Tag: Portugal TravelView All Tags
It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2013 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Needless to say, we're ready to get going into 2014, but first we're taking a brief look back at the best of 2013 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,or as we fondly refer to themThe Jauntys.
We learned a very valuable lesson very early on in our journey through Portugal: The fact that a city/town/country has been on the map forever in no way means that it has been discovered.
From our first steps through the streets of Lisbon, the Portuguese city upon the hill, it became clear that Americans have, for whatever reason, been ignoring Portugal. Even the most basic of observations we made were raising the eyebrows of our colleagues and friends back in the Statesa good example being that Lisbon looks just like San Francisco.
Adventure Travel / Hawaii Travel / Portugal Travel / Mexico Travel / Puerto Vallarta Travel / Surfing / → All Tags
After the warmth of the holiday season fades and January and February begin to sink in their teeth throughout most of the country, you won't be alone if you find yourself dreaming of the ocean. You could always cruise out to So Cal, but we're recommending an extended winter vacation this year, one that you should start planning now while the cash is already flowing from your wallet. Don't wait for those holiday bills to come -- at that point, you'll be too discouraged to cough up any more.
Given the popularity of resolutions, the beginning of the new year is a great time to try something new. And since we're talking summer, how about holding up in a small beach town and learning to surf? Here are three destinations we visited this year that will have you hanging ten in no time.
So far, organic growth thanks to newfound tourism has created a local, pleasant surf town vibe in Sayulita that is not found in the hustle and bustle of nearby Puerto Vallarta. Even though many of the businesses are most definitely there because of tourism, the town has done a nice job overall of keeping them authentic and feeling local -- something we greatly appreciate.
Surfboards can be rented right off the beach for less than $25 a day and multi-person bungalows can be rented for as little as $90/night (there are also cheap hostels and a campground). We recommend you not hesitate, because as great as the town is at the moment, we see small signs of infection – such as annoying beach vendors and aggressive restaurant greeters – that could very well begin to change the feel of the town in the coming years. We have our fingers crossed, but we aren’t holding our breath given the direction most other Mexican destinations have gone with their approach to tourism. So, go!
Portugal Travel / Lisbon Travel / Neighborhoods to Know and Go / Travel Tips / Shopping Travel / → All Tags
While no single post could ever sum up all the tiny gems and small 'hoods you find in a big city, we've broken down the main neighborhoods below to give you an idea of what to expect and do in each. Because Lisbon is a condensed city, it is very easy to get around via public transportation (trolley cars and the subway) or, if you can handle the hills, by foot.
Well, isn't that the way it goes... we're in Portugal for ten days, and two days after we leave, the world's largest wave gets surfed! Last weekend, as hurricane conditions swept through the east coast of Europe and killed almost a dozen people, gigantic (and we mean gigantic) waves brought surfers to the infamous area known as Nazare, which is about an hour north of Lisbon in Portugal and an iconic surf destination with a reputation for consistently producing some of the world's biggest waves.
On the last run of the day on Monday, after rescuing his friend who had broken her ankle, Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle caught what is believed to be the largest wave in history -- a 100-foot wall of water. You must watch the video below to get a visual (although you may want to watch it on mute):
Last week, we wondered why Americans continue to ignore Portugal despite its proximity to the East Coast and the fact that we constantly fly over it to reach other destinations. The question is rhetorical, and all we can do at this point is our best to show you what you're missing.
Here's a glimpse of what to expect on your inaugural trip to Lisbon, Portugal's largest city and capital, as well as a few cultural and food tips that will have you living like a local in no time.
Yesterday, when we told you about a rock 'n' roll jeep tour that takes you along Portugal's south and west coasts near Sagres, we mentioned that the area was undiscovered by tourists from the States. And we stand by that. While we certainly weren't the first Americanos to grace its shoreline, the reaction from the locals upon discovering where we were from told the whole story. They were, without question, not used to meeting Americans. The English, yes. The Spanish, for sure. Germans, totally. But not Americans.
And we're not just talking about some remote village in the middle of nowhere; the same has been true thus far of our stay in Lisbon. We suppose the main reason is pretty obvious. Lisbon just doesn't sound as sexy as Paris or Rome, two cities that Americans are all over on their first European jaunts. And since a very small percentage of Americans even travel to Europe once let alone twice, Portugal (as well as other European countries) becomes this "second-tier" destination that Americans never get around to visiting.
Adventure Travel / Portugal Travel / Sagres Travel / Jeep Tours / Tours / Road Trip / Cars / → All Tags
So when he pushes it into fourth gear and rips down the off-road dirt trail to make sure you don’t “feel the bumps as much” or takes you up 45-degree climbs to reach coastal vistas, don’t say we didn’t warn you, all right?
