Portugal, situated on the Iberian Peninsula, is a small nation in west Europe. Surrounded by sea in West and South and by Spain in North and East, the country offers outstanding landscape diversity. Being small in area, you can travel from the mountains in North, covered with wines and trees, to Highlands in central mainland, to almost desert kind landscape and finally to the stunning beach in South, all in one single day. If you are thinking where to go this holiday season, then you must consider spending your memorable time for Portugal holidays.
Established itself as an independent kingdom from León in 1139, Portugal is not a very old country on the world map. Though just 900 years old, Portugal has played a big role in world history. Colonizing major parts of Africa, South America and some islands in Asia and Oceania, Portugal is credited by the western world for exploring India via sea, which no other European country could do on Pope’s high priority order Papal Bull.
Portugal has one of the warmest winters in Europe and temperature remains dry and pleasant rest of the year.
Best way to reach Portugal is by Air, unless you live in Spain or nearby country, you may think of travelling by convenient international trains. There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented the Schengen Agreement (European Union – except UK, Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania; and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).
Minimum validity of travel documents in Portugal
- EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, as well as non-EU citizens who are visa-exempt (e.g. New Zealanders and Australians), need only produce a passport which is valid for the entirety of their stay in Portugal.
- Other nationals who are required to have a visa (e.g. South Africans), however, must produce a passport which has at least 3 months’ validity beyond their period of stay in Portugal.
I took a taxi to the city center from the Airport. There is also Aerobus and regular bus services, but some taxi drivers, who will grab your bags and rush towards their taxi, are so convincing that you will make your mind, though this is something bad and you can say no to them.
Usual taxi metre fare from Airport to the city center should be €10.00. If you have luggage you will be charged additional €1.20 per item of luggage. It is usual that you might get overcharged and taxi drivers may gave vague reasons like metre has malfunctioned or was not working. For this reason, always ask before getting in the taxi if their metre is working fine or not. If you think you have been cheated just ask their name and receipt and complain to the police.
In Lisbon you have lots to see from attractive gardens, neighborhood to museum, galleries and even special transport.
I made my mind to travel in famous Tram 28. It is one of the oldest tram lines laid between 1936 to 47, which is still active in the city. It takes you by many of Lisbon’s famous and interesting sites, including the old town, monuments, churches and gardens. The whole journey took nearly 30 minutes and can be called slight hilly and noisy, but it is worth it. The ticket costs €2,85, but it you have “Viva Viagem” card, which can be purchased on the station, then the ticket would cost €1.05.
|Tram 28, Photo taken by Franco Caruzzo|
Apart from the tram, there are some Funiculars (cable railway or vertical trams), which have been declared as national monument.
Lisbon is also famous for some marvelous architecture. Just up on the hill you might visit Castelo de Sao Jorge (Castle of St. George). Open mostly from morning 9 to evening, you can’t resist admiring the architecture of this grande castle.
|Castelo de Sao Jorge, photo taken by Barbara|
Another interesting thing that I personally admired is Ponte 25 de Abril. It is something similar to the Oakland Bay Bridge of San Fransisco, as it was designed by the same architect in 1966. A rail line was added later in 1999.
|Ponte 25 de Abril, Photo taken by Morgaine|
Ponte Vasco da Gama is another mega structure that you would love to have a look on. With the total length of 17.2 Kms, it is the longest bridge in Europe and 9th longest in the world, named after the sailor who discovered India for the first time in 1492.
|Ponte Vasco da Gama, Photo taken by Endless Autumn|
You would have never thought that facilities and infrastructure that supply water in the different parts of the cities in older times will become one of the major attraction of the city. Aqueduto das Aguas Livres is one such example, one of the most remarkable example of engineering of the 18th century.
There are a number of Museums and galleries and a number of parks and gardens that adds to the attraction of the city, like Lisbon Botanical Garden, that is one of the oldest in Europe and considerable the first in Portugal, Oceanarium which is world’s largest oceanariums and you may enter with admission fees of €12.00 (if I remember well there is student discount as well). Parque das Nações is another ttractive park developed for the 1998 World Expo.
Do not forget to plan a trip to the place full of monuments next to Lisbon, Belem. Most of the people who come to Lisbon visit Belem for sure. Go for Belem Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, Monument to the Discoveries, CCB, Coach Museum, and Statue to Afonso de Albuquerque.
So I conclude all this serious stuff and I come on the main topic, shopping and food.
Baxa and Chiado are one of the most popular shopping streets, but sometimes they can be high on tourists and upon that narrow street might turn you off. I would suggest Avenida da Liberdade, this market is beautiful, wide, fancy, with a number of good restaurants and hotels.
|Avenida da Liberdade, photo taken by|
There are modern shopping malls as well and one of the most popular is the Armazéns do Chiado mall. It is famous for its top floor restaurants and cafes that present a wonderful view of the city.
