Explore Lisbon’s Landmarks on an Iberia Cruise

Lisbon is rightly renowned as one of Europe’s great cities and stopping there during Iberia cruises will give you the opportunity to find out exactly why.

Unlike many of the continent’s major cities, the Portuguese capital benefits from sitting in a beautiful location, allowing you to enjoy views out over the Atlantic and down to the River Tagus before you even begin to explore its many attractions.

If you are only here for a day or two, one of the best ways to see Lisbon is to take a coach tour, as this city has so many historic and architectural landmarks that it can be difficult to fit everything in. But make sure you choose one that allows you to visit some of the main sights on foot.

Being driven round streets like the mile-long Avenida da Liberdade and busy Rossio Square will ensure you see attractions like the statue of the 1st Marquess of Pombal, who booked his place in history by leading the rebuilding of Lisbon after the infamous 1755 earthquake.

You will also get a great view of Alfama, which is the oldest district in Lisbon. Many parts of the capital have a really modern feel, but this part retains its old-world charm. As well as narrow streets and traditional houses, you will discover the 12th century Lisbon Cathedral and the monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora here, while the whole area is towered over by the Moorish Castelo de Sao Jorge.

Another feature of Lisbon is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of your cruise holiday – travelling across Ponte 25 de Abril. One of the longest suspension bridges in the world, it is a great vantage point from where to see the city and surrounding area.

And no visit to the Portuguese capital is complete without a trip to the Jeronimos Monastery in the beautiful Belem district. The monastery is home to the tomb of the explorer Vasco da Gama, together with two fascinating museums.

The Maritime Museum tells the story of Lisbon’s naval tradition and the history of navigation, while the National Archaeology Museum has exhibits including Bronze Age metalwork, Roman mosaics and 1st century granite statues of Lusitanian warriors.

If you have time you may also want to explore the countryside that surrounds Lisbon, particularly if you enjoy the odd glass of wine. The hillsides have a number of Portugal’s best vineyards and it is possible to arrange a wine-tasting tour and sample some of the local produce.

For the best in Iberia cruises and other luxury cruise holidays, take a look at the voyages offered by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and other cruises from southampton

Golf Algarve

Algarve is one of Europe’s most famous and popular vacation destinations. Located in the southernmost region of Portugal, the climate is perfect for virtually any outdoor activity. The most common however, is to golf around Algarve. With serene landscapes and beautiful views, it’s no wonder that this is a favorite among locals. Here you can find high end shopping, nightlife, fine cuisine, tours and so much more. Sunny and warm temperatures year round make this region a perfect place for a getaway. There are plenty of activities for every member of the family. Come and enjoy this relaxing vacation hot spot, for a week or a month, your time spent here is sure to be memorable.

The golf around Algarve is world class and simply the highest quality around. Each course is well cared for, paying special attention to provide scenic views for each golfer. There are courses available in the Western, Central and Eastern regions. All the Algarve golf courses are challenging and have reasonable green fees. The club houses have virtually every amenity you could need and are easy to locate if you have rented a car.

In the Western Region, you can choose from a number of courses. Some of these include Alto Golf, Gramacho Course, Parque da Floresta Country Club and Vale do Milho Golf. In the Central Algarve Region, you can select from Laguna Golf Course, Ocean Course, Royal Course, San Lorenzo and Vila Sol Golf, among other fine courses. In the Eastern Region, there are even more beautiful and challenging courses to choose from. Some of these include but are not limited to, Benamor Golf, Colina Verde Golf and Quinta de Cima Golf. Since the golf around Algarve is matched by none, you can easily choose any local course and know that you will be challenged and have the most breathtaking views ever.

Algarve is a unique and special area of Portugal. Europeans have known about this vacation destination for a long time. Enjoy your own relaxing vacation with friends or family. You will find something for everyone. Be sure to take in some golf while you visit, and you fill discover firsthand that these courses are by far some of the best in the world.

Albufeira

If you’re planning to visit Portugal, then Albufeira is one of the most exciting and vibrant places to visit there. Located in the heart of the Algarve region, Albufeira is only a 30 minutes drive Faro international airport. There are over 25 golf courses within easy reach of Albufeira, as well as stunningly beautiful beaches. Add in some great nightlife and shopping, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Albufeira.

Until the 1960s, Albufeira was little more than a town reliant on fishing. Gradually tourists began to discover the charms of this beautiful, sun-drenched region, and Albufeira became a prime tourist destination. More than 5 million tourists visit the Algarve region every year, with large numbers of them heading for Albufeira. This influx of visitors has caused Albufeira to expand, with many facilities being developed specifically for visitors. Recent additions include the huge Algarve Shopping Center near Guia, and the Albufeira Marina. Restaurants, shops and cinemas have sprung up to provide entertainment for tourists, as well as the more recent influx of permanent residents.

