Well… the folks in Portugal may not fully agree with that saying. In the last couple years the country started getting significant travel media coverage and awards. In the last few months alone the likes of AOL, USA Today, Condé Nast and others have placed Portugal and some of its hidden gems at the top of the ranks:
Located in Southern Portugal, Olhão (pronounced "oll-yow") is known by many as a “cubist village” for its white cubic houses largely influenced by Moorish and 19th century Northern African architecture.
Occupied by Romans until the 4th century, then Arabs later until the 12th century, and even French until the 19th century, Olhão is nevertheless defined mostly by its Moorish influence. With buildings and churches dating as further back in time as the 17th century, one thing is common through its history though: its connection to the sea and fishing.
Algarve (Al-Gharb many centuries ago) is the southern coast of Portugal and is mostly known for its sunny climate, yellow sand beaches, and green golf courses. Algarve’s backdrop is composed of some of Europe's most beautiful beaches, while on the country side you can travel amidst hills and plains filled with places full of different traditions, unchanged for many centuries. An incredible region to spend you summer vacations, the Algarve is welcoming year-round, and with centuries of history you will never be short of things to do.
5 centuries of Moorish occupation between the 8th and the 13th century, left a strong influence in this region. Moors called it Al-Gharb, meaning The West. This influence is easily noticed in the names of villages, monuments, and local architecture. In the Algarve, you’ll be able to ...continue reading →