I can quite easily forgive myself for not having made it to places like Romania and Bulgaria yet - when I lived close by, visas were still required and they weren't the more mainstream destinations they've become. Ditto for Iceland - it's not exactly round the corner, though I totally want to get there. But Portugal, as you know, is right next to Spain, is a short flight from the UK or from Germany, is a great destination, and a country that several good friends have regularly recommended, yet I never made it there!
I will, of course, I'm sure. With my in-laws in Europe we always have an excuse to return there and I'm keen to try to add on a "side trip" to somewhere new each time we fly all the way to Germany and Switzerland. Portugal would be perfect. I just didn't know quite what I'd want to do there, so I did what any modern blogger does and asked on my Facebook page (who needs a guidebook when you've got all those travellers to talk to instead). I got some fantastic suggestions (thanks especially to Queer Nomad, Ina and Lis) so now I have figured out that when I get to Portugal, a few places I would love to see are:
LisbonAn important stop, to see how Portugal ticks. I love small capital cities like this - a population of around half a million, not too big, not too small, just right (sounds like I've been reading too much Goldilocks!). It's full of museums and old buildings, a great place to explore for a few days.
SintraComes highly recommended. And look! Isn't it gorgeous? Home to numerous palaces and castles in just a small spot.
EvoraEvora is a small World Heritage-listed town which even has a Roman temple. And the tip is that they have turned a beautiful old convent into a hotel in Beja, near Evora, well worth a stay.
PortoI certainly don't mind a drop of port so I will be keen to sample some in Porto. It's Portugal's second largest city so I will have something to do in between trying different kinds of port!
So of course, all of this reading and browsing has got me dreaming up all kinds of Portugal holidays - I think I should learn my lesson and stop asking for tips from readers, since it makes me want to hop on a plane instantly and I can't just yet - but I'm not going to learn, because one day I'll get there and I'll want to know what you all suggest, so any further Portugal tips are extremely welcome in the comments.
Image credits: Lisbon by rtsml, Sintra by Rinzewind, Evora by xiquinhosilva, Porto by rene j.