Pulsating Portugal

Portugal - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating Portugal

Matosinhos Beach

Matosinhos Beach - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating Portugal Matosinhos Beach sits to the North of Porto and is made up of a long strip of golden sand that is flanked by a promenade.

Locals flock here, especially in the summer months and you will find lifeguards on duty. This means that there’s a good choice for families with young children who can bathe here with peace of mind.

Beach activities include soccer and volleyball and you will also find lots of opportunities for water sports.

Watch out for the waves you can even go surfing here when it’s good.

Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon Oceanarium - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalLisbon Oceanarium is one of the best places to come in the city if you are travelling with children.

The project is dedicated to educating the public on marine conservation.

You will find four separate ecosystems that are divided geographically to represent the Antarctic, Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.

Just some of the species you will find here include sharks, rays, sea otters, and penguins.

Silves Castle

Castelo de Silves - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalLocated in Xelb, Silves Castle used to be the capital of the Moorish Algarve.

The castle would have stood here to protect the region from intruders although it was later captured by Crusaders.

The architecture here is notable as the building is made from red sandstone.

Don’t miss the Medieval festival that is held here every August.

Evora

Roman Temple At Evora - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalSet in the province of Alentejo is Evora known for its Roman history after the Romans settled here in 57 BC.

As a result, you will find the ruins of a Roman temple here. It’s thought to have been built between the second and third centuries.

After the invasion of Evora by the Romans, it was recaptured by Christian armies, which explains the presence of the Se. A cathedral consecrated in 1204 and built in the Romanesque, baroque, and gothic styles.

Sao Jorge Castle

Sao Jorge Castle - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalSitting on a hill in Lisbon is the Castelo de Sao Jorge. The castle dominates the city skyline and looks over the Baixa district.

The castle has been renovated several times since the 12th century when first built under King Afonso Henriques.

Much of the castle is now open to the public and you can wander along the ancient ramparts as well as take in the ornate tower.

Standing on the ramparts you will get some of the best views of Lisbon that stretch all the way down to the water.

Furnas Lake

Lake Furnas - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalOne of the top spots in Azores is Furnas Lake which is a crater lake known for its blue waters tinged with green. Roam around and find the mud volcanoes and hot springs.

If you like brooding volcanic landscapes, then this is not to be missed.

In addition, you can go hiking past the calderas or take to the waters and go canoeing. This allows you to get up close to the amazing multi-hued waters.

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Jeronimos Monastery - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalLocated in Lisbon, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos is one of one of the most important buildings in all of Portugal.

The church and the adjoining monastery are built in the Manueline style. Much of the interior is ornately decorated, particularly the section known as the South Portal.

There are also monuments here such as the tomb of Vasco de Gama and the famous Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes.

Museum Calouste Gulbenkian

Museum Calouste Gulbenkian - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalOne of the most famous museums in Lisbon is the Museum Calouste Gulbenkian.

The museum has 6,000 artefacts that used to belong to Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian. Gulbenkian was an Armenian national living in Portugal who donated his art collection to the museum before he died.

As a result, you can expect to find an incredible collection that will take you back 4,000 years. All kinds of pieces such as Oriental, Classical and European art are on display for your pleasure.

Some notable pieces include Roman medallions, paintings by Rembrandt and Turner and furniture that would have belonged to Louis XV and XVI.

Bom Jesus do Monte

Santuário do Bom Jesus do Monte - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalBom Jesus do Monte is said to be the grandest of all the religious buildings in Portugal and sits on a slope amidst lush woodlands.

It is six kms outside of Braga and is still a spot of pilgrimage for devotees across the country.

It is made up of a grand stairway and the church of Bom Jesus and you will find a range of smaller chapels here. Also, to be found are fountains and intricate carved scenes from the Bible.

Pilgrims here climb the long staircase made of granite and takes you past the 14 Stations of the Cross.

Palacio Nacional de Sintra

Palacio Nacional de Sintra - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalThe National Palace of Sintra sits on its scenic central square. You will know it as soon as you see it thanks to the massive round chimneys that sprout from the top.

The palace dates from the 14th century and has the claim to fame of being the oldest palace that still stands in Portugal.

It spans several ornately decorated floors, each of which have a different theme. One of the signature features is the Sala dos Brasoes which is the main hall topped with a sparkly dome.

Also make sure you check out the 72 coats of arms on display here if you enjoy your heraldry.

Torre de Belem

Torre de Belém - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalLocated in the Belem district in Lisbon is this iconic tower which was built in 1521.

The aim of the fortification was to guard against an invasion via the River Tagus. The building is considered a master class in how to build a successful fortress.

The tower is designed in the Manueline style and is covered with a picturesque facade.

Make sure not to miss the maritime touches carved into the stone such as ropes and an armillary sphere.

It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site which tells you everything you need to know about its beauty.

Ribeira District

Ribeira District - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalIf you visit Porto then make sure to come to the old quarter of the city which is also known as the Ribeira District.

The area looks out over the scenic River Douro and it is known for its dining and nightlife scene.

The main road of the Ribeira District is called Cais da Ribeira and you will find bars, restaurants, cafes, and pretty monuments like fountains.

If you want to party into the small hours, then this is the place to do it. If you happen to be here for the Festival of St. John on June 23 even better.

This is a large celebration that involves revellers hitting each other on the head using toy hammers made of plastic.

Algarve Beaches

Algarve Beaches - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalDo you know that some of the world’s best and most beautiful beaches are to be found in the Algarve?

There are so many lovely interesting sandy beaches in the Algarve that you will find amongst them a good selection.

Along its 200-kilometre coastline, these beaches vary from the small sheltered coves to broad endless stretches of sea washed sand. The entire coast enjoys a Mediterranean-style microclimate temperatures that vary from 15º C in winter through to 30º C in summer.

Hardly surprising then that the region is a favourite for sun-seekers coming from the most diverse locations.