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How to be a budget tourist in Lisbon

feature-budgetAs Lisbon´s popularity grows and grows, tourist related companies are popping up all over the place offering everything that your tourist heart could possibly desire and a lot that it probably didn´t.
Prices in Lisbon are still relatively cheap compared to other European capitals but a budget not carefully watched can get out of hand as fast as it does in any of the more expensive cities.

This article will help you find the cheaper alternatives that garantee you a good time and possibly a better experience of this wonderful city! It will certainly leave you with money left over.

Touring the city.

There are many ways to tour this city from a personal beetle guided tour, to a sedway or electrical car and you´ll find them all on this site. On a budget some of the options can be expensive.

The cheapest way is to collect a free map at the tourist office and walk your way through the city, however for those that dont like walking, have already walked enough or have difficulty walking, there are many cheap alternatives. Here some of the best.

Tram 28 Lisbon Tram 28 tourThis is one of the touristy popular public transport trams that roller coasters it´s way over the steep hills of the Bairro Alto and Alfama the oldests parts of the centre of Lisbon. At less than 3 euro its a good budget way to see the city in a funny, energetic way. note that the route is also popular with pick pockets! Read more about the tram 28 tour here


Bike rent rent a bike for a day or longer prices start at approximately 10 euros per day and go down depending on the amount of days you rent for. There are various places that rent bikes and mopeds.
Note that Lisbon is not flat and you could find yourself climbing very steep hills. The traffic is chaotic and busy so depending on your stamina and nerve strength, it would be good to plan a bike trip accordingly.

You can rent a bike, scooter or motor in Lisbon straight on our site! rent a bike or scooter on Go Discover Portugal
biking Lisbon


A public transport day ticket Get a public transport day pass. There are various passes available but the best deal is the Viva Viagem unlimited pass which you can buy for as many days as you require. The cost of the Viva Viagem pass is 5.50 euros for the first day, and 5.00 euros for each additional day. It can be used on all metro´s, trams and busses all over the city and can be bought at all metro stations. If you have difficulty using the machines you can buy them at the booth with cash.

Barreiro moinhosMoinhos Bareiro Photo by Nuno Soeiro
The ferry boats to the other side of the Tagus Take the ferry across the Tagus river to the other side. for normal public transport prices you can take the ferry across the Tejo to various spots on the other side. Prices are between 1.50 to 3 euro depending on the distance and the boats go very regularly every day of the week. Sadly the site is in Portuguese but it will give you time information and get on and off points. http://www.transtejo.pt/pt/homepage/index.html There a 3 docks on the Lisbon side Belém, Cais do Sodré and Terreiro do Paço. The Belém boat takes you to the fishing villages of Porto Brandão and Trafaria. The Cais do Sodré ferry boat takes you to the bigger municipalities of Cacilhas and Seixal and the Terreiro do Paço ferry to Montijo or Barreiro. All these have there own character and are certainly worth a visit. The ferry trip gives you a lovely impression of the Tagus and fantastic views of Lisbon and it´s opposite side.

Eating on a budget, eat like a local!

feature-restaurants Gastronomy in Lisbon is growing at an amazing rate and the hype is on in Lisbon chef José Avillez at Belcanto was awarded a second Michelin start for 2015 and culinary restaurants are opening their doors and bettering their offers at a fast growing rate. Lisbon is investing well in gastronomic tourism and the results are impresive and exciting.

Prices are also starting to reflect this new innovation in a modern way and travelling on a small budget can be very difficult when it comes to food and eating in the more popular places.
Our advice is to avoid the touristic spots as much as possible, if your travelling on a low budget and to adopt the habit of eating like a Portuguese!

