Villages stilled in time, stretches of untamed coastline, a burgeoning wine culture, and plates heaped with fresh ingredients rich in their simplicity, are just the beginning for luxury travel in Portugal. As Absolute’s first European destination, we clearly have a soft spot for this gorgeous Mediterranean country. It’s hard to beat stopping along the sea cliffs on an empty country road to watch the sunset, sitting down at a farm table for a plate of delicately grilled fish and a glass of Portugal’s best Vinho Verde, and standing amongst the ruins of a great empire—all in one day!
Luxury Travel In Portugal
Located along the Atlantic lip of Spain, Portugal manages to pack all the draws of greater Europe into a geographically small space, making luxury travel in Portugal varied and accessible. The adventurous will discover secret pockets of surf along the 800km of coast, hike granite peaks and river valleys, and explore the unsurpassed beauty of the Azores—a string of volcanic islands brimming with wildlife, gargantuan ferns, waterfalls, glacier blue lakes and lush mountains. For those who thrive on history, a custom Portugal luxury journey will include stumbling upon Roman ruins tucked inside village walls, wandering the corridors of numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and feeling history’s presence at castles, temples, and monoliths. Beyond the Port, lovers of food and wine will savor the ocean’s bounty in seaside towns, feast on Mediterranean staples (olives, cheeses, oven breads, and smoked meats) from the source, and enjoy rosy cheeks over glasses of Portugal’s crisp whites and full bodied reds.
No luxury trip to Portugal is complete without a stop in Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon. Memorable just for its landscape of whitewashed stucco and red-tiled roofs, Lisbon has a vibrant nightlife, a witty modern-arts movement, and top-notch cuisine. Days can be spent wandering the maze of cobblestone streets; hunting down vintage home décor and finely crafted leather goods; admiring the impressive collections at the Museu Berardo, the Gulbenkian Foundation, Museu de Arte Antiga and Museu do Oriente; falling in love with bifanas (pork buns) and pasteis de nata (egg tarts) at backstreet eateries and sampling the avant-garde cuisine at Lisbon’s experimental restaurants; then staying out till dawn, bar-hopping in the hip Bairro Alto or Cais do Sodré.
Scenic beauty and outdoor activities abound both along the coast and inland. Dramatic sea cliffs and tawny sand beaches rim the country whilst low-lying mountains and fields of wildflowers sweep across the interior. With a temperate climate year round, a private custom trip in Portugal can include hiking, biking, horseback riding, kitesurfing, dolphin watching, and rock climbing whether you go in July or December.
History buffs will delight in taking a tour through time as they meander along the Iberian Peninsula from Évora to Mértola. With Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, and Christians having passed through the nation, historically significant landmarks and towns are waiting around every bend.
And of course, the food and wine needs little introduction: go for the food-centric festivals, the Alentejo wine region (quickly emerging as a world-class wine destination), village markets boasting artisanal delicacies, and the no-fuss ocean-to-table seafood.