Why go to Portugal and what do the Masons have to do with it?
Portugal – one of the few countries bordering only one neighbor. It's dry. As for maritime borders, there are much more options here, because the coast of Portugal is washed by the Atlantic Ocean!
About the visa
A visa to Portugal can be obtained directly at the Embassy (located in Moscow) or at any visa center (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara) .
The process of obtaining a visa is standard; as a rule, no one is granted a visa. But keep in mind that the Portuguese are in no hurry! In order not to end up at the airport without a visa and passport, submit documents at least a month in advance.
About the road
The fastest way to get there is by plane. There are three national airports in Portugal:
- Lisbon Portela (the capital airport, considered the main air gateway of the country);
- Ponta Delgada (air terminal in the Azores);
- Porto Francisco Carneiro (airport in the north of the country);
- Faro (serves the resort area of the same name);
- Funchal Madeira (airport of the Madeira archipelago).
Aeroflot flies directly from Moscow to Lisbon and TAP Portugal. Travel time – approximately 5.5 hours. But flying directly from Russia is quite expensive – round-trip ticket in the high season it will cost about 20,000 rubles, so we advise you to look for transfer options. Trains and buses do not go directly to Portugal. If there is a desire to get on the ground – you will have to look for options through Spain and France.
When to go
The high season in Portugal is in the summer. Tourists from many countries come here – primarily for beach holidays and surfing. It is during the summer months that the Atlantic off the coast of Portugal warms up enough for recreation on the water. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the water here is never as warm as in any other resort place. By the way, there are not many Russians in Portugal even in the high season – lack of direct low-cost flights.
The low season is considered to be the winter months, although at this time in Portugal it is warm and sunny. And Madeira is generally considered a year-round resort, but more suitable for eco-tourism, since there are practically no good beaches there. The main advantage of buying tours to Portugal during the low season are very affordable prices:
- for accommodation,
- food in restaurants.
September is the velvet season for Portugal. But this month you will definitely not swim.
Where to relax and what to see
The main tourist cities of Portugal
The capital of Portugal located along the north bank of the Tagus River. Wonderful city with:
- white limestone buildings,
- cozy streets,
- fresh breeze from the shores of the Atlantic.
In Lisbon, life begins at sunset, so be ready to have fun all day and night.
The second largest city in Portugal and the capital of the Portuguese north. It is a lively industrial and commercial center of the country. If you miss the bustle and rhythm of the metropolis – here.
One of the most important historical cities in Portugal, located in the province of Minho. Considered the birthplace of the Portuguese nation and the country's first city.
Madeira's capital and seaport.
Resort city and port in the south of Portugal.
The fifth largest city in Portugal, located in the north of the country. There is a great historical atmosphere here. Braga is also considered the “religious capital” of Portugal – the local Cathedral dates back to the 16th century.
A university city in northern Portugal that is known for:
- painted boats.
A river runs through the city with colorful boats floating on it to collect algae and gives Aveira an indescribable charm. The city center consists of houses built in the Art Nouveau style. An ideal target for photo tours.
Sights of Portugal that you cannot pass by
On the nine islands located in the center of the Atlantic, there is no developed infrastructure, but there is plenty of marine life and corals. Lovers come here:
- beach holidays,
There are healing geysers in the sulfur caves, and Pico Island has its own volcano.
The fort standing on an island in the Tagus River is one of the symbols of Lisbon. It was built in the first third of the 16th century in honor of Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India and was alternately used as:
- gunpowder store,
Today, the tower is open to tourists, but be prepared for queues.
“Medieval” Pena Palace, located above the city of Sitra, only at first glance seems old. In fact, it was built in the 19th century in the then popular Romantic style, replicating ancient architecture. The park around the palace contains plants from different parts of the world:
- Australian ferns,
- North American sequoia,
- Mediterranean cypress.
The ascent and descent to the palace are quite steep – don't forget comfortable shoes.
Vasco da Gama Bridge
The longest bridge in Europe was opened in 1998. It stretches across the Tagus River for more than seventeen kilometers.
The bridge consists of seven sections and six car lanes. Since 2008, the Vasco da Gama entrance to Lisbon – paid. This should be taken into account when driving. The speed limit on the bridge is 120 kilometers per hour.
The twenty-eight-meter statue of Jesus Christ, towering over the city of Almada, resembles the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. Cristo Rey – a request to the Lord to save Portugal from the Second World War. Good luck request, as the country ended up not participating.
Quinta da Regaleira
< p>The palace and park complex of the Baroness Regaleira consists of a four-story neo-Gothic palace, a Roman Catholic chapel and a multi-tiered park, consisting of an “upper” wild forest and the lower, garden part.
Gothic turrets and gargoyles of the palace look organically surrounded by artificial grottoes and carved benches. There is a legend according to which Masons held their meetings in the gardens of the complex. The well-known “well” is also located here. or “tower in reverse”, which is considered the Well of Initiation into Freemasons.
Monte Tropical Garden
The tropical garden, laid out on the island of Madeira around the Monte Palace, consists of two artificial lakes and a huge number of local and exotic plants brought from around the world. The territory of the garden is decorated with:
- numerous sculptures,
- square stones,
- Buddha statues.
You can meet beautiful peacocks and fighting Indonesian roosters on the paths of Monte.
Growing out of a 12th-century fishing settlement, Cascais is today a recognized center of youth leisure. During the day, the city lives a measured tourist life.
At night, Cascais is illuminated by the lights of numerous discos and nightclubs. Local beaches are ideal for lovers of extreme water sports.
Located a thousand kilometers from Portugal, on the western side of Africa, the island is famous throughout the world for its clean air and balneological centers. There are practically no beaches in Madeira. Access to the ocean is via special ladders.
Main island entertainment:
- golf,< /li>
- horseback riding,
- tuna and pygmy shark hunting
The extreme western point of Eurasia is located between Sintra and Cascais. At Cape Doom there is a lighthouse and a souvenir shop where you can bring a certificate that you have visited the end of the world. The Cape offers a breathtaking view of the Atlantic.
But be prepared for a sharp temperature drop compared to the beach coast and the mainland! Be sure to take outerwear for a walk.
What to eat
Portuguese local cuisine then , for which many people come here on gastronomic tours.
A traditional Portuguese soup made with cabbage, potatoes and smoked sausages.
Delicious cod. In Portugal, any seafood tastes impeccable and fresh!
Polvo a lagareiro
Baked octopus – it's impossible not to try it. There are several options for its preparation in Lisbon restaurants, but the most delicious – grilled with potatoes.
Soft eggs – an original dessert that is a must-try in Lisbon. It is a sweet cream made from yolks and sugar, which is boiled and then placed in special rice flour molds.
The cake is a thin light shell (it can be of any shape, shells are most common) filled with soft delicious cream.
Pastel de Belem
Pastel de Balen – puff pastry with custard, Lisbon's calling card. Sold in many cafes and pastry shops, but cheaper in non-tourist places.
Vinho do Porto
Port – another national pride. This noble wine with history has nothing to do with the drink of the same name, known since the times of the USSR.
Real port wine – excellent wine with a noble bouquet of taste. In Lisbon, you can find both democratic brands and bottles with elite content.