Almirante Reis Lisbon food and other thingsFirst of all adapt the times that you eat and what you eat at those times. In Portugal lunch is the main meal of the day and it starts at 12 in the afternoon and runs to about 2.30 to 15.00 pm.
It generally consists of 3 courses soup, main course and dessert.
You can save at least 50% on the cost of a meal by eating a “diaria” which is a set menu offered by most local restaurants and snackbars, very often the price of the meal, depending in which area you eat it will be somewhere between 5 euro to 8 euro including all. Always inform proparly on what is included! read also our article about restaurant habits in Portugal and the number one budget area in the centre of Lisbon, THe avenida Almirante Reis

for sandwiches and snacks go to typical, local pastelarias, pastry shops that generally offer local pastries, coffees, drinks and sometimes full meals for very low prices and visit local supermarkets for anything else you might need.

Free culture and museums

budgetLisbon has a rich historical past that is spread over many centuries and it has many museums and national monuments to prove it.
Lisbon offers a day, 2 day our 3 day ticket that gives free or discounted entrance to most, called the Lisboa card and can be both in most tourist offices prices start at 18.50 for a one day card.

On Sunday morning untill 14.00 pm most museums and national monuments have free entry, so this is a good  time to visit the most important spots and generally its not much busier at this time.
Some of the places that are free on Sunday morning are centered around the area of Belém, where you can view the Jeronimos Monastery, the Archaeology Museum, the Belém tower and the Maritime Museum.

In Belém is also the modern art museum Berardo which has a large collection of modern art and it is always free of charge.

Other museum in Lisbon that arefree of charge at all times are the Radio Museum (Museu da Rádio) on the Rua do Quelhas, 21, The National history museum of the univesity of Lisbon on the Rua Escola Politécnica, 58. This museum has a museum, gardens and a botanical lab.


fado

Discover the culture and sounds of the  Lisbon Fado.

Lisbon is bursting with Fado, fado nights, fado dinners, fado tours and fado theators and mostly you will pay quite well for them. Not suprising as Fado is popular and most good fado singers expensive. often the meals served will be culinary and the atmosphere gauranteed.

However how do you discover fado on a budget? Again you´ll have to fado with the locals!
Fado was born in the area of Mouraria on the slope leading up to the castle of Martim Moniz and even though you will find many old taverns, bar and tasquinhas (small tavern type restaurants) your unlikely, out of the summer months, to find Fado in our current times.
Fado vadio is a style of fado that entails the possibility of anybody getting up and starting to sing fado and you will find a couple of places in Alfama or the Bairro Alto accommodating this type of fado at no cost to the unlooker. As this culture is spontanious and can happen in any local bar at any time, it is difficult to plan or give times. You´ll just have to walk around and be lucky enough to join one of these very special nights.

A couple of places that do have regular free fado are A Baiuca and tasca do Chico in the Bairro Alto. (Tasca di Chico on Monday and Wednesday nights) be early as both places tend to fill up fast!

Rock climbing Porto, Portugal

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Rock climbing Porto is organized by a reputable climbing, tracking and canyonering company Latitude 41.
Latitude 41 is a company with innovation and experience that have partnered with us to provide you with the best mountain activities imaginable.

Porto has a fantastic mountainous landscape that lends itself perfectly to climbers of all experience levels and we provide introduction courses in this wonderful landscape as well as professional courses.

Rock climbing is an enervative and strength building experience for all ages and levels of experience and thanks to Portugal´s natural mountainous landscape it can be practiced all over the country.
Latitude 41 together with Go Discover Portugal has come together to offer you rock climbing experiences, lessons and basic introductions suitable to those that want to start a professional rock climbing future as well as a team building or group activities that promises to be fun, educative and active!

This activity is also organized in Lisbon, Serra da Freita, Cascais, Sintra, Redinha, Vale do Poios inquire for more information

Latitude 41 has various options available from introductions to the different forms of climbing to professional climbing nivo 1 and 2 and climbing packs
FURTHER INFORMATION:
Prices vary from 25 euro per person for a morning climbing introduction
90 euro for NIVO 1 CLIMBING COURSE OF 6 DAYS
130 euro for NIVO 2 CLIMBING COURSE OF 7 DAYS (note* NIVO 2 is not taught in Lisbon but only in Porto and serra das Freitas

Opening hours: 7 days a week
The prices include all necessary equipment, insurance, professional guidance and support..

year)
Level of difficulty is adjusted to participants experience and age,
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[tab name=”Reserve”]


Reserve through live chat!

or use reservations form

For questions or reservations, use the following form or call us 00351 - 918354714 / 00351 938328865
[/tab]
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Rock climbing Lisbon, Portugal

[tab name=”Information”]
Rock climbing Lisbon is organized by a reputable climbing, tracking and canyonering company Latitude 41.
Latitude 41 is a company with innovation and experience that have partnered with us to provide you with the best mountain activities imaginable.

