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One of the world’s fastest growing destinations is Portugal. A vibrant culture and beautiful scenery combine to make it a perfect place to holiday. It is easily accessible from North America, and small enough to traverse easily from North to South. Clients can drive from Lisbon to the Algarve in approximately 2.5hrs hours on great highways, or they can head north, reaching Porto from Lisbon in 3 hours. If they aren’t comfortable driving themselves, there is good rail infrastructure or flights.
Our Goway Expert Emma just returned from a quick 4-day getaway to Lisbon, and we sat her down to find out how it was.
What was your highlight and why?
Being in Lisbon when the Saint Anthony’s Day festivities were on. It was a great way to see the city; there were neighbourhood parades with their floats and costumes. It felt like we were privy to a real insight into the local life, and wow, what fun it was!
What was your favourite part of the city and why?
The walk up to the castle in Lisbon along cobbled stone roads and the amazing view of the city when at the top. Do not miss this and stop at a restaurant along the way up or down or both! On that note, we really came to appreciate the long relaxing lunches and dinners – nobody rushing you to eat and out of the restaurant.
What are some exciting excursions, or itineraries that you would recommend?
A definite must do is the day trip to Sintra to see the palace, and the quaint village. Take your time and stop at the coastal towns on the way back to Lisbon. Do not miss Evora, a beautiful walled town with some great local wine and food and don’t forget the eerie bone chapel!
Top tip for agents selling Lisbon?
Don’t rush an itinerary in Lisbon. Make sure to give clients enough time to do some trips out of the city but also time to walk around and explore on their own. It’s fun to get lost on side streets and sit to have a drink and people watch. A great way to absorb the culture!
Did you learn anything new?
Spending a bit of extra time in Lisbon, I heard so much about the history of the city itself. Lisbon had a massive earthquake in 1755 which was followed by a devastating tsunami. Still, some parts were unaffected. Half of Lisbon is pre-earthquake buildings, while part of the city was built post-earthquake. I think that’s part of the reason it is such an interesting city architecturally.
What surprised you about the destination?
I figured I knew Lisbon, and I knew I would have great food and wine. It was the pace of everything and the whole laid back culture and charm that brings it all together as a great place to visit. If I were asked to go back next week, I would not hesitate. You can always find a new wine or food to try in a different neighbourhood.
If you could go back, what would you like to see/do?
I would go for longer. I want to travel to the north and visit Oporto, and drink some port. Then make my way south to enjoy some beach time in the Algarve after exploring.
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