The fascination of Spain and Portugal
25 Sep 2019
Few places are as vibrant or charismatic as the countries of Spain and Portugal. Witness changing landscapes, experience fascinating cultures and revel in chaotic markets. Marvel at incredible art and architecture, feast on tantalising cuisine and be charmed by local hospitality.
Spain is one of the most captivating countries in Europe. Think sandstone villages scattered amongst a sea of olive groves, perched on hilltops and clinging to coastal outcrops a resilient memory of Old Spain. Explore ornate and detailed architecture within ancient city walls, windswept Roman ruins and extravagant Cathedrals of bygone eras, all in a day in Spain. Escape into a foodie’s wonderland with mouth-watering tapas and delectable wines. Marvel at the wild cliffs of the Northwest Atlantic coast or the sun-kissed coves of the Mediterranean. Feel the pulsating rhythm of the colourful flamenco dance and the draw of a fiesta, the passion and zest for life in Spain is intoxicating.
Visit Madrid and wander its famous Prado Museum, dine in fine restaurants or shop in its many elegant boutiques. Observe Gothic architecture and Gaudi’s surreal Sagrada Familia in Barcelona or marvel at the unique art of Picasso and Dali after a stroll along La Rambla. Behold the intricate beauty of Granada’s Alhambra – the ultimate in Muslim architecture and one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built, backed majestically by the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains. Swim in warm, clear water on the Costa del Sol or explore the dramatic coastline of Costa Brava with its craggy cliffs and secluded coves.
Exploring Portugal, you’ll find yourself spellbound by its beauty and charm. Wander captivating cities, gaze upon the 20,000 year old towns with stone carved walls and lose yourself within the corridors of numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Step outside the city and experience the spectacular scenery with over 800km of coast featuring rugged vertical drop off cliffs, world class surf breaks and rolling golden sandy dunes. The country is dotted with red-roofed, cobblestone villages and local produce markets, you will find yourself indulged in the likes of fresh baked bread, stacked high with olives, cheese and smoked meats. Tempt your taste buds to some local seafood or devour a famous Portuguese custard tart.
Sip on velvety ports in Porto, scenically located on the River Douro. Relax on the stunning beaches of The Algarve before dining on seafood so fresh it still tastes of the sea. Explore the romantic town of Sintra with its elegant palaces, castles, ecclesiastical buildings and spectacular beaches. Get lost in the breath-taking city of Lisbon, where dilapidated buildings from a bygone era stand proudly alongside lovingly restored buildings. Built on a series of hills where you will find scenic vistas from every angle, Lisbon is a photographer’s delight.
Whether it’s the allure of Spain or the draw of Portugal or both pulling you to the outstanding countries of southern Europe. They will both excite your travel wanderlust and leave your heart feeling full inside.
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