Rock climbing is an enervative and strength building experience for all ages and levels of experience and thanks to Portugal´s natural mountainous landscape it can be practiced all over the country.
Latitude 41 together with Go Discover Portugal has come together to offer you rock climbing experiences, lessons and basic introductions suitable to those that want to start a professional rock climbing future as well as a team building or group activities that promises to be fun, educative and active!

This activity is also organized in Porto, Serra da Freita, Cascais, Sintra, Redinha, Vale do Poios

Latitude 41 has various options available from introductions to the different forms of climbing to professional climbing nivo 1 and 2 and climbing packs
FURTHER INFORMATION:
Prices vary from 25 euro per person for a morning climbing introduction
90 euro for NIVO 1 CLIMBING COURSE OF 6 DAYS
130 euro for NIVO 2 CLIMBING COURSE OF 7 DAYS (note* NIVO 2 is not taught in Lisbon only in Porto and serra das Freitas

Opening hours: 7 days a week
The prices include all necessary equipment, insurance, professional guidance and support..

year)
Level of difficulty is adjusted to participants experience and age,
[/tab]

[tab name=”Reserve”]


Reserve through live chat!

or use reservations form

For questions or reservations, use the following form or call us 00351 - 918354714 / 00351 938328865
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Canyoning Portugal in Geres

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Canyoning Portugal Geres is an amazing adventurous outdoor experience in one of the most beautiful nature reserves of Portugal, Geres. Geres is a national natural monument for the conservation of nature and has many ongoing projects, one of which is the reintroduction of the Iberian lynx.
The park is set in a mountainous region on the North Spanish border roughly 100km above the wonderful city of Porto.

The parks natural typological situation makes it the perfect place for tracking, climbing, hiking and Canyoning or canyoneering as it is called in the USA.
Latitude 41 is one of the best companies offering all these activities with a regular possibility for canyoning, professional guidance and all necessary equipment. I partnership with Go discover Portugal they also provide custom experiences for you, groups and families wishing to take part in this exciting activity while learning about the wonderful landscape and surroundings.
Please use the reservations form, telephone or chat to reserve or ask for more information!
[/tab][tab name=”Prices/extra info”]Price List
Activity lasts roughly 3 hours to entire day with a lunch break (not included in price) and can be done at various spots depending on weather and time of year accessibility. cost 40 € person for a group of 5 upwards.
and 35 € per person for a group of 15 upwards.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Opening hours: 7 days a week
The prices include necessary equipment, insurance, professional guidance and support, helmet and protective clothing, shoes and a water tight bag to carry your things in.

What you need to bring: towel, change of clothes, sun protection (depending on time of year)
Level of difficulty is adjusted to participants experience and age,
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[tab name=”Reserve”]


Reserve through live chat!

or use reservations form

For questions or reservations, use the following form or call us 00351 - 918354714 / 00351 938328865
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Horse Riding Algarve, Lagos

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Horse Riding Algarve is best done at the Centro Hipico QPA, Lagos.

Come and join us at QPA for a horse ride on one of our well-trained horse and ponies.

We offer rides for people at all levels: Beginners can enjoy an hour’s ride around the beautiful countryside and more experienced riders can ride for one or two hours through the hills and valleys.
We ride along stunning tracks where cars cannot reach, through hill and valleys with magnificent views. We also offer pony rides for the little ones.

For the more adventurous we suggest a three hour restaurant ride to sample home-cooked Portuguese cuisine in the countryside; or a picnic ride to a nearby lake where you can swim with the horses! (The picnic ride is limited to summer only).
We also have the option of a two day ride, during which you will ride to the impressive West Coast of Portugal and gallop along the long beach at Carrapateira.

