Trip Tips: Consider a trip to Portugal or Nicaragua
Question: Do you have an ideas for some new and adventurous destinations for the new year?
• The Douro River Valley, Portugal.
A wine valley that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Douro Valley is filled with castles, monasteries and vineyards. What a unique combination.
Wine making in the Douro region began more than 2,000 years ago. The city of Porto on the Douro gave its name to Port wine and Portugal.
Two great ways to see this area include a rental car and stays in Portugal’s pousadas (historic small inns) along the way. Or even better, AmaWaterways is offering a 12-day wine tour on the AmaVida and includes a seven night cruise on the river and begins and ends in Porto.
A fascinating city, rich in Portugal’s seafaring history, it boasts Baroque churches and even a bridge of iron by Eiffel. Stop at a riverfront cafe or a local restaurant with a seaside terrace. Pick one of the famous cellars such as Sandeman or Taylor’s Cellars for an authentic glass of Port and tour of the cellars.
• Nicaragua, Central America.
Surfing? How about Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast with fabulous surf and, as yet, untouched beauty.
Surfers in the know from around the world are aware of the 37-mile stretch of beaches know as the San Juan del Sur, a stop on the worldwide quest for “the perfect wave.” A hidden gem is Maderas Beach, and one of the local surfer’s best kept secrets.
Nicaragua is famous for its surfing and adventure travel in general but has now opened its first — and surely not its last — luxury resort. Mukul Beach, Golf and Spa opened its luxurious doors early last year. Be one of the first to enjoy its carefree luxury facing the beautiful beaches and calmly rolling surf of Playa Manzanillo. (Yes, Nicaragua, not Mexico.)
Gail Molloy, of Overland Express Travel, can be reached at 970-926-9206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.