Travel to Portugal and you'll find romance in the form of temperate weather, delectable local cuisine, picturesque river cruises, and a robust wine country. While you're there, don't miss out on the other attractions that make Portugal a must-visit destination, like great golfing, white sandy beaches, and quaint historic villages.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
About 10 hours from NYC, 15 hours from LA
When To Go: Portugal at its best
Portugal is relatively warm year-round. The weather is dry and hot in the summers and warm and sunny in the autumn. Go between July and September when the weather is usually in the 70s and the climate remains fairly dry.
What To Do
Take a boat ride:
Take a cruise up the River Douro (which takes about two days) and discover the country's most romantic country estates and manor houses. On the river, you'll get to see the vineyard slopes of the Douro Valley, and you'll have the opportunity to tantalize your taste buds with the great food and robust wines.
Ditch your diet:
Explore all the foods and drink Portugal has to offer in villages across the country. To try some of Portugal's best cheeses, visit the towns of Serpa, Evora, and Niza. For amazing olive oil, try the town of Moura, where you can take a tour of the olive oil museum and see a vintage olive oil press. For fresh seafood, head the Portugal's coastlines (like Peniche, just north of Lisbon). And finally, don't miss out on the food of Alentejo, where the dishes are decidedly fresh and Portuguese (think eggs, almonds, oregano, rosemary, and honey).
Among the white sand, cliff coastlines, and cool blue waters, you'll find some of the most prestigious golf courses in the world. The Ocean Course and the Royal Course in Vale do Lobo were both designed by Sir Henry Cotton. And for a real challenge, take your clubs to the Pine Cliffs where the sixth hole is set on the side of a ravine and reaching the seventh hold requires a skillful shot across the beach.
-- Anja Winikka