A perfect destination for luxury travel at a great value

By Bonnie Sherman, Protravel International Luxury Travel Agent

Portugal is one of Europe’s great values today. It has all the history and beauty of more-visited countries, but at a much lower price and with fewer crowds. I send a lot of multi-generational family groups there for its beautiful resorts as well as its Tuscan-style villas and great wine-growing culture. 

Ariel view of the Duoro Valley Wine Vineyard during luxury international vacation to Portugal

A nice thing about Portuguese villas is that they allow you to be immersed in the destination in addition to providing extended families and friend groups a shared living area to gather and enjoy each others' company. For many families, I will arrange a private chef for some meals and others they cook on their own or enjoy local restaurants. Often, I will arrange both cooking as well as basic language classes. And we can bring in private wine and cheese tastings, or you can go out and enjoy them at a local vineyard.

Villa life is not for everyone. Groups with teenagers, college students or travelers seeking a lot of on-site activities, are happier in a resort setting or a city center where there is the option of nightlife. For them, the Algarve has many options. There are beaches, lots of activities and plenty of clubs.

View of the Duoro RIver at sunset during international luxury vacation to Portugal

The Douro River winds through the heart of Portugal’s wine country, so it is not surprising that Portugal has become a popular river cruising destination. I can help match you with the perfect ship for your style of travel.

For a truly unique travel experience, you might consider the Azores, an archipelago of nine islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Here, in addition to lovely white sand beaches, there are black sand beaches resulting from the islands’ volcanic origins. However, the main emphasis is not on the beach; it is more of a natural paradise with untrammeled hiking trails that lead to secluded waterfalls.

View of humpback whale breaching through waters of the pico island during luxury international vacation to the Azores in Portugal

One of the most unusual of the islands is São Miguel, the biggest and most populated, where you can soak in natural hot springs and hike through towering forests. Pico, the second biggest island, has wine vineyards along the coast. You can also visit the volcano interpretation center at Faial, the island that had the most recent eruption, in 1957. Plus, the waters between Pico and Faial are a top area for whale and dolphin watching.

View of freshly grilled limpets garnished with lemon during luxury international vacation to Portugal

Since the Azores is in the middle of the Atlantic north, different species of wildlife migrate right by the islands, so you have a good chance of observing many species. A second Atlantic archipelago, Madeira, is known for its wine, gastronomy, history, and culture. Embroidery is an art form here and its ancient forests and beautiful mountains draw hikers and nature lovers year-round.

 

If you are looking for a European destination that offers more value and fewer crowds, along with fascinating historic sites, top-tier food and wine, and wonderful villas, resorts, and recreational opportunities, let’s talk about Portugal.

View of outdoor dining at the Conrad Algarve in Almancil Portugal

Conrad Algarve

Estrada da Quinta do Lago, Almancil, Portugal

  • Complimentary Buffet breakfast for two daily
  • Early check-in upon availability
  • Property will offer late check-out upon availability
  • Property will offer upgrade upon availability at time of check-in
  • High-Speed/Enhanced Wi-Fi
View of suite inside the Olissippo Lapa Palace in Portugal, luxury hotel

Olissippo Lapa Palace

Rua do Pau de Bandeira, No 4, Lisbon, Portugal

  • 100 USD Food & Beverage credit; 1/2 bottle port wine
  • Complimentary Continental breakfast for two daily (in room)
  • Property will offer upgrade upon availability at time of check-in
  • Early check-in upon availability
  • Property will offer late check-out upon availability
  • High-Speed/Enhanced Wi-Fi
View of pool at the Belmond Reid

Belmond Reid's Palace

Madeira, Portugal

  • Complimentary Buffet breakfast for two daily
  • Property will offer upgrade upon availability at time of check-in
  • Early check-in upon availability
  • Property will offer late check-out upon availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
Ariel view of Six Senses Douro Valley property in Portugal

Six Senses Douro Valley

Lamego, Portugal

  • US$100 Resort credit
  • Complimentary Buffet breakfast for two daily
  • Property will offer upgrade upon availability at time of check-in
  • Early check-in upon availability
  • Property will offer late check-out upon availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

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