Senior Citizen Travel to Portugal

Dec 2nd, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Hey seniors, if you have been to Spain, now it’s time to visit Portugal. Portugal borders Spain on the northeast, boasting more than 1100 continuous miles of to-die-for coastline. Water has had a strong historical influence on this country, and it’s easy to see why. 

The country’s best side is found in historic buildings, a warm, friendly culture, a beautiful shoreline and an interesting countryside. It has had an important role in European and world history, especially in terms of the “Discoveries” of Africa, the New World and the Far East.  Many of its cities include interesting museums with fascinating historical mementos.

Need a few good reasons to visit Portugal? The country is clean and largely untouched, the costs are incredibly low in direct comparison to the UK, France or Spain, the weather is simply fantastic, crime rates are low and family values are high.

There Are Places rates Portugal “three globes” out of four and a green light for safety. From a practical point of view, Portugal does not possess as many world class attractions as its neighbors but the country itself is world class, offering great food, pleasant scenery and a slow, enjoyable pace of living. Customs, climate, hours and more on this helpful site from

Lisbon, the capital, is a city of neighborhoods and each one has something to offer the tourist.  Although a great town for walking, Lisbon is very hilly and it is recommend taking the electrified streetcars when possible.  Be sure to visit Castelo de São Jorge, Biaxa, Alfama, and the banks of the River Taugus.  Spend an afternoon in Belem visiting the Age of Navigators Monument, Torre de Belem, and the Mosteiro dos Jeronomos – a tour of the cloisters is worthwhile.  

Portugal plays host to some of Europe’s most distinctive wines and wineries. Wine is far from a casual experience in Portugal. Winemakers in this country are among the top 10 producers of wine in the world. Nearly 10 percent of the country’s land is dedicated to wine. If wine “trips your trigger” then do check out this site on “How to Visit Portugal’s Douro Wine Region“. In a relatively short period of time the Douro has established itself as Portugal’s premium wine region. It’s hard to overstate the scale and pace of change that is currently taking place there.  Wine and the Douro region have been linked together since Roman times.

Porto is the original home of Port wine; its winding streets make for an interesting old town that is a World Heritage Site and the second largest city in the country.  Be sure to visit the wine lodges in Gaia (on the south side of the River Douro, south of the Dom Luis bridge). For more information on visiting Porto, see its official website Porto Tourismo.

Considered by many to offer the best beaches in Europe, the Algarve also features attractive scenery and mild temperatures.  Its attractiveness lures many travelers to the Algarve: it’s crowded but worth a visit. It is Portugal’s most popular tourist region, with beautiful beaches and gorgeous coves. In addition, it has good hotels, charming resorts, first-class golf courses and splendid food. It is bordered by the Bay of Cádiz to the south, the Atlantic to the West. For more information on what to see an do in the Algarve, visit the areas’ official website.
An exotic walled town set in a beautiful location, Lagos offers the visitor the best beaches in the Algarve.  Like many Portuguese cities, Lagos was a Celtic settlement, then Roman, followed by the Moors who built the city’s first walls. See the Forte da Pona da Bandeira beyond the city walls to see a glimpse of Portugal’s past might as a sea power. Southern Portugal is famous for its ceramics, and Lagos won’t let you down. Portugal is also famous for its cork, in fact it’s one of the largest cork producing countries on Earth, and we sure do need lots of cork for all those wine bottles. In Lagos the fun continues after the sun goes down; there are plenty of restaurants, bars, discos and entertainment until the early hours of the morning.

Fatima is famous for religious visions that happened in the town when people believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to them. This small town, about 80 miles north of Lisbon, becomes thronged with tourists and religious pilgrims in mid-May and mid-October each year, around the anniversaries of the original apparitions that occurred in 1917. Fatima is located in west central Portugal in the region of Leiria.  According to the website for Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Traditions of the World, as of October 2010, Fatima is renowned for possessing one of the most visited Marian shrines in the world and annually draws an estimated 4 million tourists.

Just off the southern coast of Portugal is the island of Madiera called “The Pearl of the Atlantic.” Madeira is a lush and mountainous paradise and the jewel in the Madeira Islands crown. Why not plan a stop-over in the Azores about two hours flying time and 930 miles (1500 Km) from Lisbon? These islands have a nice video presentation to give you several reasons to visit.

I’d recommend that seniors consider taking a tour of Portugal.  Here is a listing of all major tour operators to check out.  From this listing you can pick up the phone and ask your questions, doing your travel planning online for your trip to Portugal.  You may also plan your own itinerary here using this site.  Care to book your own hotel?  Here is a listing of the major hotels in Portugal. Oh by the way, the 10 million inhabitants speak Portuguese, so…”Tenha uma viagem amável” = Bon Voyage!  jeb

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