We need a holiday! – me
We’ve been talking a lot recently about where to take our next family holiday and among the top favourites is Portugal, the narrow strip of land running along the Western border of Spain.Being the organised and fastidious person that I am (ha!), I’ve pulled together a list of some of the places we’d most like to visit and why…
1. Lagoa dos Salgados. We all adore birds and we’ve learned during our research that Portugal is home to over 300 species of bird, spread across a variety of wildlife rich habitats from mountains and hills overlooking the sea, to estuaries and cork-oak plantations. We’d love to pack our cameras and make our way around the protected areas that make up over a fifth of the country, starting with the wetlands of Lagoa dos Salgados, famed for its 150 bird species.
2. Almourol Castle. JD loves a good history lesson, especially when it’s brought to life by buildings and relics you can visit and see for yourself. Castles here in the UK are always a hit, so I imagine he’d love the learning about the Knights Templar and the Christian knights who built the Convent of Christ, not to mention the beautiful landscapes we’d see along the way.
3. Trás-os-Montes. As passionate foodies, we’d love to take a trip to the agricultural cooperatives where olive oil is produced, take a tour and try some authentic tiborna, warm bread dipped in olive oil. Mouthwatering!
4. Coach Museum. The kids are fascinated by transport and we often visit the transport museum here in Nottingham and the brilliant London Transport Museum, so on a trip to Portugal, we’d take a tram ride and visit the Coach Museum to check out the ostentatiously gilded 18th century carriages. Another fabulous photo opportunity.
5. Braga. On mentioning a potential visit to Portugal, more than one of our friends in the know have recommended a day in Braga. We’d wander through the narrow streets, photographing the baroque churches, lounging in the little cafes and browsing through the boutiques. Sounds cinematic in its perfection!
6. Beaches of Sao Rafael. We love the look of the Sao Rafael’s beaches – all white sands and blue seas. The kids have never really experienced that kind of perfection, I think we could easily spend a day just bathing, relaxing and breathing the sea air.
7. Botanical Gardens Madeira. Who doesn’t love flowers? We’d hop on a bus and visit the stunning flower topped terraces, drinking in the views over Funchal and the sea. With a macro and wide angle lens in our camera bag and perfectly beaming sunshine overhead, we’d get up close and pricelessly detailed shots of the flowers, and broad gleaming shots of the seascape. Wonderful.
8. Porto Santo Island. From what we’ve read, this sounds like a must visit. Apparently the Portelo Viewpoint gives you a view of the full 9km of white beaches – what a shot that would be! Add to that some historical buildings, reconstructed windmills and a chance to go grasshopper spotting and it sounds like the perfect way to spend the day.
So, will we make it to Portugal this Spring? I certainly hope so. If we booked through First Choice today for a holiday during the April half term, we could get 7 nights in Alto da Colina for £388 per person. Pretty reasonable value, I reckon.
So, is Portugal on your holiday destination shortlist? Let me know in the comments.
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post. Photos cropped and © Hugo Cadavez (beach scene) Muchaxo (birds) nmmacedo (castle) Rosino (Trás-os-Montes) Geerd-Olaf Freyer (coaches) Ben Salter (botanical gardens) Joao Maximo (Porto Santo) tomger2008 (Braga) Digital Wallpapers (Sao Rafael).