Portugal has been a firm favourite for decades now and here are just a few reasons why you should start planning your next trip.
There’s more to Portuguese wine than Port. Vinho Verde is always an interesting choice for fans of white wine, literally meaning ‘green wine’ it is light and refreshing with just the right amount of acidity. It comes with a slight fizz making it great as a summer aperitif with canapés or with light seafood dishes or salads. The perfect holiday drink. Portugal also produces a variety of fuller bodied reds thanks to the warm climate promoting riper grapes and deeper flavors.
Again forget the stereotypes, no Nando’s Piri Piri chicken here, instead go for some lightly grilled sardines, or some freshly salt baked cod, or some Lisbon red mullet (it has a slightly salty flavor because of its seaweed diet). One thing you will notice about Portuguese cooking is the reliance on simple ingredients in order to let the natural flavors of the dishes shine through. Typically you’ll only find lemon, garlic and olive oil, no complex sauces or marinades. Accompaniments you can expect to receive rice, potatoes or eggs, or a combination of all three. It’s comfort food at its best. Just don’t forget to finish your meal with a traditional custard tart (Pastel de Nata) a favourite with locals and tourists alike.
Places to go
If you want to experience something a little different during your holiday then head to Madeira, nicknamed the ‘Floating Garden of the Atlantic’ the volcanic soil means that most varieties of greenery will grow there. This little island is truly breathtaking, with most tourists sticking to the capital, Funchal, the rest of the island lies relatively untouched. There is nowhere better to sit with a glass of Vinho Verde and enjoy the lush scenery. Or why not visit a wine tasting and try a Madeiran fortified wine? You’ll notice notes of orange, caramel and vanilla in this sweet, warming drink, very similar to tawny port. However, what sets Madeiran wines apart as during its production the wine is heated. This makes it great for occasional drinkers, as you can open a bottle and it will stand up to warmer temperatures and air for about a year.
Obviously there is much more to Portugal than the three features we have mentioned here, but for a relaxing break, stunning beaches, great food, and drink, basically everything you need to unwind and escape the pressures of everyday life. So what are you waiting for? Book your getaway to Portugal today!