Tag Archives: holidays

Lisbon the fourth most beautiful city in the world


International travel experts are recommending Portugal as the best country to visit in Europe

Portugal is getting international attention | Lisbon was considered the fourth most beautiful city in the world. The Portuguese capital is in the top 10 of the most beautiful cities on the planet, established by the travel site “Urban City Guides.”
Leading the table is Venice, followed by Paris and Prague. Lisbon comes in fourth place, being highlighted as one of the most scenic cities in the world, with its sights, hills and picturesque streets. A city of “an effortless beauty with captivating details,” sets the site.
It is worth and recommended to hire a car in Portugal to better enjoy the scenerary and drive free. MyPortugalCar.com is making good promotions for Spring in Portugal.

You should not understimate all the great varieaty of landscapes and historic spots to visit in Portgal.

Have a good view of you can expect

Martinhal Beach Resort, Sagres, Algarve


Teresa Machan checks into the Martinhal Beach Resort, an eco-friendly hotel in a wind-whipped corner of the Algarve.

Martinhal Beach Resort, Sagres, Algarve: hotel review

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Natural timber, local cane and stone and recycled cork combines with warm furnishings

By Teresa Machan

The location

Overlooking a wild sweep of beach on the south-west tip of the Algarve, within Costa Vicentina national park. The fishing port of Sagres is nearby and Faro airport is a 90-minute drive away.

We like

Recycled materials and a low-rise design help the hotel buildings blend into the rugged landscape. Natural timber, local cane and stone and recycled cork, teamed with warm furnishings, lend Martinhal a “homespun contemporary” feel. Everywhere you look there is snooze-on-me furniture inviting you to do just that.

The rooms

My timber-clad “beach room” had a decked, bay-facing balcony and the bathroom came with separate shower and oversized tub. Artisan skills are rekindled in the cute cork tables and stools, and cane-woven lamps made from Algarvian reeds.

Not so keen

Although sheltered by Algarve standards, wind-whipped Martinhal Bay won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Some of the newly planted foliage has yet to take hold, but a coastal path to the wild-flower-strewn headland is seconds away.

The food and drink

Lunch on the terrace at the chic As Dunas can slip languorously into cocktail hour. Line-caught fish, fleshy hoops of grilled squid, just-landed oysters and clams, and a peculiar delicacy called perceves, a goose-necked barnacle resembling dinosaur toes, were accompanied by a crisp Portuguese white. O Terraco serves breakfast and gourmet fare, including the chef’s sublime starter of sea urchin with scrambled egg served in a half-urchin shell (at €49/£40 the six-course tasting menu is excellent value for money). The lounge area doubles as a bar. The 112-strong wine selection is exclusively Portuguese.

The spa

The Finisterra Spa opens on July 1. Martinhal is a great walking and jogging beach. Also available are surfing, scuba diving, windsurfing, riding, jeep safaris, nature walks, gourmet picnics and (at preferential rates) golf.

The other guests

A sophisticated crowd of British and Continentals. Many locals visit O Terraco.

Access for guests with disabilities

One adapted terrace room. All public areas including As Dunas and the Beach Club are wheelchair-accessible.

The bottom line

Terrace room doubles from £105 with breakfast.

The details

Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel, Apartado 54, Sagres, 8650-908, Portugal. (00351 282 620 026; http://www.martinhal.com)

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Three Things you have to do in Madeira


The Portuguese island of Madeira has managed to amass quite the collection of aliases – The Floating Garden, Pearl of the Atlantic, The Island of Eternal Spring – and it won’t take long for you to see just how apt they are once you arrive on this Mediterranean wonder.


Madeira Car Hire | Portugal Car Hire

Madeira Holidays

Underwater Paradise

It’s not only on-land that Madeira gets to impress though, with things under the waves being even more alluring than their above-water counterparts. Its proximity to the Gulf Stream ensures warm waters, and as the shoreline falls within the islands Parcial do Garajau Nature Reserve the protected inhabitants of the area features some truly spectacular plant and sea life.

Amongst the highlights are the colossal Atlantic Manta Ray, the wreck submerged ship Madeirense and Europe’s most endangered mammal, the monk seal. Whether free-diving, scuba diving or snorkelling, you can be sure of a truly once-in-a-lifetime underwater experience.

Park Life

The islands subtropical climate means that public parks are so much more that the meagre displays we’re used to in Northern Europe, the parks of Madeira positively exploding with diverse and show-stopping displays.

Capital city Funchal, in particular, offers visitors an incredible selection, from the jungle of Orchids at Jardim Orquidea to the Oriental majesty of the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, but for the best all-round experience it has to be Santa Catarina Park. Its views alone are worth the visit, blessed with a glorious panoramic perspective of Funchal harbour, but be sure to seek out the various historic statues dotted about the park as well as looking around the parks chapel.

Walk On

Behind the beauty of the gardens belies an infrastructure of island-wide waterways that have acted over the years to ensure Madeira is properly irrigated. The Levada’s, as they’re known, run alongside pathways that conveniently wind their way through many of the islands most beautiful and view-laden areas, these trails proving to be one of the islands most popular activities.

Some paths will lead you alongside waterfalls, other offering breath-taking views of the colourful gardens below, but all are sure to convince you that the islands many names are all worthy titles.


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