No matter where in Canada you may be this summer, getting to Portugal just got a heck of a lot easier. In terms of frequency, no one does Portugal better than Air Transat. Canada’s favourite leisure airline is adding even more service to their already heavy Europe summer schedule, announcing yet another direct flight to Lisbon yesterday.
The new capacity will now provide Canadians with daily non-stop service to mainland Portugal, focusing on Porto, as well as the capital, Lisbon. Operating from Toronto, the timing of the flight will make connections from Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal a breeze, using Air Transat both within Canada, as well as across the Atlantic.
“In addition to travelling with the best leisure airline in North America, according to Skytrax, Air Transat clients can benefit from flights to two destinations in Portugal, Lisbon and Porto. Our multi-destination option also increases the itinerary possibilities, allowing travellers to land in one city and return from another, at no extra charge. Moreover, travellers will get access to plenty of one-stop packages, as well as a la carte accommodations and car rental services.” – Annick Guerard, President and General Manager of Transat Tours Canada
The announcement just screams road trip. Starting in the Portuguese north, Porto is the ideal gateway to begin the scenic drive south, but not before exploring the surrounding area and the city itself. The city’s network of tight, winding alleys are a delight to get lost in. Porto’s street art is as intoxicating as the local wine, both of which are excellent and plentiful, as is the seafood.
Portugal remains one of Western Europe’s most affordable countries to rent a car in, especially for those comfortable with a stick. Hug the rugged coast from Porto past Coimbra and the laid-back fishing villages in between. Stop where your heart desires. Charming pousadas (historical buildings converted to hotels) are the way to go, but advance reservations are a must if travelling in the summer months.
Lisbon is electric and alive, and offers the perfect contrast to the sleepier north. More affordable than most European cities of its size, there’s no shortage of great cheap eats and places to visit and sightsee. Lisbon is progressive and full of art, rich with music festivals, EDM parties and an overall youthful disposition. Of course, there’s no shortage of history too, and it’s that combination that makes Lisbon so endearing.
From there, you would do yourself a disservice if you didn’t head inland to visit Portugal’s tranquil Cork Forest in the area known as Alentejo. Rural, white-washed towns separated by rolling plains and farm fields of pastel flowers offer a Tuscan or Provence feel, if not for the Moorish flavour. For aspiring photographers, Alentejo is a dream.
Relaxed? Alright, it’s beach time! The Algarve is Portugal’s sun-soaked playground and the perfect spot to end your trip. Unwind your road-weary body on its soft sand and cool off in the lapping waves of the salty sea. Faro, the area’s major city, is only serviced by Transat from Toronto seasonally (Jan-Apr). Double back to Lisbon in the high season, using the coast on your way back north for a different view, or hop on a cheap domestic flight with Portugal’s national carrier, TAP.
Transat, you’ve done it again. Thanks to your 2017 transatlantic line-up of 28 destinations, summer is looking brighter already.
Have you heard? We’ve got Europe on sale until the end of March! Early booking discounts make now the time to book your summer trip. Connect with us online, by visiting us in-store or by calling 1877 967 5302 today.