We can provide accommodation in our self-contained studio apartment for couples who can enjoy the peace and quiet and a stroll down to the stables in the morning for their ride and return for a swim in the pool!

Discovering the Algarve on horse back is a wonderful unique experience that can be done all year round!
[/tab][tab name=”Prices/extra info”]Price List

1 hour ride: €30

2 hour ride: €50

Pony ride (about 20mins)_ €12

Private lessons (half hour): €25

Restaurant ride: €90

Picnic ride: €80

Two Day West Coast Ride: €200

Accommodation: €30 per night for a studio apartment.

INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR BOOKINGS:
1) Level of experience of each rider – if not total beginners: are they comfortable at trot and canter?

2) Height and weight of each rider.

3) Age – if they are children. Most children under the age of 8 are too young to go out for a ride and we recommend a pony ride for them, unless they already have riding experience.

**Generally speaking a one hour ride is enough for beginners – any more and they will be very sore the next day!

** Summer gets very busy and it is recommended to book a few days in advance to avoid disappointment

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Opening hours: 7 days a week – Morning rides start at 10h00, 10H30 or 11h00 – Afternoon rides start at 15H00, 15H30 or 16H00

Public Transport: Bus from Lagos to Bensafrim – get off at Fronteira and follow the signs. Do check bus times as they do not run regularly. A taxi is approximately €12 from Lagos

Amenities: Swimming pool for a cool-down after a summer ride.[/tab]

[tab name=”Reserve”]


Reserve through live chat!

or use reservations form

For questions or reservations, use the following form or call us 00351 - 918354714 / 00351 938328865
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[end_tabset]

Getting ripped-off, cheated, swindled or lifted in Portugal

This is not my favorite article to write because I prefer to concentrate on the positive, the adventurous, the sunny, historical and the beautiful things in Portugal but its a question I hear quite often and a situation that I have had to deal with in the past, so I decided after visiting Portugal for almost 20 years and living here for the past 3 years it needed to be addressed.

It was all brought on by a friend, a very happy, positive friend, that visits me quite often in Portugal and on one her first visit something unpleasant happened and she tearfully asked me a question, a simple question that turned out to have a long tail.

After a really unpleasant experience with meal eaten at a restaurant that skyrocketed in price when the bill was presented, My friend´s simple question was, Did I get ripped off?  and I looked at her, felt sorry and tried to be careful in my word choice before replying……I answered hesitantly “yes you did” and she replied, emotionated, “but the Portuguese are so friendly and kind, how could this happen?” and that was the swinging tail, a few words, spoken without thought, from her heart that caused this article´s need.

So it took me a while to react just because in Amsterdam she wasn’t this careless and she´s actually a very pragmatic, intelligent, well balanced and careful person that seems to always know what she is doing. successful at university, successful at her job, careful in choosing her acquaintances. A happy mother that travels a lot.

So now she faced me with having to explain ´the kindness off the Portuguese´ and that proves quite difficult as they are many and most are not the same, they seem to come from all walks of life, all kinds of backgrounds, emotion and levels of intellect, strange but true, they are human.
So I started hesitantly to reply and trying to rethink every word, I answered with ´Yes the Portuguese are very friendly and most will go out of their way to please you, help you, accommodate you in the best possible way. however there are some people that will “ripp you off”, cheat you, swindle you and lift you, right in your face and will smile while they’re doing it.

They’ll leave you struggling with language, surprised at the action unable to defend yourself and left to cry on your friends shoulder, disappointed and hurt.

Luckily, for Portugal and it´s visitors, they are a minute minority trying to target you as that is how they make a living but they exists and as Portugal grows as a tourist destination your chance of meeting them could get bigger and bigger.

This is a global thing and a problem for anybody traveling. Some people make a living out of ripping off ´tourist´. Awful people that can ruin you´re holiday or impression of a place and it´s people if you let them.

You don´t notice these people in your own country because when you understand the culture, behavior and language you couldn’t possibly be one of their victims so they wont bother you, they concentrate on tourists. Thats how they make a living and they smile at how easy the whole thing is!

