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Staff Picks: 5 New Experiences to Enjoy in Portugal this Year!

Happy New Year from the Catavino Team!

With the year just kicking off, welcoming heaps of new opportunities, a trip to Portugal should be at the top of your list! Brimming with soulful foods, diverse wines and stunning natural wonders, it’s no wonder that Portugal has been rated as one of the top tourism destinations in Europe. But what are the hidden Portuguese treasures most overlooked by tourists? We have a few ideas!

Catavino’s Staff’s Recommendations for 2017 in Portugal

madeira-oliveriasRyan CEO – 2017 is the year to try a Madeira wine! (check our Madeira tour too!) Think nuts, caramel and dried fruits swirling in a bright, vibrant liquid. You’ll wonder how something so packed with sugar can taste so dry! With its racy acidity and cornucopia of flavors, you’ll wonder what took you so long to savor it. Better yet, if you really want to fall in love, make it your resolution to visit the island where they originate. Madeira is not only beautiful, but has loads of food and flavors to enjoy!

Andreia Office Ninja – If you’re a music lover, buy a ticket to the Paredes de Coura Festival! Over the past 25 years, hundreds of incredible bands have played in this cozy northern village over the course of five days. From bluesy jazz to hardcore rock, the lineup is not only exceptional, but so is the setting. The stage is set within a grassy embankment surrounded by trees and just stones throw from the river, making it an idillic natural environment to disconnect and enjoy the music. Vast camping spaces are available, and traditional meals are served within the village of Paredes de Coura. This is a music festival not to miss. (photo by Ryan Opaz)

Caldeira Velha AzoresAna Tour Coordinator – Nestled in the mid-Atlantic, some 1,500 km to the west of Lisbon, lies the lush green archipelago of the Azores. The Azores is a collection of nine islands, the biggest of which is the São Miguel….which I’ve had the privilege of visiting twice in my life. I say “privilege” because on the North slope of the Fogo volcano you’ll find a thermal…waterfall to swim in called Caldeira Velha ! If this hot spring isn’t appealing enough, know that you’ll be relaxing among a dense forest of tropical plants, which basically makes every single concern you’ve ever had just simmer away in a relaxing pool of fabulousness.

Sonia Writer – It’s almost impossible to ask me this question as there are zillions of Portuguese flavors I desperately feel people should try in 2017, but I’ll go for the least experienced – Maranho. It’s one of the more unique foods in Portuguese cuisine, originating in the Serta region of central Portugal. Maranho is flavorful enchido (sausage) made with goat meat, or mutton, mixed with rice and a generous amount of fresh aromatic herbs, particularly mint. Not the easiest to source, but Maranho is by far one of the most exquisite Portuguese flavors you’ll ever experience! (photo by David Stanley)

Rota Vincente PortugalGabriella Co-Founder – The Portuguese are famous for many things, but their adoration of the sea far exceeds anything else. From perfectly grilled fish to world-renown surfers, the sea has always been the base of Portuguese culture. Which is why Portugal has gained notoriety for their beautifully curated walking trails that hug the Atlantic. My suggestion, check out the Rota Vicentina. Extending approximately 340km along one of the most beautiful and best preserved coastal areas of Europe, it’s a phenomenal objective to put on your 2017 bucket-list. (photo by Dani Alvarez)

We hope these give you some ideas for things to do, taste and sip on this coming year! Let us know if you have a favorite hidden treasure that we should share.

Cheers from the whole Catavino Team

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