It’s funny, Porto seldom figures on most people’s mental hit list of city breaks but it really should. To me it’s probably one of the most delighting cities in Europe with its friendly vibe and unique personality so often lacking in many of the more homogenised Euro-towns. And, with Easyjet starting new flights to the city from Manchester in May, there’s no better time to plan your visit.Read More
Portuguese wine has been a revelation to me over the last few years. I’d always poo pooed it with memories of overly sweet, slightly fizzy vinho verde produced from stubby Mateus bottles – albeit the bottles did come in handy to make artful candlestick holders!
Luckily for me our local wine shop (Reserve in Didsbury) always ensures that I “try something different” and never seems to get it wrong. So, when I was offered a Portuguese white from the Duoro valley I was amazed to find it was rather good and I haven’t looked back since! Wanting to discover more about the wines of Portugal, on our recent trip to Portugal (after discovering an alternative Algarve – read about how you do that here) Julian and I headed north to the central Alentejo region. But to our delight we discovered more than just wonderful wineries.Read More
The Algarve stretches from the Spanish border nearly 100 miles to the Atlantic Coast, but most people visiting the area congregate in the central stretch west of Faro, staying in the rather large resorts that come with their perfectly manicured golf courses, dazzling array of facilities and swathes of villa complexes. In fact, the only thing these resorts don’t seem to have is anything particularly Portuguese. As well catered as you will be, let’s face it you really could be anywhere in southern European and you know what, you’re really missing out.
There’s an alternative Algarve waiting to be discovered. An Algarve less trodden where you will resolutely know you’re in Portugal. The key is knowing where to look. My tip is to do as Julian and I did on a recent trip and, on exiting Faro airport, turn your back on the crowds and instead head east towards Spain.Read More
I have to admit, I’ve always overlooked Lisbon as a city break destination; it’s fallen foul of the big hitters like Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Rome…..the list goes on. To me Portugal was the Algarve, golf, limited culture and not really a cosmopolitan location to while away a couple of days. However, faced with 2012 being our year of travelling to new locations and, after spotting a rather cool looking apartment for rent (at a very cool looking price), the Hubby and I decided to hop on the direct TAP Portugal flight from Manchester to see what Lisbon had to offer.Read More