Sunday, August 28, 2011

PORTUGAL

(does not include Alentejo, Algarve, or Evora regions or city of Lisbon)

SERVICES
Heritage Tours Private Travel – 121 West 27th Street, Suite 1201; 212-206-8400 or 800-378-4555; heritagetoursonline.com; operated by Joel Zack; can arrange tours throughout country; can focus on Jewish heritage.
Pousadas – pousadas.pt; government-supported Pousada (castles, manor houses, and monasteries now open for accommodations) network.



AVEIRO
Luso
Hotels
Bussaco Palace Hotel – Mato do Bussaco; 011-351-21-193-7970; almeidahotels.com; in natural woodland reserve; architecturally is Portuguese Manueline style; renowned destination for luxury and ornate decoration; lobby, saloons, and staircases adorned with paintings and stuccoes; landscaped gardens.



BRAGA
Guimaraes
Bars & Nightclubs
Cerverjaria Martins – Largo do Toural 33-34; 011-351-25-341-6330; beer joint on Toural square.
Sao Mamede – Rua Dr. Jose Sampaio 17-25; 011-351-25-354-7028; sao-mamede.com; after-hours.
Hotels
Pousada de Santa Marinha da Costa – Largo Domingos Leite de Castro; 011-351-25-351-1249; pousadas.pt; among Portugal’s most noteworthy pousadas; immaculately preserved cloisters and fonts; lovely terrace with city views.
Hotel Toural – Largo Antonio Leite de Carvalho; 011-351-25-351-7184; hoteltoural.com; lovely, flower-filled courtyard; reasonable.
Restaurants
Adega dos Caquinhos – Rua Arrochela; 011-351-25-351-6917; try veal chop.
Historico – Rua de Val Donas; 011-351-91-542-9700; papaboa.pt; in renovated 17th Century palace; live Fado; try bacalhau baked in potato casserole or alheira (crusty sausage made from bread, chicken, and partridge).
Restaurante DOP – Palacio das Artes, Largo Santo Domingos 18; 011-351-22-201-4313; ruipaula.com; crisp minimalist space that offers working man’s snack, Francesinha (beef, cheese, ham, and sausage sandwich with beer-tomato sauce), remastered; also good are John Dory filets; good for dinner; substantial wine list.
Sao Giao – Rua Comendador Joaquim de Alameida Freitas 56 (outside Guimaraes, in Moreira de Conegos); 011-351-25-356-1853; panoramic windows over valley views; refined Portuguese food; elegant small plates.
Services
Trams – Avenida Fernão de Magalhães, 1862-13 (run by Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto (STCP)); 011-351-22-507-1000; stcp.pt/en/stcp.
Shopping
Manteigaria do Bolhao – Rua Fernandes Tomas (at Mercado do Bolhao, Loja 2); 011-351-22-200-1196; cured meats.
Sights & Sites
Center for Arts & Architecture – centroaaa.org.
Centro Cultural Vila Flor – Avenida D. Afonso Henriques, 701; 011-351-25-342-4700; ccvf.pt; cultural center with excellent restaurant; in converted, 18th Century palace.
Hard Club – Praca do Infante 95 (at former Mercado Ferreira Borges); 011-351-70-710-0021; hard-club.com; renovated glass-and-steel structure that houses art exhibits, bars, bookstore, concert halls, patio, and restaurants.
Mercado do Bolhao – Rua da Sa da Bandeira (at Rua Formosa); manifestobolhao.blogspot.com; open since 1914; acres of grand staircases, white tiles, and wrought iron; somewhat dilapidated; gourmet foodstuffs in stalls.
Paco dos Duques de Braganca – Rua Conde D. Henrique; 011-351-25-341-2273; pduques.imc-ip.pt; Braganza Dukes’ palace.
Projecto – Parque das Hortas; no telephone; music venue.
Sao Mamede – Rua Dr. Jose Sampaio 17-25; 011-351-25-354-7028; sao-mamede.com; after-hours arts spot.
Tram Line No. 1 – near Praca do Infante Square; 011-351-22-507-1000; stcp.pt/en/stcp; Tram Line No. 1 runs from Passeio Alegre to Infante Stations pick it up near Praca do Infante; makes for easy, scenic tour city west to Atlantic Ocean; drops you off in Foz do Douro district.