In Lisbon most of the restaurants are in budget. Most of the restaurants display their dish of the day on the doors “pratos do dia” (these dishes are cheaper, fresher, and indeed tastier). If you love music while munching, then you should go to some restaurant that plays traditional Fado music.
Find a pastelaria (pastry shop) and try pastéis de nata or visit Antiga Confeitaria de Belém (Casa Pasteis De Belem). They are served right out of the oven there, with the side of confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon
Cheapest place to buy a house abroad
Buying a house or making investments in development projects was always a great way to access a better life. This can be seen in foreign lands, where families and investors find great opportunities to live or invest —and profit of—. The dominican republic real estate is one of the best ways to do so.
Buying property oversea
Nowadays, many people find that the best way to invest in the real estate business is to look oversea; there are incredible countries and opportunities to get our money’s worth. Between the best places, we can mention the Caribbean shore and, in Europe, the Spanish peninsula —between many others—. These places are beautiful and the respective real estate markets are strong.
Nevertheless, the people who have most success in this area recommend getting a great assessor in property law & investment from the country in which we want to make our investment. The cost of doing so is marginal, but it can help us to avoid any inconvenient or delay in the process.
Which are the best options to buy abroad?
According to the specialists, Spain can be one of the most attractive places to live and invest. There, the opportunities are bigger and more lucrative, as this country contains some of the most exclusive cultural and historical sites in the world, and is one of the most selected destinations because of his great landscapes and beaches.
The real estate law is especially hard, and requires the listing of a professional that can resolve the different aspects of the purchase. Even more, if we want to invest in an urban project, they bring comfort and security to the process —they are guaranties of the success of our investment—.
Even though the spain real estate business can be complex and overwhelming for someone who doesn’t know the law —many taxes must be pay and there’s an abundance of documentation that must be presented to avoid any inconvenient—, it remains one of the best options to buy abroad.
The Caribbean shores and Dominican Republic
Across the Atlantic, one of the most lucrative and safer investments out there remain in the Caribbean shores; in the Dominican Republic real estate business. If we want to buy a house to live in or if we want to put our savings in a safe and profitable financial instrument, there’s no better place.
Effectively, this country is much cheaper than Spain. This is one of the most important reasons why so many people choose to live there. In the Caribbean, we can find many affordable properties and developments of ever-growing performance in a market of great demand.
There, we can find many properties close to the most incredible shores in the whole continent; even more, the prospect of growth in this market, over the years, will give us a profit over our investment that can’t be match.
Many specialists recommend investing in the Dominican Republic real estate. Then also indicate the benefits of hiring a property law advisor that can provide knowledge and experience in the matter. The cost of doing so is relatively low, and it betters our chances to buy a cheap house abroad.
Yacht charter in Barcelona, the comfort and privacy you can’t get on land
Traveling the coast of Barcelona in a luxury yacht is an unforgettable experience that everyone should experience sometime in their lives. It is the perfect trip for those who want to get away from the city and its noises, to relax in a peaceful atmosphere that can only be reached at sea.
Barcelona, located on the northeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the most visited cities in Spain, even in Europe. It is the perfect place to enjoy the architectural, artistic, cultural and gastronomic diversity of the country, making it one of the favorite tourist destinations for millions of people around the world.
Among all the many attributes that the city of Barcelona has, one of the most outstanding is its beaches. Years ago the American magazine National Geographic named Barcelona as the best coastal city in the world.
There are 4 kilometers of sand in the Catalan capital available for the fans of maritime landscapes, finding beaches for any activity you could wish for during your holidays, either to relax, practice water sports and more.
Among all the activities that have been on the rise in this paradise is the rental of luxury yachts. And nothing can compare to sailing along the beautiful coasts of Barcelona in one of these majestic vessels, which are at your disposal to discover the most beautiful landscapes.
Undoubtedly, touring these paradisiacal landscapes aboard Barcelona charters is the best way to get away from the noise of the city and just enjoy the feeling of freedom and calm that can only be achieved on the high seas.
Imagine living the pleasure of riding on a modern motor yacht with capacity for a dozen people traveling at speeds up to 25 knots; it would be, without a doubt, a unique experience!
In the city of Barcelona there are prestigious agencies that rent these fast and elegant luxury boats for periods ranging from one hour to the whole day and even the weekend.
These services are aimed at VIP clients and can be used for all kinds of events, such as corporate events, meetings and romantic dinners, including unforgettable tours along the coast of Barcelona and the Maresme. There is also the option of buying drinks on the boat and catering service. There are a lot of possibilities, and companies will always provide alternatives to suit the client’s needs.
Learn a little more about these boats
Luxury yachts fascinate those who seek privacy and comfort in its maximum expression, which is sometimes difficult to achieve on land. It is a pleasant way to get away from the world.
