Madeira Hotels – Reid’s Palace Madeira

Surrounded by lush tropical gardens and breathtaking views, Reid’s Palace sits high up on the craggy cliffs overlooking the ocean and scenic views of Funchal, located a quick 10 minute taxi ride away. Approaching the entrance is like visiting a friend who lives in a lovely villa on the ocean. This is your first view as you walk in to the beautiful lobby. You hate the thought of even stopping to check in, because all you want to do is walk straight through the reception area and out onto that balcony or… Read More

Madeira Hotels – The Savoy Palace

The Savoy Palace in Madeira was a very pleasant choice to use for our conference. The staff was friendly, the interior decorating thoughtful and nicely designed, and the pool area was gorgeous. I’ll let the photos do the talking. This is one of the most beautiful pool areas I’ve ever seen at a resort. At sunset, the views are even more stunning. The interiors are designed in such a way that the outdoor beauty is brought inside. And there is the roof top pool! I’d love to return one day!

Madeira Island Fun and Toboggan Riding

Madeira Island and the town of Funchal have flown under my radar for years until now. I was surprised both by how beautiful the island is and how much there is to do there. Here are a few fun moments we had while visiting. First, we enjoyed a great walking tour of Funchal and had the opportunity to taste a variety of food, chocolate, and wine along the way. A delicious sampling of cheese, some from the Azores. Amazing Madeira wine and chocolate. Fun fruit and alcoholic drinks including a local favorite… Read More

Madeira Island, Portugal

There is so much I could share about our time in Portugal. As a child, I knew deep down that once I visited Italy and a few other countries, I would fall in love with them, and I was right. But Portugal…it was never really on my radar. I can’t explain why. When I found out that our European Travel Forum conference was being held on the Island of Madeira, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. Why not Italy, France, or Switzerland…the Netherlands, Spain? I’ve never been so thankful… Read More

Douro Valley and the Six Senses

From excellent Port Wine Tasting to scenic panoramic rolling hills, the Douro Valley is a very special place to visit. Just look at these vistas! That said, the highlight for us was our visit to the Six Senses Douro Valley. It was by far one of the loveliest stays we have ever experienced. From the very moment we stepped into the Six Senses until the time we were “forced” to leave, we felt welcomed and relaxed. We did not want to leave. Had we not had a conference to attend on Madeira… Read More

When in Porto – Port Wine

Spending time in Porto would not be the same without visiting at least one Port Wine Lodge, if not more. Being a lover of all things “dessert”, I’m sure it’s no surprise that of all wines, Port Wine is one of my favorites. Originating from the Douro Region in Portugal, and more specifically aged and bottled in the town of Oporto, Port Wine is a fortified, sweet red wine. It is commonly enjoyed as a dessert wine. Prior to departing for Portugal, the only Port I was familiar with was Grahams. Incidentally,… Read More

Porto, Portugal

Porto. This is by far one of my favorite cities in all of Western Europe. The second largest city in Portugal, it is most known for its world famous Port Wine. But more about that in the next post. Porto is one of the most enjoyable, laid back cities I’ve ever visited. The cobblestone and pedestrian streets make this city extremely walkable, though you will find some areas have steep hills as well. But exploring on foot is really one of the best ways to explore. And if you get too tired,… Read More

Belem, Portugal and Pasteis de Belem

Belem…another essential destination to visit when in Lisbon – for more reasons than one. One great reason is the beauty. The setting was unbelievable. First up – BelĂ©m Tower, one of Portugal’s iconic treasures, dating back hundreds of years to the early 1500s. The original purpose for the Tower was to serve as a fort, protecting the people against raids along the Tagus River. The Tower of Belem sits majestically by the edge of the water, surrounded by soft sand and smooth rocks. When the tide came in, the reflections were gorgeous…. Read More

Portugal Coast, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais

A few highlights we enjoyed on our way back to Lisbon from Sintra. First off, Cabo da Roca. Cabo da Roca is the rugged, wild, windswept stretch of coastline that boasts the status of being the western most point of continental Europe. It was once thought to be the end of the world. This area has a lot of raw, untamed beauty, with craggy cliffs plunging into the ocean, rocks and wild grass swaying in the wind, and incredibly beautiful views in all directions. This is for sure a nature lover’s paradise!… Read More

Sintra, Portugal

When in Lisbon, you will want to visit beautiful, charming Sintra, which sits in the shadow of the grand Pena Palace. It is an easy train ride or drive away from Lisbon. After visiting ourselves, however, I would venture to say it would be worth adding one to two nights in this area as well. While Sintra itself is quite small, and does not offer the same kind of night life that Lisbon does, there is still so much to see and do. If you have the time, go for it! There… Read More