CENTRO
Guarda (includes Marialva & Vila Nova Foz Côa)
Hotels
Casas do Coro – Largo do Coro (Marialva); 011-351-30-880-4922; casasdocoro.pt; magical; only place to stay.
Sights & Sites
Côa Museum – Rua do Museu (Vila Nova Foz Côa); 011-351-27-976-8260 or 011-351-27-976-8261; arte-coa.pt or visitcentrodeportugal.com.pt/coa-museum; magnificent architecture.
Marialva – picturesque village worth special trip; considered apparition of middle ages.
Prehistoric Rock-Art Site of Côa Valley & Siega Verde – Rua do Museu (Vila Nova Foz Côa); 011-351-27-976-8260; whc.unesco.org/en/list/866; 2 Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in Côa Valley (Portugal) & Siega Verde (Spain) are located on Agueda & Côa River banks (both are tributaries of Douro River); document continuous human occupation from Paleolithic Age’s end; 100s of panels with Ks of animal figures (5K in Foz Côa & around 440 in Siega Verde) carved over several millennia, representing most remarkable open-air Paleolithic art ensemble on Iberian Peninsula.
Quinta da Ervamoira Vineyard – Muxagata (Vila Nova de Foz Côa, within Archaeological Parque Zone); 011-351-27-975-9229; ramospinto.pt; houses museum of region’s history.
Serra da Estrela Natural Park – Seia-Covilha; 011-351-275-319-569; icnf.pt/portal/ap/p-nat/pnse; make sure to see Albufeira da Barragem do Covão dos Conchos, perhaps loveliest waterhole in world; Covilha is ancient town dating back to 12th Century that flourished through woollen industry, mainly run by town’s Jewish population & town has been manufacturer leader since Moorish times; university town since 1979; Mangualde in Beiras surrounded by orchards & vineyards, on ridge between Dão & Mondego Rivers, little town of Mangualde is within striking distance of Serra da Estrela Mountains & lies only short distance from well-known & historic town of Viseu; few miles from Mangualde is Gouveia, virtually start of Serra da Estrela & protected national park; roads are narrow & winding with deep ravines & on clear day can see sea – almost 150 kms away; Torre Peak is tallest in Portugal at 1993 metres, with which Dom Joao VI dissatisfied, so he built tower on top raising height to 2K meters; halfway through descent from Serra da Estrela, you come to Manteigas; Alpine in looks, lying in deep tree-filled valley, with steep streets in town; leaving Manteigas, by very sharp hairpinned descent all way down to old town of Covilha.



COIMBRA (includes Alcobaça & Batalha)
Coimbra
Sights & Sites
Alcobaça Monastery – Praça 25 de Abril or 516 Mosteiro (Alcobaça); 011-351-26-258-3909; mosteiroalcobaca.pt or whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=505; UNESCO World Heritage Site; Mediaeval Roman Catholic Monastery founded by 1st Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, in 1153; maintained close association with Portuguese Kings throughout its history; church and monastery were Portugal’s 1st Gothic buildings and, together with Santa Cruz Monastery (Coimbra), among Portugal’s most important medieval monasteries; was founded as gift to Bernard of Clairvaux and to commemorate royal victory over Moors at Santarém in March 1147; completed in 1252; its library among largest Portuguese medieval libraries, but French pillaged in 1810, and anti-clerical rioting took more volumes in 1834 (when Portuguese religious orders dissolved); many royals buried on-site in 13th-14th Centuries; Kings Afonso II, Afonso III, and their Queens Urraca of Castile (most remarkable tomb) and Beatrice of Castile, and Pedro I (and his mistress, Inês de Castro, who was murdered on Pedro’s father’s, King Afonso IV, orders); smaller tombs of unidentified princes; kitchen, commented upon by Patrick Leigh Fermor, built and covered with mid-18th Century tiles, contains enormous central chimney (supported by 8 iron columns); fresh fish and water diverted from Alcoa River to kitchen basin through specially-built canal still visible today.
Batalha Monastery – Praça Mouzinho de Albuquerque (Batalha); 011-351-24-476-5497; mosteirobatalha.pt or whc.unesco.org/en/list/264; UNESCO World Heritage site; literally, “Battle Monastery”; originally, and officially, as Monastery of Saint Mary of Victory (Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitória); erected to commemorate 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota; served as 15th Century Portuguese Royalty Aviz Dynasty burial church; among Portugal’s best, original Late Gothic architecture examples, intermingled with Manueline style; took from 1386 to 1517 to build (spaned 7 kings’ reigns); 15 architects (Mestre das Obras da Batalha); 1755 earthquake did some damage, but much greater damage inflicted by Napoleonic troops, who burned and sacked complex in 1810-11; Dominicans expelled 1834 & church-convent abandoned and left to fall in ruins; in 1840, King Ferdinand II started restoration program; declared national monument in 1907; in 1980 turned into museum.
Biblioteca Joanina – Pátio das Escolas (Largo da Porta Férrea, at Universidade de Coimbra); 011-351-23-985-9841; bibliotecajoanina.uc.pt/en/a_biblioteca_en; Baroque library built in 18th Century (under King João V & named after him); 3 great rooms divided by decorated arches in gilded or painted exotic woods; painted ceilings by Lisbon artists Simões Ribeiro & Vicente Nunes; 250K volumes, namely works of medicine, geography, history, humanistic studies, science, civil and canon law, philosophy and theology.
Se Velha de Coimbra – Largo da Se Velha; 011-351-23-982-5273; “old cathedral.”



