Because you need to get on your two feet again once the coronavirus pandemic is over!
About the author here
Coping with the coronavirus
From China to the world, the coronavirus has infected thousands of people, has put countries on alert and threatens the pace of the global economy. Portugal is no exception and the tourism sector, in particular, will suffer greatly from the economic consequences of this pandemic. Without secure and reliable data, we should probably contain it the best way we can: with home confinement. As such, with the disease peak predicted to take place on late April, and given the risk assessment taken by EU’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and many other national authorities, on March 18th, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa declared a state of emergency in Portugal, thus giving special powers to the executive branch led by our Prime-Minister António Costa (Semi-presidential system).
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa – President of Portugal
Most Portuguese, me included, had already been following a confinement policy for some time, and we do believe that at this point this is the best we can do… Only time and proper distancing will then prove if we did the correct thing or not. In the meantime, we can expect the burden of self-isolation and confinement to ensue. Anxiety and depression may take place scholars say, and that’s not all. We will become less productive and our cognitive abilities crippled. It’s not hard to understand why. Most of us are losing routines, we interact less with people, our working ability goes down, our children require more of us, we exercise less, we feel claustrophobic, the list goes on and on… Keeping your head up and holding a specific set of rules is the best you can try, but that might not be enough.
Luckily, we live in the 21st century and there are many tools available to help you go through this unscathed: anxiety apps such as headspace or calm, online exercise routines such as Aaptiv or the 7-minute workout (visit Youtube for some videos) and group chats such as Houseparty. Except for seriously affected psychological patients, whose condition will most likely worsen, this crisis should be quite easy to go through for most of us… I mean, this is not war or famine (think about what’s happening in Yemen or Syria right now).
Go on vacation!
Most experts say that this pandemic will end by June-July if most countries take strong action. So, it will end eventually, probably sooner than we all think. Good news! That means we can go on vacation and travel! And we should do that if we have the chance. There are many benefits from going on vacations, especially after a pandemic mess that instigates a quarantine behavior. Going on vacation and traveling can improve your satisfaction with life, improve your sleep quality, boost your creativity, enhance your cognitive ability and reduce anxiety by diverting your attention to something positive, something you love. Need we say more?
As such, once this mess is over, get out and travel! But where you might ask? Portugal of course! I’m not saying this just because… Think with me. By the end of this crisis, you will be craving some sun, great outdoors, tasty food and great wine to celebrate with your family and friends. Coincidence or not, Portugal’s popularity as a travel destination comes from well-rounded attributes that most people value: good weather, nice people, great food, great wine, a balanced travel budget, amazing heritage and great outdoors! That’s why we believe that the end of this crisis will be a marriage made in heaven between your vacation needs and the great touristic qualities that Portugal boasts.
Your revenge trip
Lately, we’ve been using the communication signature “Stay home and travel with us on your couch” on our social media posts, both on Facebook and Instagram. We think it’s a great line and besides, it matches our role as content providers and tour organizers. That being said, we thought we could do more. As such, and with a “Stay home and travel with us on your couch” mindset, we decided to prepare for the end of this pandemic with a 5-day itinerary dedicated to celebrating life! Not only it will be a useful tool for your future travel plans in case you do decide to visit us, but in the meantime, it will help you “travel on your couch”!
It won’t be the classical guide that details all the “must-see” attractions and locations. It will be instead a simplified version of an itinerary fully dedicated to helping you get on your feet again. We won’t lay out what you must do with detail, we’ll leave that to you. Why? Because this is a revenge trip! As such, you will do whatever you want to! We’ll simply point you in the right direction! So without further ado here it goes:
Day 1- Riverfront Lisbon: The first day of your revenge trip will take place in Lisbon, but not in the historical area. Instead, you will only visit the riverside area to boost your vitamin D while you check some of the coolest attractions in Europe. Let your senses flow while you wander in the beautiful riverside area of Tagus’ estuary…
What to do: Walk the 5.4km stretch between Alcântara and Algés. Contact us to do our Insolit Lisbon tour.
What to visit: Tower of Belém, Jerónimos Monastery, Discoveries Monument, National carriage museum.
Where to eat: La Siesta Cocina Mexicana, Darwin’s Café, Esplanada à Margem, Doca Peixe, Lx Factory market, La chat.
