Springtime brings with it an explosion of colors and aromas in Portugal, as the almond trees burst into life with a delightful canvas of soft pinks and whites. This is a beautiful time to visit Portugal, whether you’re thinking of heading south to Algarve or north to the Douro Valley.
There’s actually an old legend in Portugal, pertaining to the almond blossoms, which dates back to the times that the country was under the reign of the Moors.
According to the legend, a Moorish king captured and fell in love with a Nordic princess. Love grew between them and eventually they were married. They lived happily for a while, until the princess started missing and longing for the white winters of her country. Such was her melancholy that her husband grew more and more anxious about fulfilling her desire. One day the solution came to him, and he immediately had almond trees planted all over the fields surrounding their castle. In spring the trees blossomed and after some weeks the soft white petals of the flowers blanketed the ground for as far as the eye could see. He led his beloved princess onto the balcony of the castle and showed her the beautiful white fields under the intense blue sky. Light and happiness radiated from her beautiful face, and the melancholy disappeared from her heart. From that day onwards they lived happily together, rejoicing every spring with the blossoming of the almond trees.
To see the full glory of the almond blossoms, we would recommend you schedule your trip for the latter half of February or first week of March. Whether it’s a holiday or a quick getaway (romantic or otherwise!), you’ll find that Portugal won’t disappoint!
If you’re heading to the north of Portugal, consider taking the Almond Blossom Route that cuts through the Douro Region, visiting regions such as the Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Mogadouro, Torre de Moncorvo and Vila Nova de Foz Côa. Not only will you be rewarded with beautiful sceneries, but there are also some fun festivals and fairs lined up at this time of year to celebrate the almond blossoms. You can take this route either by car or by train. The Portuguese railway company offers three Almond Blossom Tour routes in specially selected trains, you can see more details on their website www.CP.pt. Tickets are not that expensive (only around 35€ for adults) and the views are really beautiful!
If you’re heading to the south, then you’ll also be able to soak up the beauty of the almond blossoms in Algarve. Here too, the trees burst into blossom and the flowers slowly but surely start blanketing the landscape with their soft pink and white hues, contrasting with the intense blue of the sky and the ocean. You may want to rent a car, to make it easier to explore more out-of-the-way places. There are many sights not to be missed!