You can just as easily travel and never meet them but if you do take action!

The scene in Portugal:
You arrive at the airport, tired from the trip and a friendly taxi driver greets you as you get in the cab, and you know most off the time this is how it will go. …you get in the cab, the friendly taxi driver goes out of his way to accommodate you using whatever sign language necessary to overcome any language problems you may have. He or she takes you to your hotel, brings your cases to the door and smiles as he presents you with bill, which is exactly what you thought it would be having checked the cost of taxi at your destination on line before you left.
But this is where it generally could start to go wrong.
You checked taxi prices in Portugal before you got in the cab, you checked distances and the route to your hotel, you got in the cab more or less with the change in your hand. The taxi driver gave you a big smile, even gave you tips on the things you should do while in Lisbon…….You arrived and somehow the price is 10 times more!

My experience:
The very first time I traveled to Portugal, I came prepared. I checked, I read that taxi drivers where likely to drive around, many more km than necessary and charge me incredible unexpected amount so I decided to take the bus. I checked bus fares before I left, knew where I was going got in the bus at Porto airport fully aware that the fare was 100 escudos, the driver gave me the ticket and I gave him a 1000 escudos note and waited for the change, he smiled and said something I couldn’t understand. I looked at him and shook my head, he shrugged his shoulders and gave a mean smile but no change, it was my first holiday in Portugal, I was traveling with my 6 year old daughter and it was my first holiday after splitting up with her father and I was totally gutted by this bus driver actions, I felt like leaving and I did n´t know how to defend myself.

I should have gotten the authorities involved but I was n´t prepared, I came to Portugal looking for a break in a country with lovely people.

After that I still had to travel everywhere by bus, which I didnt feel like but traveling inland I had little choice than in one village I got stuck because the ATM broke and without it I could n´t travel any further. A woman that spoke broken English understood my situation, she accompanied me to the bus while I tried to protest thinking that she did n´t understand that without the fare I could n´t travel, she said a few words to the busdriver who than gave a big smile and told me to take a seat, he took me 100km without a ticket, he was sweet, friendly and helpful and fixed all the bad feeling the first driver left me with.
So are bus drivers in Portugal out to steal my money, no. Neither are taxi drivers, restaurant owners or the guy that offers to carry your case up the mountain to the hotel.

My conclusion: anytime I got ripped off wherever it was because it took me by surprise and I didn’t take the necessary and required action and mostly it´s not a Portuguese thing, in fact it shouldnt be pinned on any nationality, just as sentences that start with the Americans are, the Dutch are, the English are are silly and pointless and subject to to many exceptions to mean anything.

The conclusion:
Getting cheated in this way is a tourist thing that you can experience anywhere. In Portugal trust the authorities and inform them when it happens!

Some tips to avoid getting cheated in Portugal
Be informed and ask the price before you order.
Know the local customs the dishes restaurants put on your table are not free and you can send them back, dont order things that are not on the menu without inquiring about the price. Know that taxis are more expensive at night, if you call them you will pay extra and suitcases or anything that needs to go in the trunk are also charged extra.
When getting in a Taxi make sure you know the fare before you get in a cab and inform yourself about the route, In restaurants always ask whats included and if your dish is not on the menu make sure you know what its going to cost before you agree to let them make it, don´t drink, eat or stay in places where prices are not exposed, unless money is not an issue!

Contact the authorities when things go wrong or when you think your being charged anything extra that was nt previously agreed!

Take note that in Portugal there is a very good functioning police force, laws well in place and they understand these practices and will get involved fast if you should need it.
DO you feel you got ripped off call the tourist police (+351) 21 342 16 23 or visit the local police station in the municipality where it happened, you can count on their cooperation!

So what caused me to write this article? So obviously, my very good friend that came to visit me in Portugal.
For a moment she lost all her normal sensibility and was cheated in a way that she would n´t have let happen in Amsterdam, but she didn’t know what action to take to harness herself against this behavior and almost concluded that the action was one that defined the Portuguese. It shouldnt have happened, it shouldnt happen anywhere to anyone but it helps to come prepared and to take the required action when all else failed and it does happen.

