Portugal has topped the 34th annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards as the world’s favourite country. According to the travel website, hundreds of thousands of respondents submitted ratings during the sweepstakes period in April-May, in various categories including countries, cities, hotels and car rental companies.
Portugal edged out New Zealand for top spot among the most popular 20 countries, followed by Japan.
- New Zealand
- Sri Lanka
Tokyo led the way in the “big cities” category, with Portugal again figuring in the top-10 thanks to eighth-ranked Porto. Condé Nast said the city was a familiar destination for wine connoisseurs, “but there’s much more to this seaside city than its sweet port wine. The modern and traditional meet in Portugal’s most creative city, where chefs, artists and designers are bringing a new spirit to its old-world appeal.
“Sites like the Igreja de São Francisco, an opulent display of Gothic architecture, are woven with displays of public art. There’s a similar blend of the modern and traditional at Casa de Chá da Boa Nova, Porto’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, where sea urchin crème brûlée is served with floor-to-ceiling ocean views in a building designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Álvaro Siza Vieira.”
For tourists arriving at Faro Airport for holidays in the Algarve (also a multi award-winning destination), other Portuguese cities such as Porto are a convenient distance for enjoying a getaway. The journey between Faro and Porto, for example, is approximately 550 kilometres by road, and takes around five hours.
Faro Airport’s main car hire companies were chosen among Condé Nast readers’ top 12: Guerin, which at Faro incorporates National (second), Enterprise (fourth) and Alamo (fifth); Sixt (third); Europcar (sixth); Avis-Budget (seventh and 11th, respectively); and Thrifty-Hertz-Firefly-Dollar (eighth, ninth, 10th and 12th, respectively). Companies were rated on service, vehicle selection, vehicle availability, rental locations and overall satisfaction. (Number one was the US-based Silvercar by Audi.)