Tower of Belém – The perfect monument for the perfect revenge trip
Day 2- Let’s eat countryside style: One cannot leave Portugal without experiencing its rich and diverse countryside. Especially if you’re looking to meet a different side of our country, a side with a soul of its own. Get out of Lisbon and head towards the Alentejo region for a day dedicated to food, wine, crafts, and heritage! It’s a place where the landscapes, nature and the bucolic life invite you to relax and enjoy a moment of calm and tranquility, ideal for this post-coronavirus revenge trip!
What to do: Rent a car and drive from Lisbon towards the district of Évora for a day in the countryside. Get yourself lost in the region’s quaint villages and get some of the most genuine experiences you can have in Portugal. You can also hire our services and trust that we’ll provide you with the best experience as well!
What to visit: Évora (1 full day of visit – UNESCO World Heritage site), Plenty of crafts (rugs in Arraiolos, clay figures in Estremoz to name a few), plenty of wine tourism, cork tourism, Vila Viçosa. Check here if you’re curious about bullfighting, it’s quite popular in the region.
Where to eat: O Fialho (Évora), O Templo (Évora) Pátio dos petiscos (Montemor), O Pelourinho (Arraiolos), Adega do Isaías (Estremoz),
Alentejo and its World famous plains
Day 3- Surf’s up!: You didn’t do much exercise during the coronavirus crisis. It’s no use telling otherwise! As such, we recommend a day dedicated to the beach and Portugal’s most iconic individual sport: surf. With surfers Tiago Pires and Frederico Morais carrying the Portuguese banner in the surfing world, we’ve had our share of top division surfers, and part of the reason why, it’s due to Portugal’s top-quality coastline. Probably the best place to do some surfing is in the “Oeste” region, where the famous Nazaré giant wave is located. But don’t worry! There are plenty of beginner-level waves out there!
What to do: choose a town, a beach, a school and surf!
What to visit: choose one of the following beach towns for your surf adventure: Ericeira, Peniche or Nazaré.
Where to eat: Just choose one of the plenty of seaside restaurants for a nice seafood meal!
Day 4 – Riverfront Porto: The second most populated city of Portugal is a true European gem, and much like Lisbon, holds some of the best landmarks, attractions, and gastronomy the country has to offer. Also, just like its “rival” city, it sits by the river mouth so it also boasts plenty of great promenade opportunities, seafront cafés, and great landscapes.
What to do: Stroll lazily around the “zona da Ribeira” and the old district.
What to visit: Walk across D.Luis bridge, Portwine tasting across the river, walk the riverside in “zona ribeirinha”, visit S.Francisco church, visit the “Palácio da bolsa”, visit Porto’s Sé and check out the tiles in S.Bento train station.
Where to eat: Taberna dos mercadores, Ribeira Square, Casa Guedes (a small detour but worth it!), Vinum (across the river in Gaia), The Blini (Gaia), Yeatman (Gaia).
Day 5: If you read our post about wine in Portugal, you know that the wine region of Douro is the most well-known and reputable in Portugal. In the beginning, let’s say the 18th century, this region was known mostly for Port Wine production (a type of fortified wine – usually 18% alcohol level), but slowly this changed, and is now highly regarded also for its table wine. In particular, its red wine is top in the World and highly prized for its “body” and the ability to age well over the years.
What to do: You can either 1) rent a car drive, 2) get inside the historic Douro train or 3) take one of many 1-day long river cruises. The whole idea is to get familiar with the landscape, the vineyards and of course the wine!
What to visit: visit Quinta do Seixo (For Port Wine) and Quinta do Valado (For table wine) for wine tours. Check out the amazing Solar Mateus near Vila Real, do the Romanesque tour alongside the Douro.
Where to eat: Solar do Montemuro (Cinfães), Sus Douro (Peso da Régua), Tasca da Quinta (Peso da Régua), Aneto & Table (Peso da Régua), Conceitus Winery Restaurant (Pinhão).
The amazing 18th century palace “Solar Mateus”
Getting on your two feet again is paramount once the covid-19 outbreak is over (coronavirus). Most people will feel like they’re leaving a hibernation period, with no energy, motivation, and creativity. Vacations and traveling, in particular, are not the cure but are at least part of it. We wish you a happy post-coronavirus recovery and sincerely hope that you do a revenge trip with us!
Authentic experiences for authentic travelers.
Written by: Francisco Carvalho Neto
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