FARO
Algarve Coast
Hotels
Hotel Quinta do Lago – Quinta do Lago, Almancil 011-351-28-935-0350; quintadolagohotel.com; isolated coastline locale; all rooms have terraces with Atlantic views; good restaurant.



LEIRIA
Alcobaca
Sights & Sites
Alcobaca Monastery – 516 Mosteiro Alcobaca; 011-351-26-258-3909; igespar.pt; medieval Roman Catholic monastery, founded by 1st Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, in 1153; 1st Gothic buildings in Portugal; UNESCO World Heritage Site as of 1989.

Batalha
Sights & Sites
Batalha Monastery – Praca Mouzinho de Albuquerque; 011-351-24-476-5497; fundacao-aljubarrota.pt; Portugal King Joao I vowed that if his outnumbered army defeated Castilians at Battle of Aljubarrota (1385), he would build magnificent monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary; king victorious, resulting in Portugal’s independence from Spain and this monastery’s construction; given to Dominicans; in Gothic and Manueline styles; UNESCO World Heritage List since 1983.

Nazare
Sights & Sites
Church of Nossa Senhora da Nazare – imposing church located on O Sitio hilltop; legend that Porto de Mos sheriff (alcaide), Dom Fuas Roupinho (templar?) chasing on horseback deer up hill on misty September morning in 1182; deer jumps over edge into void, horse about to follow; knight invokes Madonna’s intervention, who makes horse turn away, saving knight; subsequently, chapel A Ermida da Memoria built over grotto where stands small Black Madonna statue, brought from Nazareth; church, founded in 14th Century, rebuilt in 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries; gilt coffer ceiling; on September 8th each year romaria (religious festival) draws many with bullfights, folk dancing, and processions.

Obidos
Hotels
Pousada do Castelo – Rua do Castela; 011-351-26-295-5080; pousadas.pt; luxury hotel within centuries-old beautiful castle walls that encircle the village; 1st Pousada to be adapted and restored from a historical monument.



LISBON
Cascais
Beaches
Guincho – dramatic dunes with view over Cabo da Roca, continental Europe’s westernmost point.
Hotels
Oitavos – Rua da Oitavos (Quinta da Marinha); 011-351-21-486-0020; theoitavos.com; hotel-spa.
Pousada de Cascais-Cidadela – Avenida Dom Carlos I; 011-351-21-040-1712; pousadas.pt; situated along waterfront in upscale Lisbon suburb; former royal residence; 26 rooms.
Vivamarinha Hotel – Rua das Palmeiras Lote 5 (Quinta Da Marinha); 011-351-21-482-910; vivamarinha.com.
Sights & Sites
Casa das Historias (Museu Paula Rego) – 300 Avenida República; 011-351-21-482-6970; casadashistoriaspaularego.com/en; museum devoted to Paula Rego’s works, Portugal’s most famous contemporary painter.

Ericeira
Sights & Sites
Ribeira d’Ilhas Beach – widely regarded as Europe’s best surfing beach; ASP World Tour Surf Championship held here.

Estoril
Hotels
Palácio Estoril Hotel – Rua do Parque Natural (Estoril); 011-351-21-464-8000; slh.com/hotels/palacio-estoril; testament to understated 1930s elegance; surrounded by manicured gardens with magnificent sea views; sophisticated retreat offers elegant rooms & suites, holistic spa, refined dining & 18-hole golf course.
Sights & Sites
Complexo Museologico de San Miguel de Odrinhas – Avenida Professor Doutor Fernando de Almeid; 011-351-21-961-3574; museudeodrinhas.no.sapo.pt; collection dates back to mid-16th Century, when Humanist scholar group begin to classify their archaeological findings; numerous Roman patios and other ruins; permanent exhibition includes Etruscan, Portuguese, Roman, and Visigoth inscriptions; also section containing mid-Palaeolithic period items; Roman villa and megalithic sanctuary (Monte da Barreira) part of complex; numerous cromlechs, menhirs, and tumuli; closed Mondays.