Seriously, this was easily the most free-wheeling jeep tour we've ever experienced. It's all thanks to Sandro Pombal of Sagres Discovery, who is a former driver for Mitsubishi's regional rally team and who has since "settled down" to spend his days driving the trails along Portugal's rocky, elevated south and west coastlines, an area that is, without question, still undiscovered by American tourists (which we'll nag you about tomorrow).
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They just keep on coming! (Not that we're complaining). FIVE more international city badges on location-based social network Foursquare have just dropped, in time to get you even more psyched for upcoming fall travel.
These newest city badges go to: Vienna, Austria; Casablanca, Morocco; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Guimarães, Portugal; and Kumasi City, Ghana.
How to get the badges: First, follow 4sqCities, and just to be safe, it wouldn't hurt to also follow the individual city lists: Vienna (list), Casablanca (list), Kuala Lumpur (list), Guimarães (list), and Kumasi City (list). Then travel to the cities and clickety-click to check-in to the places on the recommended lists. Five places earns the badge.
BONUS: Las Vegas also just released SEVEN other resort-specific badges with perks attached. Check those out over on our sister site, VegasChatter.
Confession! This member of the Jaunted team has visited every Western European country except Portugal and Denmark. Yes, even the little ones like Andorra and San Marino are checked off our list. Still it seems we need to correct this and get to Portugal before the wanderlust imparted by the video above wears off.
This is the cutest 2 minutes and 49 seconds you will possibly have today. Utilizing time-lapse, tilt-shift techniques and HD, the short film from Mario Rui Fernandes is a vibrant, happy look at the lively public spots of Portugal's capital, Lisbon. He jumps from tourist hotspots (we want to go stand on that map mosaic!) to scenes from local life, such as a commuter train station.
Keep your eyes open for our particular favorite moment involving a lone snorkeler. Happy Friday!
Europe Travel / Euro / Greece Travel / Spain Travel / Portugal Travel / Money / Political Travel / Italy Travel / Bulgaria Travel / Romania Travel / → All Tags
We've emphasized before that, especially if your travel plans are flexible, you should strongly consider going to Greece. The economic turmoil has caused tourism to plummet, and prices have declined accordingly. But Greece's problems are the Eurozone's problems, which means that there are also macroeconomic issues driving the Euro down relative to the dollar.
Not to be too callous on the point, but Europe's woes are creating some fairly interesting options for American tourists. Portuguese hoteliers have been sending up red flags about the state of their tourism industry, and even government officials have begun to pay attention. The exact same logic holds for Italy: dependent on tourism, and in a broad economic slump that makes it highly vulnerable to fluctuations in the Euro. And by "vulnerable" we mean "welcoming," and by "fluctuations in the Euro" we mean "tourists."
Eat-n-Sleep / Portugal Travel / Europe Travel / Lisbon restaurants portuguese food portuguese cuisine / Portugal / Restaurant in Lisbon / Restaurantes em Lisboa / → All Tags
Our Eat 'n Sleep feature profiles a restaurant in a random city and a hotel nearby. It's kinda like that old show "Dinner and a Movie" but you know, with restaurants and hotels. And better jokes.
When in Rome, right? So when you're in Lisbon you might as well eat like the Portuguese. Those in the know say to head down to Restaurant Nilo for some of the best bites this coastal city has to offer. This little charmer of an eatery is located downtown, near the Rossio and Praca da Figueira, in close proximity to 20 other restaurants. But we can't figure why travelers would choose anywhere else, since Nilo's menu includes national dishes at a decent price.
You'll find delicious rice with seafood, codfish or one of the typical dishes of the day like cozido à Portuguesa or feijoada à transmontana. And last, but not least, don't skip the delicious Portuguese beer, Sagres.
How do you know a destination is about to explode onto the international travel scene? When locals stop going to church and start opening spots that attract the Wallpaper* set. At least, so says the latest report from Aveiro, Portugal. New York Times writer Sarah Wildman spoke with a local specialty food shop owner who has the scoop:
Ten years ago if you walked around Aveiro on a Sunday, you wouldn't see a single person -- everyone was in church! Now that's no longer true.
So what does everyone do in Aveiro, if they're not praying rosaries? Hanging out in coffeeshops and design shops at Mercado Negro, it sounds like:
An entire neighborhood in and of itself, filled with smart boutiques, a bar, a coffee shop and several great rooms just for chilling out.
Mercado Negro may be pushing out the Church, but God love 'em for having a blog!
[Photo: Susanna Raab]