Gillian White

Correspondent

  • New York City, New York, USA

Gillian White is a correspondent who lives in New York City and covers the Portugal’s Sintra, Algarve and Lisbon for Forbes Travel Guide. White is a freelance journalist with a nagging case of wanderlust. Her motto when it comes to experiencing a new location is always “food first,” with a side of old-fashioned sightseeing. Whether it’s trekking through dense woods or navigating bustling cities, Gillian’s favorite part of traveling is the opportunity to meet interesting people and learn new things. The Columbia University alum has been published by Wall St. Cheat Sheet, Bloomberg News and Hipolitics.com.

  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What are the five best things to see and do in Lisbon?

    The pace of everyday life in Lisbon may be a slow one, but from beaches and historical sites to musical performances and short day trips, there’s no shortage of things to do in and around Portugal’s capital city. Here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the top five activities in sun-drenched Lisbon:

    1. Catch a Fado Performance: The origins of this melancholy musical form, which is marked by solo vocalists beautifully crooning songs of loss and longing, are widely disputed, but there’s no doubt that Fado is deeply woven into the culture of Lisbon. The Alfama district is home to some of the most traditional Fado performances, often held at restaurants or Fado houses in the area. Owned by renowned Fado singer Maria da Fé, Senhor Vinho in the Lapa district is another recommended spot offering great food along with excellent performances.

    2. Visit Tower of Belém: This iconic 16th-century structure on the Tagus River is one of two Lisbon UNESCO World Heritage Sites and, obviously, one of the top historical attractions in the city. After exploring the interior of this small fortress, be sure to climb to the top for breathaking panoramic views of the area.

    3. Take a Day Trip to Cascais: A fishing village turned royal playground, Cascais is now a haven for beach goers and just a short train or car ride away from the heart of Lisbon. The area is particularly popular for water sports such as sailing, surfing and windsurfing, and also is home to Casino Estoril, the largest casino in Europe.

    4. Walk Through Alfama: With its narrow, winding streets lined with steep staircases, and clothes lines stretching between beautifully tiled houses, there’s a distinctly Old-World feel to Alfama, which makes sense since it’s the oldest part of the city. This is yet another district in endlessly picturesque Lisbon where you’ll enjoy magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean.

    5. Photograph Praça do Comércio: Located near the Tagus River in the heart of downtown, this stunning square was the location of Ribeira Palace until the earthquake of 1755 destroyed it. Today it’s home to the city’s triumphal arch and Rua Augusta, one of the city’s busiest pedestrian walkways.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    When is the best time to visit Algarve?

    With its temperate weather — it seems to never get too hot or too cold — it is almost always a good time to visit Algarve. One of the Forbes Travel Guide editors’ favorite times to hit up this Portuguese region is in the spring, which lasts for several months and provides opportunities for comfortable sightseeing and enjoyable beach weather. However, they suggest you might want to avoid the time period between November and February, when Algarve has a short rainy season.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What is the best thing to bring home from Algarve?

    Forbes Travel Guide editors say the best things to bring home from Algarve are its homemade goods. Like many areas of Portugal, Algarve is known for its delicate artwork. The Algarve region produces beautiful arts and crafts like pottery and textiles; azulejos (hand-painted tiles) are particularly popular. You can check out numerous pottery centers in Almancil, Porches and Loulé if you would like to purchase tiles and other handmade items to take home with you.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What are the five best Algarve food experiences?

    Due to Algarve’s proximity to the ocean, seafood is accessible and especially popular at local eateries. But the Portugal region has more than just treats from the sea. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s five food experiences that any visitor to Algarve should partake in:
     
    1. Squid. Given its proximity to the coast, there’s an abundance of amazingly fresh seafood available throughout Algarve. If you want to try one of the most popular menu items in the region, settle down at a crowd-pleasing seaside restaurant like A Sagres and order a plate of tender squid.
     
    2. Pudim flan. A creamy caramel flan similar to the egg custards popular throughout Portugal, Pudim flan is available both at local pastry shops and many Portuguese restaurants in the region.
     
    3. Chicken piri-piri. One of the most popular dishes in Algarve, chicken piri-piri is essentially chicken in a spicy sauce, which usually includes chili flakes and a variety of other spices. Available at many locations in Algarve, some consider the chicken piri-piri at A Rampa in Monchique the best around.
     
    4. Honey cake. A local cake popular in both Sagres and Lagos, honey cake is usually served moist and dense.
     
    5. Caldo verde. In English, the name caldo verde means green broth. This popular Portuguese dish — typically made with potatoes, onions and kale or collard greens — is on the menu of most traditional Portuguese restaurants. Don’t miss it.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    Where is the best nightlife in Algarve?

