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Portugal

 

Hanging in the most western point of Europe, Portugal with its rich cultural heritage represents a remarkable destination. From winding roads medieval castles to baroque towns, to UNESCO preserved monasteries, to impeccably preserved Roman ruins and one of the oldest universities of Europe, Portugal is a treasure trove of cultural places. Besides the sun kissed beaches of Algarve with their relaxed atmosphere and the secluded beach caves of Lagos add to its remarkable charm. But in spite of being one of the major tourist destinations, especially for its beaches, you can find almost anywhere in Portugal places rarely visited where you can enjoy the seclusion.

Its history started with the fight of the Lusitanian tribes to preserve their independence from Rome, attained its peak during the age of the Discoveries, a time in history that is best associated with this country when the prosperity of these endeavors brought unmatched riches to the king’s coffers that empowered him to build impressive palaces and castles. So important was Portugal’s position in that age that the Pope himself had to intervene in 1494 and divide the world in two territorial areas of interest between Portugal and its archrival, the Spanish kingdom.
Being surrounded in three parts by its always rival Spain, you’d expect that the Castilian language would make in-roads in the country. 20 years ago if you’d like to address somebody in English would have been almost impossible but nowadays English is the prevalent foreign language, a question in Spanish getting an answer in …Portuguese.

But I consider the most treasured part of Portugal are its people. Relaxed and staying in restaurants and bars till late hours in the night, the people are charming and friendly, dignified and always ready to help. Fado, the traditional music of Portugal is a permanent presence in many places and sometimes you can hear it even on the streets of Alfama.

We visited Portugal starting from its capital Lisbon, with its impressive squares and the winding roads of Alfama. We continued with a visit to its surroundings, to Sintra ,a town of unmatched palaces, an inspiration for Lord Byron.
From Lisbon, a short drive away are the famous monasteries of Alcobaca, Batalha and Fatima, a pilgrimage place, and a the famous Templar monastery of Tomar.
From there we went to the old university town of Coimbra and Averiro.
In Porto we enjoyed the new artistic spirit of the city and we tasted its most famous product, the Port wine.
A little to the North are Braga, a charming baroque town and Guimaraes, the place where the history of the kingdom of Portugal began.
On our return we stopped in Castello de Vide, a place that still preserves its old Jewish heritage, in Marvao, a charming medieval town perched on steep rocky hills and in Evora, another old university town with remarkable traces of ancient history.
After so much driving we decided that we deserve some time off that we could find in Algarve, on the secluded caves and beaches of Lagos. Latter we drove to Sagres and Cabo St Vincente, the corner of Europe, returning to Lisbon following the Atlantic Coast.

Watch our travel video and you’ll never forget these places!

 

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Portugal Stock

9.5 hours of HD stock footage from these locations:

Obidos, Tomar, Coimbra, Aveiro, Porto, Braga, Guimares, Castel de Vide, Marvao, Evora, Algarve, Lagos, Luz, Sagres, St Vincente, Sines, Sintra, Mafra, batalha, Alcombaca, Fatima, Lisbon