Insight Vacations: The Epicurean Delights of Portugal

It may feel like ancient history but not too long ago, Americans would travel to Europe and stick to culinary choices which reminded them of home. Recently, however, we find that our guests have developed more adventurous palates. Not only do they seek out local flavors, but often times regional specialties can be their primary reason for visiting a particular destination.

If your clients are challenging you to find their next foodie getaway, look no further than Portugal. Truly a hidden gem for the epicurious, and a personal favorite of mine, Portugal offers many delectable culinary experiences. I recently joined a group on our Country Roads of Portugal journey, traveling from the sunny beaches of the Algarve (where we went for a midnight swim – in winter!) to the vineyards of the Douro Valley, sampling delicacies every step of the way.
In Lisbon – one of Europe’s most beautiful cities – our Local Expert guided us through the historic Belem Quarter, where sailing ships once took explorers to unknown lands. We visited a local bakery and tasted the regional specialty, Pastéis de Belém, a delicious pastry still made according to a secret, centuries-old recipe.

When visiting the architectural wonder of Evora, we dined on famous peri peri chicken at the foot of a medieval castle. As we explored the underground wine caves of Porto and tasted its famous port wines, we learned the secret history of the wine business and how important it is to the city.

From start to finish, our journey demonstrated that Portugal is an underrated gastronomic powerhouse, and I cannot recommend it enough for your clients.

For more details on the Country Roads of Portugal and our latest promotions to Europe, reach out to your local District Sales Manager or give our friendly Contact Center a call at 800 582 8380.

Phil Cappelli
3 Must-Do Experiences in Portugal

Travelers will witness a legacy of architecture, cuisine, and history on our Country Roads of Portugal journey. Check out our favorite hidden delights and delicacies below.

Medieval & Macabre Evora

Almost entirely enclosed by medieval walls and playing host to dozens of historic monuments, practically the entire city of Evora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A Local Expert takes guests to the Capela dos Ossos – the Chapel of Bones – one of the city’s most unique landmarks. The Chapel gets its from the human skulls and bones which decorate the interior walls. While a bit creepy by modern standards, the underlying theme is that life is ephemeral. The famous warning at the entrance reads, “Our bones are here; yours await,” meaning life is short.

Porto: A City of Wine

Built along the Douro River Estuary, the city of Porto is one of the oldest European centers and its historic core is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region known as Vila Nova de Gaia is the original home to the port wine business, and has been responsible for producing and exporting the fortified wine for over 150 years. Guests visit the famed underground cellars, known as wine caves, to learn all about the wine-making process and taste some of best varieties.

The Flavors of the Algarve

At the southern tip of Portugal, along the shimmering Mediterranean coast, is the region known as the Algarve. The local restaurants around its marinas serve some of the world’s most delicious seafood, including specially prepared red snapper, sardines, bass, bream and mackerel. Drizzled in olive oil, sprinkled with chunks of salt, and grilled over charcoal until the skin turns crispy, Peixe Grelhado is the classic Portuguese marinade and is applied to nearly every fish. During the busy summer season, it can be impossible to find a table. Lucky for our guests, we take care of all the details, so all they have to do is enjoy.

If these Portuguese experiences and foods sound tempting, we suggest you book your clients soon! For a limited time, they can save up to $600 on air and 5% with our early payment discount.

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