    Algarve is made up of 16 municipalities, and many have their own distinct nightlife scene. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend that avid club-goers hit popular dance spots in Almancil, Vilamoura and Albufeira. For those looking for a mix of opportunities, Albufeira offers no shortage of entertainment on what is known as “the strip,” a long road filled with bars, restaurants, shops and tattoo parlors. Go there to find popular bars and clubs like Kadoc, Kiss and Tunes Bar.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What is the best way to see Algarve in one day?

    If you only have one day to explore Algarve — made up of 16 municipalities, spread across the Portuguese coast — our Forbes Travel Guide editors say your best bet is to focus on one or two neighboring areas. History buffs will want to start their day off in Sagres with a trip to the historic 15th-century fortress. Take in the sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean via the cliffs before heading for a bite to eat at A Sagres, where you’ll enjoy Portuguese specialties like squid and grilled sardines. After lunch, venture to Albufeira and lounge on the beach for a bit, before taking on a more adventurous sightseeing expedition via all-terrain vehicles. After your trek through the wide-open spaces of Algarve, indulge in a cozy dinner at Dom Carlos Restaurant before heading out to enjoy the nightlife at the local bars. 
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    Where is the best shopping in Algarve?

    Algarve offers plenty of luxurious shopping opportunities. Venturing between the regions of Faro and Guia, you are likely to find shops that will suit any retail itch. If you’re interested in department stores and familiar names, our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend checking out the new Algarve Shopping Center located near Guia. The mall provides a large shopping complex with more than 100 stores and a movie theater. Faro is also home to a large shopping mall, as well as smaller shops that sell everything from golfing necessities to specialty food items.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Algarve?

    Algarve is the perfect vacation spot for parents with kids who crave adventure. Access to wide-open spaces, the ocean and sporting venues leaves children and parents with no shortage of options when it comes to entertainment. When lazy days on the beach become a bore, zip-lining, off-roading and a water park might spark the interest of restless kids and parents. Here are five Forbes Travel Guide-recommended activities for kids in Algarve:
     
    1. Soccer match. Visit the home of the Algarve Cup, one of the most prestigious women’s soccer events. The Estádio Algarve stadium is located between Faro and Loulé and is home to both the Sporting Clube Farense and Louletano Desportos Clube.
     
    2. Slide & Splash. Kids will get a kick out of the Slide & Splash water park located in Lagoa. It makes for a nice break from historic sightseeing and lounging on the beach, and both kids and parents will love speeding down the slides. 
     
    3. Zoomarine Algarve. What better way to learn about marine life than at an aquarium situated directly on the sea? At Zoomarine Algarve, children will learn all about life underwater, while checking out impressive dolphin shows and amusement park rides.
     
    4. Off-roading. The wide-open spaces of Algarve present the perfect opportunity for adventure. Take kids on a trip they won’t forget by joining an off-road tour in all-terrain vehicles. Many companies are available to take you off the beaten path in Algarve, including off-roading experts Quad Ventura and Rooster Quad.
     
    5. Parque Aventura. Children can experience the natural beauty of Algarve as they swing from tree to tree on Parque Aventura’s zip lines. Located a few minutes away from Oura Beach, the series of outdoor games will challenge and delight the whole family.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What are the five best things to see and do in Algarve?

    In a region as spread out as Algarve, there is no shortage of things to do or places to see. This southern area of Portugal is best known for its resorts, beaches and golf courses, but visitors can experience much more than that. With a focus on tourists, Algarve is the perfect place to combine adventure with relaxation. Forbes Travel Guide picked out the five best activities to take on during your stay in Algarve:
     
    1. Head to a spa in Caldas de Monchique. A popular spa stop, the waters in the Monchique Mountains are rumored to have healing properties. Spend a day relaxing in one of the area’s many luxury resorts, such as Villa Termal.
     
    2. Spend a day at the beach. Algarve’s popularity as a tourist destination is partly due to the area’s amazing beaches and temperate climate. A trip to Algarve usually means spending a day or two playing in the sand and enjoying the region’s beautiful beaches. Popular spots for shore fun include Olhos de Agua, Praia da Coelha and Falesia Beach.
     
    3. Check out the underwater world of Faro. If you’re interested in diving into the history of Algarve (literally), take an underwater tour off the coast of Faro, the southernmost city of Portugal. Look into companies like Hidroespaco that have experienced dive teams who can guide you through shipwrecks and other underwater sights, including reefs and submerged ruins.
     
    4. Fortress at Sagres. Constructed during the 15th century, the Fortress at Sagres was built by Prince Henry the Navigator, destroyed by 1587 and then rebuilt in the 1780s. The imposing structure also includes a historic monastery and chapel, and it offers impressive views over the surrounding cliffs.
     
    5. Visit Tavira. Built along the waters of the Rio Gilão, this charming old town offers visitors plenty of interesting architecture and quaint cobblestone streets. Take a walk through the area and check out the old Roman bridge and hilltop castle. It’s a quiet escape when you’re ready to get away from the Algarve beaches for the day.