Three Valentine’s Ideas for Escaping to Portugal
Here is a loving pair of ideas: Carnaval and Valentine’s Day. The idea of Valentine’s Day has caught on in Portugal over the past decade as the “Dia dos Namorados” or Day of Lovers. As a result, hotels and restaurants offer lots of great romantic packages and Portugal, as the closest country in Continental Europe to the U.S., is an easy trip.The other fun reason to go to Portugal in February is Carnaval, a four-day celebration. Parades and pageants have been part of Carnaval celebrations throughout Portugal for centuries. During Carnaval, the streets are filled with parade floats, lively music, dances, colorful costumes and revelers wearing outlandish masks. Look to February in Portugal for a unique winter getaway.
They are located in the northern part of Portugal; on the Douro River.
There are so many ways to appreciate the beauty of the Douro Rvier Valley, the first demarcated wine region in the world from exploring by car or train to even just stepping out of your room.
Two nights in a valley bedroom with buffet breakfast included
Special welcome cocktail at the bar
One 55-minute massage for two
One romantic degustation dinner with aquapura wine
Three nights accommodation in a deluxe room (upgrade to Junior suite upon availability) with American buffet breakfast included;
Private transfer from and to the airport;
Welcome VIP treatment in room (Champagne, fruits, flowers and bath salts);
Romantic dinner at Grill D. Fernando Restaurant with panoramic view;
2nd day – GOCAR tour for two by Lisbon (a small yellow convertible and funny car with GPS system);
3rd day – Boat trip with dinner on board along the Tagus River (dinner on the balcony or inside depending on the weather conditions);
4th day – Private half-day driving tour at the romantic village of Sintra (Pena Palace), Cabo da Roca (the most western location of Europe). A break at the Moinho Bar with its amazing view over the ocean and Guincho Beach is on the agenda where you may enjoy a drink (not included). Return to Hotel Altis.
Total cost for two people: 910, 00€
3. Festival Carnaval
This year, Carnaval is just four hours away if you opt to spend the holiday on the Mid-Atlantic Islands of the Azores, where “Shrove Tuesday” celebrations have taken place for centuries. SATA Airlines is offering travel packages at $999 per person (includes tax, double occupancy). Travelers can chose from several hotels and three islands to enjoy the festivities.
In the Azores, Mardi Gras is known as “Carnaval,” a four-day celebration starting on Saturday, February 9, 2013 and continuing through Tuesday, February 12, 2013. Parades and pageants are heart of the Carnaval festivities. There is lively music, colorful costumes, hand-made masks, and floats in this mild climate, mid-Atlantic archipelago.
On the island of São Miguel, known for its pineapples and tea, you can chose from four hotels in historic Ponta Delgada, the Azores’ main city on the island of São Miguel. Weeklong packages include six nights lodging, air transport from Boston, and breakfast.
Carnaval has a sweet taste on São Miguel; with street vendors selling fried sweet dough, called a Malassada. The festival on the Azores biggest island starts of with a black tie grand ball, and heats up with music. There is a children’s parade in the streets of the capital, Ponta Delgada, with children in costume from each school district on the island. Then, a massive Carnaval parade fills the streets into the wee hours.
Smaller towns have choir concerts, parades, and the town of Lagoa has a big fried dough festival, called the Festa da Malassada.
All SATA travel packages are available for Tuesday and Friday departures.
For more information and reservations, www.sata.pt.