But also anohter story, the story of acquaintances of another friend, who traveled to Lisbon and were pick-pocketed on the first day, they than canceled their Portuguese holiday flew back to the Netherlands and swore never to return to such a criminal country without ever realizing they had just returned to a country with a much, much higher level of criminality and where they would have never had their wallets in any way exposed or reachable by anybody except themselves!

Portugal is a fast growing modern country with all the good and the bad included but it is a country where you can have many great experiences and where you will meet some of the best people in the world, sadly an article like this is only necessary due to a small percentage of idiots that could possibly ruin your holiday if your not prepared for them.

prepare yourself when traveling, do your research and take action when you think things are not correct! Call (+351) 21 342 16 23 for assistance. Should this article scare you from coming to Portugal you´ll be cutting yourself short of all the great things and great people you will experience here!

Buggy Kart cross Cascais

Buggy Kart cross Cascais is a fantastic, energetic and fun way to discover the beautiful landscapes, villages, and beaches surrounding Cascais through the sandy roads and cross country inaccessible with regular transports.
Buggy Kart tours in Cascais are not allowed to drive fast due to regulations in the park so this is not about racing or speed.

For a more exciting buggy kart experience, please check buggy karts south of Lisbon
buggy karts in the Arrabida natural park  just 30KM from Lisbon >>

There is a possibility of a 1 hour introduction tour or a half day extended tour in either a Buggy Kart cross vehicle or on a quad motor, whichever you prefer.
It´s a popular activity so book on time!

The 3 hour tour goes from Guicho to Cabo da Roca and goes back to the starting point.

Note this is not about speed!

Wear comfortable clothing and expect to get dirty!

Passeos de buggy kart, Serra da Arrabida

 

For questions or reservations, use the following form or call us 00351 - 918354714 / 00351 938328865

An introduction to Portuguese Wine

to find a title to this article proved very difficult and it changed many times, I was trying to be funny, I took a cultural turns than I switched to historical reference but this article is about Portuguese Wine, simple and straight forward.

an introduction to Portuguese wineAs in France, the country best known for wine production, Portuguese wine is a an integral part of culture and accompanies most meals, served at every lunch and dinner at home or out.
By some of the older folk it´s often enjoyed already from the early hours in small quantities and glasses that resemble a short drink.

Vineyard Central PortugalPortuguese wine is often produced by the local vineyard or farmer who works on making a collection of bottles that can be enjoyed by family and friends. Some of the local, home produced wines are quite good, some really bad.
In the villages you will often be presented with a glass to taste by a proud producer.

But Portuguese wines go far beyond the home produced varieties and on offer is a large selection of medium and high class wines from several wine district each with it´s unique quality and style.

Portuguese wine makes use of a unique art in wine production that is winning more and more international prizes thanks to its resulting original tastes.

This article is mainly written by one who enjoys wine but who is certainly not a connoisseur but in Portugal I enjoy its natural, unpolluted and pure taste and appreciate it´s historically cultural reference. I specifically enjoy the distinctive oak barrel flavors form the Douro, Ribatejo and Dão regions.
I believe that a lot of the wines rank with the best worldwide and deserve to be better known and understood.

Wine from Portugal is not very well known internationally, even though most wine professionals will have tasted them and some will have awarded some of them, the supermarkets abroad generally offer just a couple of Portuguese wines amongst the large selection of better known greats from France, Spain and more recently from Australia, USA and countries like Italy and Bulgaria.

There is a reason for this, which I will explain later.

Iguarias do ConventoIn order to write this article I´m going to need a lot of proven facts, examples and historical notes and back up!
But I hope that after reading it you will inspired to taste the different regions and grapes and get to know them better!

Speaking for myself I grew up with French wines, I was informed about Chablis, Burgundy, bordeaux, cote do Rhone, Languedoc and Roussillon, Loire than later I learned the Italian Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Valpolicella and Soave before becoming a student and getting to know the Spanish, Californian, Bulgarian and Australian wines.

