Cabernet and Italian Lambrusco, or perhaps German Gewürztraminer, come to mind. Though Portuguese wines have become increasingly popular in American restaurants (especially the Vinho Verde varietal, and Port has made a resurgence in popularity), tourists often envision Portuguese wines as subprime to their French and Italian ... Read Full Article

The Bairros of Lisbon, Portugal: Belém

Torre de Belem

  Hundreds of years of history and culture have built up around the Portuguese waterfront that launched some of the world’s greatest explorers. Today, cornice to capstone, the elaborate architecture of Belém’s palaces and towers blends with contemporary museums and monuments; piers and marinas swept by the iconic yellow trams bustle no less than in the Age of Discovery; and in the same ... Read Full Article

Exploring Lisbon, Portugal: Nature in the City

jardim-zoologico-garden

  Whether at the Jardim Zoológico, the Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Lisboa , or the Parque das Nações and its nearby Oceanário de Lisboa , a wide variety of plants and animals can be found thriving in Lisbon’s warm Mediterranean climate made mild by the Gulf  Stream. Anyone looking for respite from the busier parts of the city should seek these sites. Jardim Zoológico This renowned ... Read Full Article