Beautiful Portugal is rarely mentioned in the news. The adage, no news is good news, is true for Portugal, given that the media usually focuses on negative events. OK, lately, we have heard a bit about Portugal´s economic stress and Portugal is one of the PIGS countries with financial woes. But, knock on wood, it has been spared horrid attacks, radical politics and turbulent unrest.
“Green” travelers take note: Portugal fervently embraces renewable, alternative energy sources. To date nearly 50% of Portugal´s energy needs are generated from solar and wind. A wave farm is in the works. And 23 electric car recharging stations are scheduled to be operational this year. More and more hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses, such as Colina Flora, are embracing sustainable policies. Vegetarian restaurants can be found in big cities and many smaller towns. Organic farmers markets and natural food shops are popping up all over the country.
And Portugal still remains an unknown to many as the wonderful vacation destination it is. It is an amazingly multifaceted, innovative, peaceful and very wonderful little country. We are impressed at how welcoming the Portuguese are to foreigners. This openeness to strangers is one of the main reasons we settled here.
towering cliffs of Cabo da Roca, the most western point of continental Europe.
Portugal is only about 560 km long and 220 km wide but it boasts an incredible range of diversity: high mountain ranges and lush green valleys, dotted with vineyards in the North; sundrenched beaches, vast olive and cork plantations in the South, the wonderful Serra da Sintra Natural Park in the West, with white sand beaches and towering cliffs jutting into the Atlantic. Many awesome historical treasures are sprinkled all over the country. There are special UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Evora, Porto, Guimares, Batalha, Alcobaca and Sintra. Portugal is truely a country worth exploring. www.parquesdasintra.com & www.portugalvisitor.com
So much to do: world-class surfing, golf, tennis, horseback riding, walking/hiking and mountain biking opportunities abound. The night-life really swings in Cascais, Lagos, Lisbon, Porto and the Casino in Estoril is the largest in Europe. Spas, yoga retreats, art classes and adventures holiday packages are available in many parts of the country.
Savoring the good life and taking it slowly is a national tradition. The variety of cultural events – many are free – throughout the year pay tribute to the national enjoyment factor. In most every town good, simple food and quality wines, at affordable prices, are found in tradional restaurants and the markets are packed with a great asssortment of fruits, vegetables and fish. So coupled with a mild Mediterraean climate, a peaceful population, glorious beaches, mesmerizing countryside and the vast assortment of activity possiblities, Portugal should be on every travelers “must go” list.
Our Colina Flora eco-guesthouse is located in the heart of the Sintra Natural Park mountains with views of the Atlantic. It is the perfect spot for a relaxing rural vacation with uncrowded beaches and the historic cities of Sintra, Cascais and Lisbon only a short drive away. Come stay a while and enjoy Portugal! www.colinaflora.com
beautiful and uncrowded Adraga Beach 5 minutes from Colina Flora Eco-guesthouse