Anthony Bourdain sums it up perfectly if you want to understand how important food is to the Portuguese travel icon and chef extraordinaire.
When he visited Portugal back in 2009 with his show ‘No Reservations,’ he said, “Portugal was the first country where I went to a show, where, you know, they have four-hour lunches, and they’ve been talking about what they’re having for dinner.”
No truer words have been spoken. The Portuguese dining experience is as iconic as the hundreds of dishes they’re famous for. We know you can’t try them all, but here are seven authentic Portuguese dishes you can’t come home without trying…
If you’re after some classic Portuguese comfort food, you may want to try caldo verde is a beloved northern Portuguese dish. A delicious soup made with onions, mashed potatoes, garlic, shredded kale, and chouriço or chorizo sausage, caldo verde is hailed as one of the ‘7 wonders of Portuguese gastronomy and the perfect complement to an evening of rhythmic ‘Fado,’ Portugal’s national sound.
Polvo à Lagareiro
For adventurous seafood lovers, fresh octopus is a common ingredient you’ll find in most restaurants across the country, especially in coastal regions like the Algarve, polvo a lagareiro is a popular but simple dish served on a bed of oven-roasted potatoes with herbed garlic oil.
If you’ve ever been to Southern Africa, you’ve likely had piri-piri chicken. While piri-piri is popular across Portugal, this spicy dish originated in South Africa when Christian Portuguese sailors brought bird’s eye chilies, the main ingredient, to South Africans. If you’re not a fan of too much heat, you can ask for your piri-piri to be mild, medium, or extra fiery.
The “toe” of Italy, sun-kissed Sicily is known for its ancient ruins and beaches backed by craggy rock structures. Mount Etna simmers on the northeast with frequent displays of blazes, closely monitored by volcanologists. It’s partly down to the volcanic geology of the island that Sicilian wine production is so exemplary, partly due to its Mediterranean climate. This, in turn, explains why Sicily has blossomed as a leading destination for golfers.
Mediterranean golf vacations in Sicily
Cooled by a gentle sea breeze, Sicily is one of the best places in Europe for a golfing vacation with courses scattered across the island.
Over on the west coast, the Verdura Resort is a top-ranking golf hotel with luxurious suites that accommodate couples and families. Ocean-view rooms come with private balconies while superior suite options have the added benefit of a private plunge pool.
Making full use of the natural contours of the island, the resort features three golf courses – two 18-hole courses plus a shorter putting green. Designed by the architect, Kyle Phillip, the par-73 East Course and par-70 West Course meander across the headland with sea views. The West Course in particular supplies challenging conditions. Fortunately, the resort is equipped with a driving range where you can hone your technique before venturing out.
With its bathtub-warm water, white-sand beaches, and overwater bungalows, the Maldives is the symbol of luxury travel. This archipelagic state consists of 1,192 idyllic coral islands dispersed over 180 kilometers in the Northern Indian Ocean. An utterly unique destination, around 150 islands provide the setting of a luxury resort committed to upholding the highest standard of hospitality, privacy, and facilities.
Velaa Private Island
Situated in the Noonu Atoll, Velaa Private Island is named in honor of the sea turtles that live in the azure waters.
Committed to exclusivity, this high-end resort consists of 45 luxurious residences including the Sunset Deluxe Water Villa, and Ocean Pool House. The vast majority are built over the water and come with a personal infinity-edge plunge pool. Honeymooners may reserve the Romantic Pool Residence, a villa suspended over the lagoon accessible only by boat.
Amenities at Velaa Private Island include a state-of-the-art spa with Ayurvedic treatments and therapies plus yoga and meditation classes. In addition to a sauna and steam room, the facility contains the only “snow room” in the Maldives.
Click One of the longest continuous mountain ranges in the world, the Andes extend through Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. At 6,959 meters, Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere. The earliest Andean settlements date beyond 10,000 years, with the emergence of the Inca Empire cited to around 1400. Exploring the Andes offers a glimpse at past traditions as well as the modern culture of the range.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Of all the places of interest in the Andes, Machu Picchu sits at the top of the list. This high-altitude Incan citadel was constructed in the mid-15th century and once consisted of approximately 200 buildings. With Machu Picchu translating to “Old Mountain” the architecture was adapted to suit the landscape with terraced pyramids providing a solution to the varying terrain.
Highlights include the Temple of the Sun, the House of the High Priest, the Royal Tomb, and the Cave of the Sun. A limited number of trekkers are permitted to climb Huayna Picchu, the iconic peak, each day. This may be visited in tandem with the Temple of the Moon, a mysterious cave compound with impressive stone masonry.
Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is a charming destination that captivates travelers from all over the world with its stunning architecture, delicious food, and rich history. Visitors can explore Alfama’s cobblestone streets, ride on one of Lisbon's iconic trams, or relax in one of its many parks.
This coastal city is perched on the banks of the Tagus River and is known for its steep hills, colorful buildings, and vibrant neighborhoods. You can explore the city's iconic landmarks like the Belém Tower, the São Jorge Castle, and the Jerónimos Monastery, or simply wander through the picturesque streets of Baixa.
From indulging in the local cuisine to enjoying the lively nightlife, Lisbon has something for everyone. With so much to see and do in Lisbon, it’s no wonder why it continues to be one of Europe’s most popular destinations. Download this guide to discover the best things to do and see in Lisbon and make the most of your trip.
I hope you enjoy this guide to Lisbon.
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