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5 Reasons Why Portugal Won Best Destination at World Travel Awards 2017Monday 11 December 2017
5 Reasons Why Portugal Won Best Destination at the World Travel Awards 2017 – And the World’s Leading Destination 2017 Award goes to (roll the drums)… Portugal! Or, at least, is the way we picture the announcement. This weekend, Portugal won the acclaimed award due to its crescent importance in the tourism industry. Every year, the streets of the country’s main cities (and some rural ones too) are flooded with foreigners trying to learn a bit of the Portuguese culture. And, obviously, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. So, today, CovetED Magazine will give you 5 reasons why the Europe’s (not so) hidden gem won the prestigious award.
1- Beautiful Luxury Hotels
In the middle of the Bussaco woods, lies this beautiful gem. In its previous life, it was a palace destined to serve the Portuguese aristocrats, nowadays, it’s a beautiful, gothic luxury hotel. in there, you will most certainly feel like royalty.
It’s almost Impossible to talk about Portugal and don’t refer Cristiano Ronaldo. Well, this time, we’re mentioning one of his best investments. The CR7 Pestana Hotel is a lavish, new luxury hotspot in his hometown, Funchal. If you’re going to Madeira, we strongly recommend you stay here.
There’s a pearl, situated in the Douro riverbank, on the Gaia side, and that pearl is the Yeatman. This luxury hotel has it all, a 2 Michelin star restaurant (100 Maneiras), a spa, a decanter-shaped pool and an abnormally beautiful view over Porto. If you want to visit the Invicta City (Porto’s nickname), that’s the place to stay.
Other Honourable Mentions:
2 – Michelin Starred Restaurants
The Portuguese cuisine itself is something to look forward when planning a visit to Portugal. Now add a few Michelin stars, and you’re good to go. Over the years, the Portuguese cuisine has been recognised as one of the best in the world, and recently, so have the chefs. You can find some really, really good places to eat, like the Antiqvvm Restaurant in Porto, or, if you have more southern pretensions, the Bon Bon Restaurant, in Carvoeiro, Algarve.
Other Honourable Mentions:
3 – Architectural Landmarks
If you’re an architecture geek, you’re going to love this country. There are several incredible landmarks, in almost every corner. The Portuguese Architecture was widely influenced by the movements that took Europe by storm in the earlier centuries, such as the gothic and the baroque. In here, we’re mentioning the Pena and Mafra National Palaces, thus we think they don’t get the attention they deserve, but there are tons of others, like the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, the Belém tower and the Castelo de São Jorge, in Lisbon, and the D. Luís bridge, the Clérigos tower or the Casa da Música, in Porto. As a matter of fact, the Mafra National Palace was inspired by the Versailles, and, ultimately, inspired the Nobel Awardee José Saramago in writing one of his prime works, Baltazar and Blimunda (Memorial do Convento in Portuguese)
4- Incredible Museums
You can’t have such a culture and have nowhere to exhibit it. There are great, incredibly designed museums throughout the country, from contemporary art to sports achievements. There are several amazing ones, but we decided to stick with the MAAT, in Lisbon, and the Serralves Foundation, in Porto. These two are the country’s best Contemporary art museums, each one with an amazing scenery. While the MAAT is embedded in the lavishly beautiful Tejo riverbank, the Fundação Serralves is surrounded by heavenly gorgeous gardens.
5- Time for a glass of wine
You can’t go to Portugal without planning a trip to the wine cellars. There’s a tremendous wine culture in the country, one that you can’t miss. In the south of Lisbon, lies the fairytale (wine) land of Alentejo, a hotspot for food and drink. In there, make sure to stop by the Herdade do Esporão to taste some grade-A quality wine, from red to white and rosé. But if you lie up there in the north, you have to go to the Port Wine cellars. Casa Ferreira, in Vila Nova de Gaia, which is right in front of Porto’s Ribeira, is a must go. You’ll learn a bit about the process of the making Port Wine, and their differences, while sipping liquid gold.
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