2012 Indie Travel Champion is Portugal!!!!

Congratulations Portugal!

The link above includes the following places to go and visit in Portugal on your next trip  (below are my comments based on my personal experience):

  • Lisbon – The capital of Portugal with its hills, museums, monuments and long history.  It overlooks the Rio Tejo, and it offers lots to see and do.
  • Porto – Porto, 2012 city of culture and known worldwide for the wine that took its name – Port wine.   While in Porto do not forget to try the famous “francesinha sandwich”.
  • Coimbra – Oldest University town in Portugal. Lots to do and also a great place to relax and a starting point to visit nearby Roman ruins.  If you are there in October, don’t miss the “Latada” (tin can festival), which is how the students welcome the freshmen (caloiros).  Freshmen dress as animals trailing tin cans behind them in a procession through the city ending at the river, where they are “baptized” with the help of a chamber pot by their “godparents”.
  • Sintra – UNESCO world heritage site not far from Lisbon.  On top of the mountain there is the “Castelo dos Mouros” (Moors’ Castle) and the Palacio da Pena, one of the most known European Romantic Style palaces and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.  Sintra is full of palaces, mansions, royal retreats, etc.
  • Beaches – Portugal has over  500 miles (800 km) of beaches, and there is one for everyone’s taste.
  • Algarve – the beaches in Algarve are traditionally more popular with tourists, with resorts and nightlife, but you can also find quiet fishing beaches that are sure to please those that prefer to stay true to the natural beauty of the region.  No matter what your beach goal is – sunbathing, lounging, or water sports, Algarve has a beach for you.
  • EriceiraPeniche,Nazaré and Praia Ribeira and  Guincho are known for its surfing.
  • Praia da Luz (Algarve) is the place to go if you are a diver.
  • Praia Figueira and Salema (Algarve) are some of the most secluded and quiet beaches around if that’s what you’re looking for.
  • Peneda-Geres National Park –  Geres is the place to go for the outdoor lover.  Located in northwest Portugal, the park is large and vast, offering travelers mountains, valleys, and forests.  It does rain quite a bit here, but the hiking possibilities are amazing and the old villages are like going back in time. It is the first protected area to be founded in Portugal in 1971 and today one of the last refuges for the royal eagle  and the wolf.  Human occupation in this area dates back 7000 years and Celtic and Roman monuments are found all over.

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