Portuguese wine I only discovered after my first trip to Portugal many years later.
Quinta da CardigaThe history of Portuguese wine is an interesting one. Portugal has been isolated from the world when it comes to wine making. It is generally accepted that the Tartessians a Greek society concentrated in the South of Spain and spread to Portugal planted the first vineyards more than 2000 BC in the Sado and Tagus valleys. In the tenth century the Phoenicians had there impact on Portuguese wines by introducing new grape sorts. It was the Celts, ancient Greeks and Romans that spread the vineyards more North.

In 1758 Marquis de Pombal established one of the first wine regions in the world, the Douro region and to this day the Douro region has remained one the most known for producing excellent wines.

In current times Portugal is best known for it´s fortified Porto wines, it´s Mateus Rose and varios Vinho Verde wines but there are so many others still left to Discover.

regions please read about the regions here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_wine#Wine_regions
Types:
Vinhos Verdes, Porto/Douro, Bairrada, Bucelas, Colares, Carcavelos, Setúbal, Alentejo, Algarve, Madeira, Tejo

The Vinhos Verde translates as the green wines but means young wine. The wine is not allowed to mature and should be drunk in the same year it is produced. Vinho verde comes in white, red and rose. It is not a grape variety but many and the name refers mainly to its maturing process. It originated in the far north district of Minho but the Vinho Verde district now extends to the south of Minho.

portoPorto/Douro The Porto wines are possibly the best known wines from the Douro regions and the ones that have traded internationally the longest. The Douro region however produces both the fortified Port wines as the lighter to bodied Douro wines. The Douro wines range from light, Bordeaux style claret to rich Burgundian style wines aged in new oak.

Dão Region and wines The Dão region is situated mainly around the Mondego river to the Serra Estrela. The Dão is left to ripen a minimum of 6 months in oak barrels which give it it´s distinctive flavor. Like Port wines it is produced from the Touriga grape.

Bairrada The Bairrada wines originated in the Beirra district. The region is known for its deep colored tannic red wines that often have bell pepper and black currant flavors as well its emerging rosé production.

Colares The Colares district has a very unique history, wine type and production process about which you can read more extensively in our article about
Adega Viuva Gomes close to Lisbon where wine tastings are organized. The vineyards are those of the unique Ramisco grape. The only fully European grape to survive the Phyllovera insect which spread over Europe in the late 19th century.

Almourol castle in the TejoTejoThe Tejo district produces the Ribatejan wines possibly the least known internationally but nevertheless it produces a large selection of award winning excellent wines. The entire disctrict is allowed to use the Tejo VR label and some areas can use the Tejo DOC label. The grapes include Arinto, Cabernet Sauvignon, Camarate, Carignan, Chardonnay, Esgana Cao, Fernao Pires, Jampal, Malvasia Fina, Malvasia Rei, Merlot, Periquita, Pinot noir, Rabo de Ovelha, Sauvignon blanc, Syrah, Tamarez, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Muida, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira das Pratas, Ugni blanc and Vital and the sub districts Almeirin, Santarem, Cartaxo, Tomar, Chamusca and Coruche.

The future for Portuguese wines.
The last decade has seen a decline of wine consumption by the Portuguese younger generations, however export is becoming more and more relevant for the Portuguese wine producers. At the 2013 edition of the International Wine Challenge, Portuguese wines won a total of 57 gold medals and wine tourism is becoming ever more popular with more and more wine producing Quintas opening it´s doors for wine tasting and wine events.

The tendency seems to be more and more on the production of quality wines and less on the table wines making this an exiting time to get to know more about Portuguese wines.

Some terms and labeling

Vinho de Mesa – Table wine
VR (Vinho Regional) – Regional wine not a strict classification
IPR or VQPRD – candidates for DOC status
DOC (Vinho de Calidad) – Quality wine subject to strict regulations and certain districts-
CVR – Wines produced in a specific region from at least 85% of locally grown grapes.
Reserva – Quality wines that have been aged for a minimum of 3 years subject to strict regulations

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