Out of all the countries in Europe, Spain is where I have spent the most time. There’s just so much to it: rich art history (a real favorite of mine), beautiful cathedrals, a vibrant culture, and plenty of unique towns with tons of character.
There are so many favorites of mine, it’s hard to narrow it down. The walled fortress of Toledo is absolutely breathtaking. The mosque-meets-church feel of the Mesquita in Cordoba and the Alhambra Palace in Grenada are unlike anything else in the world. The quirky modern art all over Barcelona made me fall in love almost instantly with nearly everything I saw. Lastly, who doesn’t love the flashing lights and booming discotheques of Ibiza? This girl most certainly does!
So, when I saw all kinds of posts last fall from fellow bloggers talking about the amazing sights they encountered in Portugal, it got me thinking, do I owe this region of the world another visit?
After all, I am a beach lover, and Portugal, being on the coast an all, seems to have quite a few of those. I also have come to appreciate smaller fishing villages and off-the-beaten path, secluded beaches. There’s not much left that’s off-the-beaten path in Spain, but Portugal may be a different story.
What’s more, I am a lover of tapas. I hear Portugal, however, is based mostly around fresh seafood and vegetables, both of which highly appeal to me.
Lastly, I’ve been traveling on a budget for quite a while, often spending only $2 here and there on accommodation all over Southeast Asia. At some point, I’m going to want to just relax, take a bath in a clean tub, enjoy some amazing food (that I don’t have to pick ants out of), and maybe stare at a private beach or two.
In Spain, this isn’t as easy to do, given that many offerings are tours or pre-packaged types of resorts. Given I’m not a resort person but still enjoy a little luxury now and then, I’m thinking this means that holidays to Portugal are easier to find and more likely to be something pretty special.
In my younger days, packaged tours of Spain really appealed to me. Though I have no intention of writing Spain off, it may be time to give Portugal a try.
Have you been to Portugal? What were your thoughts? Which would you pick if you were me?