Sometimes you just need to get away from all things familiar, take a small library of books and a well-charged iPod and just relax. Beaches are perfect for that.
If you are looking for a quiet, off the beaten path vacation in Europe, you should look into visiting the small fishing village of Salema. Located on the southwestern tip of Portugal, you will find this small town a happy mix between an old town and exclusive getaway.
Even still, locals treat tourists like family and have a good relationship with each other. Ladies catch sun on the warm beach while local fisherman mend nets and haul in their catch.
Enjoy some of the best food you’ll ever find in Portugal. Plenty of fresh seafood and Portuguese red wine are a staple every evening at local restaurants, and you’ll find more than a few waiters that are fluent in English. Check out vinho verde while you are there, too, which is crisp, refreshing green wine – a local specialty.
One great thing about Salema is that it is still relatively undiscovered by most tourists, especially American tourists. Most British and German residents come down for quick holidays, so for the most part, the city is not fogged with a skyline of condos and chain restaurants.
Those are the best three words to describe a traditional Portugese dish called Bacalhau, which is translated as “dried and salted codfish.”
There are many other words people may use to describe this dish, mainly because it has been said there are over 1,000 recipes in Portugal alone! This is usually the case among most Portuguese dishes, which consists largely of seafood.
This traditional dish became common because of its popularity among the Catholic population. Because devout Roman Catholics generally avoid eating meat on Fridays and during Lent, fish is often times a typical substitute.
Typically the fish come from Iceland or Newfoundland, and are salted heavily. This is because of the ancient ways of preserving the fish, as well as adding flavor to it. If you are planning a trip to Portugal, you will more than likely find many restaurants serving bacalhau, and the possibilities are virtually endless on how it may be served. Whether served with potatoes and wine, or fried and served as appetizers with beer, you’ll appreciate taking part in a 500-year-old tradition in Portugal.
Sleigh bells ring… are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening…
Are you looking for place to walk in a winter wonderland?
Vila Natal in Obidos, Portugal is right up your alley. From November 28 this year till January 3, Vila Natal (translated “Christmas Town”) lights up the beautiful town of Obidos with ice skating rinks, a carousel, small trains, Christmas workshops and Father Christmas himself: Santa Claus.
This event is fun for kids all ages, featuring a musical, plays and a magic show. Also, hop on a sled and challenge someone to a sledging race downhill. If you’re feeling brave, there’s always the ice skating rink where you can prove your agility and balance.
Check out the Web site for more information on this fun Christmas festival. The times aren’t listed for next Christmas, but if you are in the area, check into a hotel and spend some time there! You can’t visit this place and not be in the Christmas mood. Here’s to Christmas cheer and a Happy New Year!