If you’re interested in historical things, then you will enjoy wandering some of the older parts of Albufeira, where there are narrow streets, whitewashed houses and a feeling that you’ve stepped back a few centuries. Albufeira also has a small museum with historic Ming ceramics, as well as the new Virtual Archaeological Museum. The Municipal art gallery also regularly holds exhibitions with paintings from past centuries. Nearby there are ruined castles, or the caverns at Ponte Grande if you want to explore some natural history.

Perhaps sitting back and relaxing is more your style, in which case you should grab a coffee on the central square, Largo Engonheiro Duarte Pacheco, and sit back to watch the world go by. When you’re done, there’s a nearby pedestrian-only mall and tunnel that leads through to the town’s main beach, so you can go and soak up some sunshine.

For a family day out, visit Zoomarine and enjoy the shows of seals, dolphins and other sea animals. Your children can swim with the dolphins, as well as enjoy various other interactive programs. You can travel a little further afield and fine water slides and other fun activities.

One of the best things about Albufeira is that it’s a great place for a holiday all year round. In some ways, it’s actually better to visit outside the peak time of summer, so that you can avoid some of the crowds. The low season from November through to February is particularly good if you want a little bit of peace and quiet and fast service in the restaurants. The weather is still very mild, and you get more of an opportunity to experience the friendly locals.

Algarve Holidays

The lure of the Algarve is plain to see. For almost fifty years many thousands of visitors from all over the world have taken the Algarve to their hearts making it one of the most popular destinations in Europe. At the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula and stretching 155 km from the Spanish border to the western coast of Portugal, the Algarve has put itself firmly on the tourist map. With a classic combination of stunning coast and over 300 days of sunny weather a year it’s not hard to see how.

Over the past twenty years The Algarve has become a golfer’s paradise. A Mecca for sports (many top professional football teams use the area for its pleasant climate and top class warm weather training facilities) the Algarve is probably best known for golf and golfing holidays. It has more than 40 courses in total, 25 of which are within one and a half hours drive from Faro International Airport. With 14 of them listed in Europe’s top100 it’s not surprising that the area was voted by readers of Golfers Today as ‘Best Golf Destination 2008.’ Some of the world-famous golf courses in the area include Boavista, Palmares, and Quinta da Ria. If playing a round of golf each under a warming sun on a manicured course that challenges all abilities then it doesn’t get much better than the Algarve.

But what if you have very little interest in playing golf? Perhaps it’s the 200km of clean beaches, breathtaking cliffs, golden sands and natural bays that make the Algarve simply irresistible. Whilst some of the region, especially between Faro and Portimão, places such as Albufeira and Vilamoura (the largest tourist complex in Europe boasting a Marina, a number of golf courses as well as a casino, night clubs plus plenty of 4 and 5 Star accommodation) have succumbed to tourism, many areas still retain the ability to look after the seasonal arrival of holidaymakers and at the same time keep their charm and local identity. These include towns and villages such as Sagres (a small and charming town on the rugged west coast), Ilha de Tavira or Carrapateira (a little village with a few bars and restaurants popular with surfers.)

The Algarve can be glamorous too. If it’s glitz and glamor you want you don’t have to look too hard to find it in the Algarve. Former fishing village Albufeira with its many bars and clubs now provides almost everything tourist visitors are looking for. Museums and modern galleries and various types of restaurants all vie for attention. Regarded by some as the carnival queen of the Algarve, Lagos, with its small open squares, picturesque churches and maze of narrow streets also attracts a party crowd with its vibrant nightlife.

Peaceful options are available on the Algarve too. Beyond the razzle-dazzle of the Algarve’s beautiful coast the countryside inland also has a huge amount to offer and deserves close inspection. You’ll discover ancient castles, Moorish architecture and fields of wild flowers stretching up and over enchanted hill sides and down into almost forgotten wooded valleys. Amongst the many beautiful towns and villages is Castro Marim, a town with origins as far back as 5000BC, set on the banks of the Guadiana and close to Spain. Tavira is a small but active fishing port set along a peaceful river; it shares the ruins of a hilltop castle, an old Roman bridge and a handful of Gothic and Renaissance churches. Monchique is a picturesque town with splendid views over the steep wooded countryside, a perfect location for a more active hiking, cycling or canoeing holiday.

So variety and alternative choices are something the Algarve can easily provide. From walking to surfing to playing golf, do what you enjoy most in the Algarve.