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Best Places To Live
10 Best Places To Live Like a King on a Pauper’s Budget

Our Picks of the Best and Most Affordable Places To Live Your Deam Life Thoughts of retirement bring day-dreams about creating a new life full of adventures and free of everyday stress.  Many folks consider moving to a new location where the weather is warm, crime...

Lagos Portugal
Top 7 Romantic Destinations in the Algarve

The Algarve is a true paradise for a romantic getaway. Vast dreamy beaches with a warm turquoise sea set the mood for a vacation spent with your romantic partner. Stroll along the beach at sunset or embark on a private yacht and spend the night...

Portugal Beach Hotels
7 Incredible Portuguese Resorts to Check Out in 2019

Check Out These Amazing Hotels in Portugal for Your 2019 Holiday Smart travelers know that Portugal is the place to be these days. The attractions of Portugal are noteworthy from beautiful beaches, stunning golf courses, fascinating architecture and history, fresh seafood, wonderful wines, and reasonable...

Secret Beaches of the Algarve Portugal
Discover The Best Secret Beaches of the Algarve

How to Discover the Best Secret Beaches on the Algarve, Portugal The Algarve is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places in the world. Situated on the Southern coast of Portugal, this cluster of towns is often referred to as the golden triangle, which is because...

Beginner Surfing Desteinations
Best Surfing Destinations for Beginners

Best Beaches to Learn to Surf. Do you want to learn to surf, but don’t know where to holiday where the surf isn't too challenging? The ocean can be an intimidating place if you don’t know what you’re doing, and it’s important that you start off...

airplane wing
5 Budding Travel Destinations For Global Trend Setters

5 hot travel spots that are impossible to ignore for global travelers. Here's where the trend setters are going now! Conventional traveling is no longer in trend. Increasingly, more travelers want to see places very few other people have seen before or spots that...

Best Things To Do in the Algarve
Best Things To Do In The Algarve

The Algarve on the southern border of Portugal has long been a magnet for vacationers looking to avoid winter's cold and blustery weather. Its beautiful golden beaches, green golf courses, and laissez faire style of living has made this destination a favorite amongst sun-starved...

Madrid Spain New Years Eve
Unique Places To Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Unique Locations to Celebrate New Year’s Day (& What Not to Forget when you Go) New Year’s Day is one of those celebrations you can enjoy the world over. No matter where you head you will see people ringing in the new year, celebrating the last...

Madeira – A Mediterranean Honeymoon Paradise

Imagine honeymooning in a Mediterranean paradise, surrounded by flowers, amazing views, the friendliest people and constantly perfect weather. Well, why imagine it when you can do it in the beautiful and serene Madeira Islands.The Islands of Madeira are located near Portugal, 301 miles from...

Algarve Beach Portugal
Guide to The Algarve, Europe’s Water Sports Mecca

The Algarve is located in the southernmost region of Portugal and is the most popular tourist destination in the country. Almost ten million people visit the Algarve every year and many of them vacation there for the extensive choice of popular water sports. In addition to...

Flashpacking,The Newest Trend In Budget Travel

Are You A Flashpacker? Flashpacking is the latest travel trend for young (or young-at-heart) savvy travelers. In fact there’s actually a good chance you could be a flashpacker without even realizing it. If you travel with your iPod, digital camera, laptop, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry or any...

Lagos Beach
Favorite Honeymoon Beach Destinations in Europe

Many couples are looking forward to their honeymoon in a distant location. One of the best experiences for celebrating a honeymoon is by getting close to the sea. The beauty of the beach along with the serene location is the best place for the couples...

What To Do In Lisbon – Travelers’ Recommendations

Lisbon is a great city for walking although there are some steep hills. We took a half day private guided walking tour around the central city, Baixa, and the old Moorish district, Alfama, with www.LisbonExplorer.com . Our guide was excellent, speaking perfect English and giving...

Furnas and Nordeste – The Best Yet!

Just when I thought the scenery couldn’t get any better, we ventured off to the eastern expanses of Sao Miguel Island where we were totally wowed! Now let me say we had already experienced 7 days of incredibly beautiful landscapes and were in a bit of panorama overload, but the eastern regions of the island woke up our senses once again and had our jaws dropping at the wild and dramatic coastal views.  Everywhere were glimpses of riotous pink azaleas in full bloom cascading down steep headlands.  Cows munched precariously on upland pastures – I thought they should have a sign, “Beware of Falling Cows – instead of falling boulders!”  What touched me the most was seeing charming little picnic parks tucked all along the winding roadways.  Families in the Azores take to the parks every weekend all year long to enjoy family gatherings.  Each park has a dramatic scenic view, picnic benches, masonry barbecues, sinks for food prep, toilets, and often playground equipment for the kids – and always a profusion of flowers in bloom – Martha you should see this!!

Incredible sites along the way included a lava formed swimming pool in the middle of the ocean (talk about your infinity pool!), Europe’s only tea plantation where bright green tea plants blanket the hillsides (and you can tour the tea processing plant), cascading waterfalls, farmers collecting milk from the fields with horse and wagon, and chanting groups of religious Pilgrims who encircle the island for 7 days during Lent, visiting every church, cemetery and memorial.  It’s time to head off to Furnas to soak our well traveled feet in the hot springs!

Sao Miguel – Bustling Cities and Thermal Pools

Sorry for the delay in posting about the finish to our trip.  We had very sporadic access to the web.  One day I was muttering to myself about the lack of internet access, and then took a look around and realized we were staying in the middle of a volcano crater – no wonder the signals were a bit challenged!  Here’s a recap of the marvelous sites we visited on the Island of Sao Miguel and the capitol city of Ponta Delgada.

Ponta Delgada is a study in black and white.  Streets and sidewalks are decoratively adorned with intricate mosaic designs executed in small blocks of black basalt rock and white sandstone.  Tightly woven streets are lined with white stucco buildings accented with black basalt trim.  Numerous city parks were planted with cheery flowers, but alas with the unusually cool weather while we were there, they were yet to ‘pop’, so the city appeared a bit colorless in spots.  I am certain that in a week or two all the trees will have leafed out and flowers will provide bright accents making Ponta Delgada a charming seaside city.  The city reminded me of the wonderful mosaic displays in Lisbon, and we learned that while Ponta Delgada’s designs are done in black with white accents, Lisbon’s are done in white with black accents.  Sao Miguel has the black basalt stone and Lisbon has the white sandstone – so they trade!

To be honest, we didn’t spend much time in the city center.  The countryside is so appealing that we scurried out to explore at every opportunity.  We hired a taxi (who’s driver spoke good English) for approx $20 an hour (for the 4 of us) and headed off to explore.  Our first visit was to Vila Franca Do Campo, the first capitol city of Sao Miguel.  There we sat across from the harbor ramp choked with brightly colored fishing boats and had one of the best meals of our trip at the Atlantico Restaurant.  Fresh fish was abundant throughout our stay – with many varieties we had never heard of – we often just ordered the filet of fish of the day and were never disappointed.  The Azores has a robust tuna fishing industry – although it was still early in the season to see a catch being brought in.