Day Trips and Cruise Ship Excursions in Portugal

When in Lisbon or Porto, either during your cruise ship stop or touring Portugal by land, here are two destinations you must visit. Both are easy to access from Porto and Lisbon and both are truly unique places.

When people visit these magical places, everyone is amazed that “little” Portugal has such cool spots.

Aveiro Portugal. Moleiro Boats on the Canal


Aveiro was built on a lagoon, probably in the 15/16th centuries, that was filled with a heavy seaweed during a great storm from the Atlantic Ocean, which caused the decline of the fishing industry and began the cultivation of reclaimed land by the inhabitants. These hardy people used the seaweed to fertilize the soul and carved out small plots of land which still exist today. Their is a beauty found in the several canals with the moleiro boats (fisherman’s boats) which in old days gathered the seaweed and today carry persons through the canals, like Venice.

A short drive is the beach town of Costa Nova with small houses painted in colorful stripes. These were the storage buildings of the fishermen on old times; today these are summer homes. Some of the best seafood on the Atlantic coast in restaurants found on the Costa Nova beach… contact us for the name of our favorite one !


Castle of Obidos, Portugal


Obidos was the town given to the Queens of Portugal on their wedding day (from the King) and for this reason its called the “Queens Village”. The village is encircled by the original walls, streets are all cobblestone, winding their way through the medieval whitewashed houses with beautiful Bougainvillea growing along the walls and geraniums in the window boxes. Try a drink called “ginginha” which is a black cherry liquor served in a shot glass with a cherry inside. And make the trek along the city walls to the back part of town with the huge castle walls !

Want to visit these places? Contact us via to make sure you visit in private with friends and family when traveling during your luxury private vacation to Portugal

Portugal Vacation Sesimbra

On June 28th we arranged a shore excursion for persons from the USA that were on the Norwegian Pearl. They visited Lisbon with private motorist and then had lunch in Sesimbra.

Sesimbra is a fishing village that lies on the Atlantic coast about 30 minutes from Lisbon.

Located on the Setubal Peninsula, Sesimbra is one of those rare gems in Portugal that’s easy to get to from almost anywhere in the Lisbon area. It’s history starts with the Moors who built a castle where once lived the inhabitants (in the very early days of the Portuguese kingdom). The castle was instrumental in the protection of the coast from pirates that once aided with impunity the coastal areas of Portugal and even into the British Isles and northern Europe.

Those days are long gone and the sleep village that was Sesimbra has changed immensely from those times, and indeed in the last 20 years has expanded into a very busy place where people flock to the beaches in the summertime.

It’s also the place with some of the freshest seafood on the coast, which is caught from the crystal blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They even have their own “fishery” located at the harbor of town. You cannot go wrong when visiting Sesimbra if looking for a delicious meal !

If you are arriving on ship or visiting Portugal, we’ll arrange an afternoon in Sesimbra to see for yourself this very special place that almost all visitors to Portugal miss!

Side Note:

from Greg Edward (owner of Spain and Portugal Vacations)

“That’s the first place I lived when I moved to Portugal in 1994. When I lived there, none of those houses were up on the hillside, nor were any of the hotels and big apartment buildings existing on the road that drives around towards the pier. My first memory from Sesimbra was seeing old women dressed completely in black because they were widows.

We used to live very near to Sesimbra, in the town of Almoinha.

In fact our neighbors, who were from South Africa, are still friends to this day on Facebook. Although we have not seen one another in many years, they made it possible for me to feel like I was “at home” with their friendship. Many great memories are cherished from those days.”

Contact us here


#portugal #sesimbra #spainandportugal #portugalvacations #NorwegianCruiseLines #NCL #portugal #discoverportugaltravel #spainandportugalvacations



Wines of Spain

Rioja [ˈrjoxa] is a wine region in Spain, with Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.Ca., “Qualified Designation of Origin”). Rioja wine is made from grapes grown in the autonomous communities of La Rioja and Navarre, and the Basque province of Álava. Rioja is further subdivided into three zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Oriental and Rioja Alavesa. Many wines have traditionally blended fruit from all three regions, though there is a slow growth in single-zone wines. source: Wikipedia

Learn about Spain

#Regions of Spain

Spain is a diverse country with contrasting regions that have different languages and unique historical, political and cultural traditions. Because of this, Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities (comunidades autónomas), plus two autonomous cities. Some of the autonomous communities—notably the ones which have other official languages alongside Spanish—have been recognised as “historical nationalities” that have a unique historical identity. These include the #Basque Country, #Catalonia, #Galicia, the #Valencian region, #Andalusia, the #Balearic Islands,#Aragon and the #Canary Islands.


Seafood in Spain

Seafood (mariscos): on the coast, fresh seafood is widely available and quite affordable. In the inner regions, frozen (and poor quality) seafood can be frequently encountered outside few highly reputed (and expensive) restaurants. In coastal areas seafood deserves some attention, especially on the north Atlantic coast.

Quality seafood in Spain comes from Spain’s northwestern region of Galicia. So restaurants with the words Gallego (Galician) will generally specialize in seafood. If you are feeling adventurous, you might want to try the Galician regional specialty Pulpo a la Gallega, which is boiled octopus served with paprika, rock salt and olive oil. Another adventurous option is Sepia which is cuttlefish, a relative of squid, or the various forms of Calamares (squid) that you can find in most seafood restaurants. If that isn’t your style you can always order Gambas Ajillo (garlic shrimp), Pescado Frito (fried fish), Buñuelos de Bacalao (breaded and deep fried cod) or the ever-present Paella dishes.  source:

Visit Portugal and Spain

We know Spain and Portugal

Alhambra in Granada, Spain

There’s always reasons to visit Spain… and Portugal, whether it’s for the glorious sunshine, lazy-day siestas or soaking up those beautiful sights – the whole country is a open book of experiences that are definitely too beautiful to resist.

The best part about visiting Spain is the sheer diversity you can find all across the country – the cultures, food and even languages can change quite dramatically depending on where you find yourself on the Iberian Peninsula.

Despite the diversity, a few rules hold true, no matter where you’re planning on visiting, and it doesn’t matter if this will be your first time or returning, Portugal and Spain always manage to find brilliant ways to surprise and impress you.

Do we know Spain and Portugal?

Yes we do, and we want to make sure that you know Spain and Portugal.

That’s why we work together with you to arrange an exclusive vacation tailor-made to see some of the places that we have visited and just the last two months as shown on the maps on this post.

Visit and start planning your trip to Spain now.

December 2018 may seem early but the further you plan advance the more opportunities we have to develop some special experiences and ensure accommodations that match your style of travel, sophistication and luxury you’re accustomed to.

#PrivateTravel #VIPTravel #Spain #Portugal#LuxuryTravel #SpainVacation#PortugalVacation #travelin2019