Who else has wondered how they can combine all the various aspects of a holiday they love into one single getaway? Visiting two countries in the same break can be a great way to do it.
Think about the possibilities: a couple of days of relaxation on a typical beach break followed by a few nights in a buzzing metropolis, taking in all the top tourist sites on your way. And there’s no better combination than Spain and Portugal.
Book your holiday to Portugal and tag on a few extra days in neighbouring Spain to really enjoy an extended European break. Click on this link for more information about booking online.
The best way to soak up the Portuguese way of life is to get yourself down to the Algarve. This southern-most region is fringed with an attractive coastline and boasts gorgeous sunny weather year round. With seaside resorts aplenty, the most convenient way of exploring the area is to hire a car and travel from town to town.
Faro is the largest city in the Algarve and offers a quiet authenticity that you couldn’t expect to find in the more obvious tourist spots. Check out the Old Town with its cobbled streets and attractive squares fronted by old churches, and keep your eyes down for the marble mosaic paving under your feet.
If you stay just outside the city, you can get the local bus in for about eight euros per person. If you’re there during football season, book tickets to the Estádio Algarve for the chance to see local teams Sporting Clube Farense and Louletano Desportos Clube compete. You should also try to squeeze in a trip to the Faro Archaeological Museum, which offers an insight into the cultural heritage of the city.
Just a two-hour bus journey over the border will take you to the stunning Spanish city of Seville – and for a very reasonable fare, too. It is the largest metropolis of the autonomous community of Andalusia and was founded by the Romans under the name of Hispalis. When the Moorish conquerors settled in the early eighth century, the city became known as Ishbiliya and was later transformed into one of the Spanish Empire’s economic hubs thanks to its strategic location near the coast.
For culture vultures, a city break in Seville is the perfect way to lap up the interesting architecture, cuisine and history, all of which has been influenced by various civilisations over the centuries. The medieval palace of Alcazar is a great place to start as you can take in the unique blend of Moorish and Spanish Christian design. Try to get seats for an evening performance at the Casa de la Memoria de Al-Andalus, a tiny and very intimate open-air theatre that has capacity for just 80 spectators. Performances are staged every day at 7.30pm and 9pm for an hour each time, and the actors entertain the audience with flamenco dancing, singing and playing the Spanish guitar. It is best to book in advance because seats sell out quickly, but be prepared for the lack of microphones and alcohol.