Portugal is renowned for its year-round good weather, beautiful beaches, excellent golf resorts and hotels, friendly neighbourhoods and great seafood.
Almost 10 million holidaymakers visit the Algarve each year to make the most of its golden sands and clear blue waters.
Faro is the capital city of the Algarve and it has some of the finest architecture in the country, which shows both Moorish and traditional Portuguese influences. However it’s other cities such as Lagos, Albufeira, Vilamoura, Portimão, Carvoeiro and Tavira that prove to be the Algarve’s most popular holiday destinations; their proximity to the coast provide great views over the ocean, opportunities to lounge on the beach, as well as city culture.
The Algarve’s biggest attraction is its coastline, famous for its clear blue waters lined by majestic limestone caves. Beaches like Praia da Rocha, Praia da Luz, Carvoeiro, Martinhal and Tavira Island all prove popular with holidaymakers looking for a little rest and relaxation.
The Algarve region is also known for the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a great hiking spot with unique flora and fauna.
Other notable landmarks that are worthy of a visit include the Cape St. Vincent, the historical centre of Lagos and Albufeira, old town of Faro (Sé Cathedral), Silves Castle and the Alvor boardwalk.
The Algarve is a foodie’s paradise – especially seafood lovers.
The region’s most popular dishes include fresh sardines, tuna steaks, octopus, squid, monkfish, clams, oysters and prawns. Get yourself some grilled sardines with potatoes, vegetables or salad, or try some Conquilhas: small clams usually cooked in a traditional Portuguese Cataplana pot with tomatoes, wine, garlic and herbs.
You can also find some tasty meat dishes, such as feijoada and spicy piri-piri chicken.
There are countless top quality restaurants, bars and nightlife spots all over the Algarve, including some beautiful beachside establishments that offer tasty views along with the gorgeous food.
City break l Vienna, the home of music and dreams
The Austrian capital has a variety of old and new visitor attractions in a beautiful setting. By walking the city’s famous ringed street, the Ringstrasse, you can see many important sights; the Rathaus (city hall), Museum of Fine Art and Museum of Natural History, the Parliament and the Burgtheater, one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world.
Vienna has been the home of many famous composers, and is the birthplace of the Waltz and operettas. Today, the impressive Vienna State Opera is the stage for international opera stars with guided tours and different shows on almost every day.
Sigmund Freud, the famous psycho-analyst, gives Vienna its reputation as a city of dreams. Freud’s former residence, where he received patients, is now home of the Freud museum. Here you can see how he and his family lived prior to abandonment during the Second World War.
For some of classic Vienna on a grand scale, go to Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens, a former imperial summer residence. There is a palace, palm house, gardens and Vienna Zoo. Schönbrunn is slightly out of the city and takes around one half day to explore.
For Vienna’s religious history visit one of its many churches. St Peter’s Church (Peterskirche) is an umissable 18th-century church that can be identified by a striking copper domed roof, the inside of which is adorned with beautiful frescoes.