Lourinhã
Sights & Sites
Museu da Lourinhã – 95 Rua João Luís de Moura; 011-351-26-141-4003; museulourinha.org/en/home.htm; complete exhibits of archaeology & ethnology, but main focus is palaeontology hall, which presents casts of famous dinosaurs, as well as fossils recovered from Late Jurassic Lourinhã Formation; among these is famous theropod nest found at Paimogo Beach, which contains eggs with embryos inside, probably belonging to Lourinhanosaurus.

Sintra
Hotels
Penha Longa Hotel Spa & Golf Resort – Estrada da Lagoa Azul; 011-351-21-924-9011; penhalonga.com; palazzo-style property in World Heritage Site, surrounded by historical treasures; private balconies face mountains; good restaurant.
Sights & Sites
Parque da Pena Park Sintra – Estrada da Pena (São Pedro de Penaferrim); 011-351-21-923-7300; sintra-portugal.com/Attractions/Parque-da-Pena-Sintra.html; vast forested area completely surrounding Pena Palace; worth special trip.
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Pena Palace – Estrada da Pena (São Pedro de Penaferrim); 011-351-21-923-7300; sintra-portugal.com/Attractions/palacio-pena-palace-sintra.html; Romanticist castle; worth special trip.
Quinta da Regaleira – historic city center; 011-351-21-910-6656; regaleira.pt; UNESCO World Heritage Site; chapel & palace; park features lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, & vast array constructions.



MADEIRA
Funchal
Hotels
Reid’s Palace Hotel – 139, Estrada Monumental; 011-351-291-717-171; orient-express.com; opened in 1891; stately guestrooms surrounded by gardens; open-air terraces; no good beaches nearby; coat and tie required for dining room; on Madeira Island; set on cliff tops overlooking Funchal Bay and Atlantic Ocean; located on 10 acres subtropical gardens; sea access; within walking distance of Funchal’s shops, restaurants, and night-life.
Sights & Sites
Porto Santo – semi-deserted island, 2 hours away by ferry or 15 minutes by plane ($200); 5-mile long beach with golden, ultra-fine sand.



PORTO
Oliveira de Azeméis
Sites & Sights
Casa do Professor, – Centro; abandoned home.

