TAP Air Portugal, the country’s national carrier, is to introduce a non-stop route between San Francisco and Lisbon – the only direct flight between the two cities. With five flights a week, the new route will open up not just Lisbon but the whole of Portugal too, best explored with Pura Aventura. The specialist tour operator offers two itineraries which showcase the unassuming star of Western Europe at its finest. Choose from a self-guided inn to inn walk from the rural heartland to the rugged coast of Alentejo or a self-drive trip which sweeps down the country, ending in Lisbon in the south, or tailor-make a unique adventure.
Californian visitors to Lisbon will find some familiar sights in the capital; historic trams threading their way through the city streets and up the steep hills and the striking red towers of the 25 de Abril suspension bridge, modelled on the Golden Gate, to name but two. But there is plenty more to discover in the picturesque backstreets, where life rolls on at a slower pace in residential neighbourhoods, easily explored on foot, and where mournful fado music fills the air after dark. There’s far more to Portugal than Lisbon though. Taste boutique wines in family-run Quintas in the hills overlooking the Douro Valley. Raise a toast to the country’s second city as the sun sets over the river in Porto and explore the National Forest of Buçaco on foot where pathways lead to little chapels hidden in the lush forest. In the Alentejo region visitors can travel all the way from the forests, cork oak fields and hilltop villages near the Spanish border to the remarkably well-preserved Roman ruins of Évora and on to the Atlantic coast, where old fishermen trails reveal isolated golden beaches and dramatic coves.
Discover the best of Portugal on a 16-day Portugal Explorer road trip which sweeps you across and down the country from Porto to Lisbon.
Or traverse the little-visited Alentejo region on foot, from the Spanish border to the coast, on an exclusive 8-day Alentejo Inn to Inn.
For further information visit Pura Aventura