These boats can be quite amazing in terms of all the luxury features they offer. Specialized blogs have even made rankings of the 10 most expensive yachts in the world, which are a privilege that is only reserved for a very exclusive elite.
These yachts are considered by many as titans of floating vehicles. They are jewels of engineering equipped with the latest technology and elements for maximum comfort.
The top 10 most expensive yachts are as follows:
1.- History Supreme ($4.8 billion).
2.- Eclipse ($1.5 billion).
3.- Streets of Monaco (1.1 billion dollars).
4.- Topaz (527 million dollars).
5.- Motor Yacht A ($440 million).
6.- Dubai (350 million dollars).
Sailing Yacht A (US$323 million).
8.- Al Said (300 million dollars).
9.- Dilbar (256 million dollars).
10.- Lady Moura (210 million dollars).
We encourage you to review the features of these amazing vessels in specialized portals, among which we can mention, heated swimming pools, heliports, basketball courts, concert halls and more. The wealthy owners of these “mega yachts” spare no expenses to make these vehicles with all the comforts that anyone could imagine.
Planning to Travel? Here Are the Do’s to Observe
Traveling abroad isn’t just a matter of packing and leaving; there several significant aspects of your journey that you need to be on top of before you embark on your journey. For a safe, peaceful, and enjoyable stay at your travel destination, your health should top the list from your travel plans.
It would be best to consider a thorough health checkup for vital health concerns like vaccination, blood test, malaria, urine test, and dental checkup.
Why Is a Dental Checkup Important?
If you plan to have an extended stay, you should tend to broken fillings, decayed teeth, or any dental issues to minimize dental emergencies. It’s prudent to also have the necessary treatment before leaving.
The standards of dental care worldwide vary widely and the certainty of getting dental supplies from a trusted and certified dental supplier isn’t assured. The cost may also become cumbersome given that your destination of choice may not have dental care coverage for kids.
Depending on where you’re traveling, either in developing, developed, or remote areas, leaving your dental health to chance can be uncomfortable if not dangerous. Your chosen destination may lack the resources, dental supplies, and equipment to cater to your dental needs.
Air travel causes specific pressure changes, affecting your root canal, causing pain and potential infections. Therefore, it’s advisable to ensure that you complete all your treatment before traveling or consider paste filling to minimize the risks.
Pericoronitis is an infection caused by food trapped through the flesh covering your teeth. The condition can spread to parts of your neck and head; to avoid this outcome, consider removing lower wisdom teeth that are partially exposed.
The other thing you should look out for is if you have gum (periodontal) disease, it’s essential to have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist or a dentist.
Checklist Before Travel
As stated earlier, the most vital thing is you and your health, so here are some things you should consider.
Probably, the health care insurance coverage that you have at the moment will not cover the scope of international travel. After you’ve assessed the situation keenly, consider opting for emergency medical insurance and medical evacuation.
The majority of options and plans offered by travel insurance providers occasionally cover trip cancellation, lost luggage, plus medical emergency and evacuation.
Get the Right Visa
Do thorough research on the kind of visa you need. This is a critical but overlooked aspect by many travelers. Any mixup can turn your trip into a disaster, as this little mistake could mean you’ll get turned away from the said country.
To make matters worse, you won’t even be allowed to leave the airport, which should serve as a motivation to be extra keen. Find out the visa you qualify for and apply early in advance.
You wouldn’t want to deal with the stressors involved in getting an instant spot without prior arrangements. Start on the right foot by booking a one-night accommodation in advance, ensuring you aren’t anxious through your journey.
You can have a fun-filled day exploring the area after a comfortable night’s sleep. To prepare for any eventualities, ensure that you also have a hard copy of your accommodation reservation besides having a soft copy.
Before you decide your destination, it’s vital to cross-reference through the government state department website to see if the country you wish to travel to poses a threat (short or long term) to travelers. You’ll find a list of countries with a travel warning. This is critical because travel insurance does not cover countries under a travel warning.
Scour through to find the health information of the country you’ll be traveling to and whether you’ll need to be vaccinated. Finding out nations that pose a risk to your health are highlighted on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
This mainly applies if you’re traveling to third-world countries and the vaccination may vary, including yellow fever, Zika virus, malaria, cholera, etc. Also, get enough supplements to last you the entire trip if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to supplement your fill abroad.
To avoid security hiccups, find out which drug prescriptions are not illegal in your destination or countries you’ll pass through. It’s essential to bring along photocopies of your prescription and always carry the medicine in its prescribed bottle.
Suppose your medical condition requires you to have syringes, relay the information before security checks. Take your vaccination six weeks before departure, as vaccines take a couple of weeks before they can kick in.
Enjoy Your Stay
We didn’t delve deeper into aspects including culture shock, travel deals, packaging, payment methods, etc., adhering to those mentioned above essential will keep your mind at ease. What remains is to enjoy your exploration.
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