Oporto (also known as Porto)
Bars & Nightclubs
Baixa Bar – Rua Candido dos Reis 52 (Clerigos); 011-351-226-165-000 or 011-351-91-701-2264; baixa.pt; modern and stylish in former fabric warehouse; boulder-size disco ball hangs over floor; try cocktail, Cosmo Porto (Cointreau, Port, and red fruit).
Galeria de Paris – Rua Galeria de Paris (Clerigos); 011-351-93-421-0792; galeriadeparis.com; filled with vintage radios, old sewing machines, etc.; Jules Verne-ish.
Shis – Praia do Ourigo, Esplanada do Castelo (Foz do Douro); 011-351-22-618-9593; shisrestaurante.com; stylish beachfront location; great for drinks on terrace.
Hotels
4 Rooms – 1015 Rua Padre Luis Cabral (old Foz District); 011-351-92-919-0406; 4rooms.org; affordable; seaside retreat hidden away in unmarked townhouse; best of 4 suites is white-on-white loft with floor-to-ceiling window that faces private courtyard.
Gallery Hostel – Rua Miguel 222; 011-351-22-496-4313; gallery-hostel.com; townhouse-style space that features art exhibits, bar, cinema lounge, city tours, garden, and library.
Palacio do Freixo – Estrada Nacional 108; 011-351-22-531-1000; pousadas.com; magnificently restored Baroque palace and former factory next door.
Quinta do Vallado – Vilarinho dos Freires, Peso da Regua; 011-351-93-910-3591; quintadovallado.com; 5 colorful guestrooms in vineyard with pool and splendid views.
Yeatman – Rua do Choupelo (Vila Nova de Gaia); 011-351-22-013-3100; the-yeatman-hotel.com; “luxury wine hotel.”
Restaurants
Book – Rua de Aviz 10; 011-351-91-795-3387; restaurante-book.com; candlelit, cozy, and self-consciously literary; nouveau Portuguese cuisine; great fish soup; also, try sponge cake for dessert.
Bugo Art Burgers – Rua Miguel Bombarda 598; 011-351-22-606-2179; bugo.com.pt; try Porto e Serra burger (beef is port-soaked and topped with serra da estrela cheese) or Cod Burger (bacalhau patty).
Casa da Mariquinhas – Rua San Sebastiao 25; 011-351-91-561-3877; restaurant that also serves as fado music hall.
DOC – Estrada Nacional 222, Folgosa; 011-351-25-485-8123; ruipaula.com; 1 of country’s most acclaimed chefs; creative riffs on Portuguese cooking.
Restaurante Casa Aleixo – Rua da Estacao 216; 011-351-22-537-0462; old world charm; terrific fried octopus.
Restaurante DOP – Palacio das Artes, Largo Santo Domingos 18; 011-351-22-201-4313; ruipaula.com; crisp minimalist space that offers working man’s snack, Francesinha (beef, cheese, ham, and sausage sandwich with beer-tomato sauce), remastered; also good are John Dory filets; good for dinner; substantial wine list.
Shis – Praia do Ourigo, Esplanada do Castelo (Foz do Douro); 011-351-22-618-9593; shisrestaurante.com; stylish beachfront location.
Services
Trams – Avenida Fernão de Magalhaes, 1862-13 (run by Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto (STCP)); 011-351-22-507-1000; stcp.pt/en/stcp.
Shopping
Centro Comercial Bombarda – Rua Miguel Bombarda 283-285; 011-351-93-433-7703; ccbombarda.blogspot.com; although technically “mall,” devoted largely to independent Portuguese designers.
Manteigaria do Bolhao – Rua Fernandes Tomas (at Mercado do Bolhao, Loja 2); 011-351-22-200-1196; cured meats.
Piurra – Rua Miguel Bombarda 283-285 (at Centro Comercial Bombarda); 011-351-22-201-6012; piurra.com; minimalist cabinetry enlivened with colorful textiles.
Sandeman – Largo Miguel Bombarda 3 (Vila Nova de Gaia); 011-351-22-374-0534; sandeman.eu; Port.
Storytailors – Rua Miguel Bombarda 283-285 (at Centro Comercial Bombarda); 011-351-22-201-7409; storytailors.pt; cult, Portuguese label.
Sights & Sites
Casa da Mariquinhas – Rua San Sebastiao 25; 011-351-91-561-3877; fado music hall.
Casa de Musica – Avenida da Boavista 604-610; 011-351-22-012-0200; casademusica.com; designed by Rem Koolhaas; ask to see Orange and VIP rooms (take guided tour).
Fundacao Serralves – Rua Dom Joao de Castro 210; 011-351-80-820-0543; serralves.pt; art museum; lovely gardens.
Hard Club – Praca do Infante 95 (at former Mercado Ferreira Borges); 011-351-70-710-0021; hard-club.com; renovated glass-and-steel structure that houses art exhibits, bars, bookstore, concert halls, patio, and restaurants.
Mercado do Bolhao – Rua da Sa da Bandeira (at Rua Formosa); manifestobolhao.blogspot.com; open since 1914; acres of grand staircases, white tiles, and wrought iron; somewhat dilapidated; gourmet foodstuffs in stalls.
Tram Line #1 – near Praca do Infante Square; 011-351-22-507-1000; stcp.pt/en/stcp; Tram Line No. 1 runs from Passeio Alegre to Infante Stations pick it up near Praca do Infante; makes for easy, scenic tour city west to Atlantic Ocean; drops you off in Foz do Douro district.

Ribeira
Restaurants
Filha da Mãe Preta – 39 Cais da Ribeira; 011-351-22-205-5515; filhadamaepreta.com/pt.
D. Tonho – 13-15 Cais da Ribeira; 011-351-22-200-4307; dtonho.com.

Vidago
Hotels
Vidago Palace Hotel – Parque de Vidago, Apartado 16; 011-351-27-699-0920; vidagopalace.com/en.

Vila Nova de Gaia
Hotels
Yeatman Hotel – Rua do Choupelo (Santa Marinha); 011-351-22-013-3100; the-yeatman-hotel.com; in port-wine country; 76 rooms; try to get Master Suite 008.



SERRA DA ESTRELA
Seia
Sights & Sites
Lagoa Comprida – Regional Road 339; beautiful, old glacial lagoon in mountains.
Torre – Regional Road 339; 011-351-275-319-560 (tourism office in Covilhã); rt-serradaestrela.pt/index.php/pt; monument that marks mainland Portugal’s highest point; 2nd-most elevated in Portuguese Republic (only Mount Pico, in Azores, is higher); not distinctive mountain summit, but rather highest point in mountain range; accessible by paved road; tower also gives name to locality where situated.



VISEU
Viseu
Hotels
Pousada – Rua do Hospital; 011-351-29-172-1405; pousadadeviseu.com; former hospital, now hotel; spa.

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