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Portugal, Sintra – A Romantic Town
heading (paragraph): Towns
Portugal is home to many UNESCO grade landmarks. Sintra city is one of them. The city is only 45 minutes by train from Lisbon. It became famous for its 1000-yars old castle and unusual structures. Formerly, the city was a sumemer residence of the Portuguese royal family. Thereore, there are many beautiful palaces. Quinta da Regaleira palace is one of them. It is an amazing compound where you can see a well into which you can descend by staircase. You can reach its bottom and walk from there to the other part of the garden.
Incredibly, it is still possible to travel. One of the European countries that can be easily reached without tests from Prague, but also very cheaply from Vienna, is Portugal. Low-cost airlines fly from Vienna to the Portuguese city of Faro, which lies in the beautiful Algarve region. The sandy beaches are lined with beautiful cliffs, the water is crystal clear. From Fara, the train leads to the city of Lagos, which is one of the most beautiful in the Algarve. Then you can continue by bus to the very southern tip to the picturesque town of Sagres.
We have already presented the Algarve region in our series in great detail. We end it with the city of Lagos, which is one of the most popular tourist and serves as a perfect base for exploring. Thanks to the surfers, it also maintained a very relaxing atmosphere.
There is another lighthouse near Sagres. Its current appearance dates back to 1908 and its optical devices are among the 10 largest in the world. The lighthouse can be reached around beautiful cliffs in probably Portugal's most scenic area.
There is a lot to see at the westernmost tip of southern Portugal. Among other things, a large national park, which protects the best preserved part of the coast, as well as the important fortress of Santo António de Belix in Sagres, to which we will now go.
Bright white plaster, color-framed windows and doors, narrow, cobbled streets, screaming seagulls and beautiful atmosphere. Portuguese fishing villages are among my favorites and Ferragudo is one of the most famous. Let's have a look there together.
Not far from Portimão on the south coast of Portugal lies the small town of Carvoeiro. At the same time, it offers beautiful scenery and small beaches protected by majestic cliffs, where you can enjoy some peace and privacy even in the greatest season.
Isle of the Eternal Spring? In the middle of the Atlantic? This is the Azores archipelago. Nine notable volcanic islands protruding into the Atlantic Ocean. Towards the west is the island of Flores and the island of Corvo, in the middle of the islands of Graciosa, Terceira, Sao Jorge, Pico and Faial and east of Sao Miguel, Santa Maria and Formigas. All islands except Santa Maria are volcanic. It is on three lithospheric plates: Eurasian, African and North American.
Balcoes lookout is situated at 86é meters above sea level. A comfortable and wide enough road leads there from the trout farm in Riberio Frio. The name fits. It is a true natural balcony giving you the view of what you would consider a piece of paradise.
We leave Funchal for Santana, a town on the northeastern seaboard. There are interesting places along the way. We leave the direct rote to see such places as the Madeira’s highest peaks, a stone igloo, and the Faial bay. In case you have not yet visited the cave and volcanic center of Grutas Sao Vicente it is easy to reach along the northern seaboard starting in Santana. As we told you, Sao Vicente is a borderline between the western and eastern parts of the island
Wine, coffee, cliffs, waves. The western-most country of continental Europe is of the sort everybody likes. It belongs to the top 20 most visited countries in the world. There are beautiful beaches including the best surf beaches of all Europe. Nature in the inland is magnificent as wel. Culture is rich and cities are lively and busy. Let's visit Portugal!
Lisboa is righteously one of the most visited cities in Europe. Yellow trams, hills, cable cars... You can easily get lost in its colorful streets for hours. Washed laundry waves in the wind, you can drink coffee with locals at one of many great cafes and taste local sweet pastry. You can also just set off to the grandiose Ponte 25 de Abril, a red bridge which looks like Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Coimbra, a student town of 150 thousand is situated somewhere in the middle between Porto and Lisbon. There is one of the oldest unviersities in Europe sitting on the hill above the Mondego river. The university, which is the oldest in Portual, was founded in 1290 – 60 years before the famous Charles University in Prague was founded. Tens of thousands of students at this university make this town great including the nightlife there.
Just 45 minutes by train from the center of Lisbon there is the city of Sintra. It became famous for its castle, palaces, and many beautiful buildings. Moreover, there is a beautiful nature park Sintra-Cascais, unusual mountains which will lure you to make a trip. Let’s see Sintra together.
Everybody knows port wine. Perhaps you also link Porto the a high steel bridge and its majestic arch crossing the Douro river. Perhaps you would think of wooden boats carrying wine barrels from the inland wineyards. Porto is, however, a diverse city. There is great history, culture, cuisine, and beaches along the Atlantic coast. Every year, an increasing number of visitors visit this city.
It is an archipelago and also an island which is located in the Macaronesia region. Only two islands are inhabited as the whole archipelago is a natural reserve. These islands are Madeira and Porto Santo.
Travel to Madeira by plane only. There is probably no other way to travel almost 1000 kilometers from Portugal and 600 kilometers from North Africa. Moreover, sailing on a ship might not be comfortable for everybody.
A 5 thousand meters high massif of lava was created after huge explosion in the Atlantic. Today we can see only a glimpse of it and this glimpse is Madeira. The island is self-reliant. There are couple of power plants (water, wind), fertile soil and sea rich on fish.
Apart from famous Madeira wine (Japan is its largest importer), poncho (a liquor with lemon flavor) is another traditional beverage. You can replace lemon juice with orange or maracuja juice. It is served cold for refreshments. Or it is served also warm as prevention from getting cold. The wine festival takes place end August beginning September.
Another stop to the west of the island is Porto Moniz. From Sao Vincente you travel through tunnels. Make a stop at Ribeira da Janela town. It is a place of dark volcanic rock. The lovers’ rock rises from the sea there.
Today, we take a look at the eastern part of the island in the direction from Funchal to the easternmost part where are droughts. It seems as if it was not Madeira there. The landscape is vastly different and there grows almost no vegetation at all. It is only after rains when it gets bit of green there. No levada leads to this area. You can find them only in the mountains. The area is inhabited, however. Therefore, some vegetation is actually there.