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Archive for portugal

Where Sailors Reign in the Azores

By Linda Tancs

The Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, are an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic. Each of the nine islands has a charm all its own, like vineyards planted in black lava fields in Pico and the cosmopolitan flair of the largest island, São Miguel. Faial is dominated by beech trees (faias, hence the name) and a huge mass of hydrangeas, but it’s equally known as a gathering place for the world’s sailors. Thanks to the locale’s reputation as a way station for international yachtsmen, Peter Café Sport is a pub and a hub at the marina in Horta. A rite of passage for tourists, it’s likely the best known sailors’ bar in the world.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Mechanical Music in Portugal

By Linda Tancs

Who doesn’t love a mechanical music maker like a music box? If you’re a fan of mechanical music, then head to the Museum of Mechanical Music in Pinhal Novo, Portugal. Their collection consists of more than 600 items that move exclusively through mechanical systems (like player pianos, music boxes, phonographs and pneumatic organs), mainly covering the period from the late 1800s until the 1930s. All in working order, an amazing fact about the exhibition is that it represents the collection of just one mechanical music aficionado, Luis Cangueiro, who began amassing his treasure in 1986. The museum is less than an hour’s drive from Lisbon.


As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Traveling by Wicker

By Linda Tancs

There are plenty of unusual means of transport around the world. Perhaps one of the most charming is the wicker toboggan in Portugal. Making its way from Monte to Funchal, the two-seated sleigh made of wood and wicker is piloted by two men (Carreiros) through the winding streets of Monte on a journey taking roughly 10 minutes. Begun around 1850, this unique mode of transportation predates the more modern cable car, another option if you’d prefer a more bird’s-eye view of scenic Madeira.

Sardine History in Portugal

By Linda Tancs

Sardines are an important part of Portuguese culture. In fact, the nutrient-rich relative of the herring is consumed at a rate of at least 12 pounds per person. The coastal city of Setubal is at the heart of the sardine industry; the first factory was founded there in 1880 to overcome the shortage of fish on the Breton coast. Get ready—sardine season runs from May through October. Be sure to enjoy it with a glass of the region’s globally acclaimed moscatel wine.

Paradores and Pousadas

By Linda Tancs

If the usual tourist class hotel accommodations are getting a bit old, why not consider something more exclusive and off the beaten track?  Spanish Paradores and Portuguese Pousadas are intimate settings often located in historic buildings such as monasteries, castles, and fortresses.  Consider Santa Marinha Pousada, a monastery perched on a hill overlooking Guimarães, known as the “cradle of Portugal” as it’s the birthplace of the nation’s first king, Afonso Henriques.  Or sleep like royalty in Pontevedra, Spain in a palace that was formerly the residence of the Counts of Maceda.  Best of all, you don’t need a rock star’s wallet to afford these gems; find a property to match your budget and desires.

Portuguese Capital of Culture

By Linda Tancs

Inland from Porto, Portugal, Guimarães is a 2012 European Capital of Culture.  The city is known as the “cradle of Portugal” as it’s the birthplace of the nation’s first king, Afonso Henriques.  The area is well known for its linens and embroidery, too.  In the vicinity is Mateus Palace, whose picture graces the wine label of the same name.  The kick-off for festivities is 21 January with a theatre and multimedia open-air show.  The year’s events focus on four themes:  City, Community, Thought and Arts.

The Pleasures of Portugal

By Linda Tancs

Portugal is synonymous with port, but don’t neglect the Gothic and baroque masterpieces, delectable delights and impeccable river views throughout its ancient cities.  Learn more at at Travelrific® Radio.


Lisbon Airport Travel

By Linda Tancs

Airport transfers are one of the most vexing aspects of travel unless it’s been pre-arranged for you. Should you take a bus? A taxi? A private car? Rail? Here’s a primer on transfers out of Lisbon Airport in Portugal. Taxi transfers are not as costly as in other cities, such as London. The metered rate is also negotiable unless you buy a taxi voucher at the airport for a flat fee (currently 17 euros) and avoid the haggle. Alternatively, you can take the AeroBus for only 3 euros; just make sure your hotel is somewhere along the stops. Your bus ticket is good for the day; make the most of it by visiting all the sites you can along the bus and tram routes.

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Stretching the Dollar

By Linda Tancs

Between rising fuel costs, exchange rate woes and failing airlines, you know your travel dollars will be stretched to the limit.  So where can you get the most bang for your buck?  The Portimão area of Portugal looks pretty good.  You’ve got 5 beaches, 4 golf facilities, and the tourist mecca of Alvor, together with room rates as low as 83 euros through May.  Hire a boat from Alvor to Ria de Alvor, an estuary giving sanctuary to a number of migrating birds and flowering plants amidst the sand dunes, mud flats, and freshwater and saltwater marshes.   Top off your adventure with the local specialty of grilled sardine.  Did you know that the Portguese eat more fish than any other Europeans?  Now grab and bag and start packing. Desejo-lhe umas boas férias!

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Cruise Ports Unite in Marketing Alliance

By Linda Tancs

In a bid for attention among the better known (and used) ports of the Mediterranean and Baltic, fifteen European ports have united to market their appeal to cruise travelers.  Calling themselves the Atlantic Alliance, the fifteen members of this cooperative are:  Hamburg, Bremerhaven, IJmuiden, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Cherbourg, Saint-Malo, Brest, Nantes, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Santander, Vigo and Lisbon.  More West European ports are expected to join in the future.

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