In 1756, Portugal’s Douro Valley was established as the world’s first protected wine-producing region, and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even though less than 20 percent of the land is farmable, there are 155 different grape varieties grown in Portugal. Join Karine Hagen of Viking River Cruises for a video tour through the country’s rich viticultural heritage.
History of Port Wines
Watch and learn about Port Wines as local experts in Porto, Portugal describe the history and production of Portugal’s famous Port wines. This fortified sweet red wine, produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, is most often served as a dessert wine though it also comes in a dry, semi-dry and Muscat varieties. It has a long history dating back to the early 18th century when the British, at war with France at the time, needed a new source of wine. Port wine is enormously popular in Britain and around the world and is still used today as the official wine to toast the Queen at formal dinners.
Continue reading Portugal’s Wine Country With Viking River Cruises
Europe Express, a tour operator specializing in flexible independent travel, recently posted valuable safety tips worth passing along.
“Staying safe while traveling abroad is always top of mind. Most people aren’t dishonest, but those few bad apples or one unfortunate incident can blemish an amazing travel experience. We polled our travel specialists and created a list of tips for staying safe while traveling abroad.”
1. Dress like a local – Many people have a perceived idea of what the quintessential American looks like: white sneakers, big camera, or sweatshirts with university logos. Staying away from these stereotypes when dressing can help travelers avoid drawing attention to themselves. Also, be wary of public displays of wealth – leave flashy jewelry and unnecessary expensive gadgets at home. Respect the local culture dress and traditions. Women, leave those low-cut blouses and shirts at home and dress more conservatively than you would at home. Tip for men: wear dark colored slacks or jeans~khaki is more common in North America.
2. Separate money sources – Don’t leave all cash and credit/debit cards together as most do when they are at home. This is a safe guard against unfortunate events like theft – the phrase ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ is very true in this case. Use a “Port or Sightseeing Wallet”: A port wallet is separate from your real wallet. It only contains the items necessary to go out and about for the day and nothing else. If it is stolen, it becomes irrelevant simply because you already anticipate that it could go missing anyway. What’s in it?
* Enough cash for the day’s activity
* A debit or credit card with access to $1,000.00 immediately at an ATM
* A copy of your driver’s license
* A copy of your passport information page
* A copy of the ship’s shore-side port contact information or a business card from the hotel
* A copy of your travel insurance policy contact details.
* A copy of any health issues that you may have and medications you may be taking
* Complete emergency contact information
Leave your real wallet in the safe at your hotel or on the ship and only take your port wallet with you to tour. If your port wallet is stolen, you can easily cancel your debit / credit card and replace the documentation with a second port wallet for the rest of your trip.
Continue reading 10 Ways to Stay Safe While Traveling