Indulgent deceleration: Aiways presents new #LoveYourDrive content format

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It’s not just the automotive industry that’s in flux; the pace of progress in other sectors is also breathtaking. Keeping up is not always easy, especially if the drive is missing. That’s why Aiways is launching the #loveyourdrive campaign, which is intended not only to slow things down with short everyday escapes, but also to open up new horizons and literally recharge the battery and help it gain new energy.

The first recommended route of the #LoveYourDrive tours starts in the Portuguese capital Lisbon. Over a short 320 kilometers, it focuses primarily on Portugal’s culinary specialties, which were surprisingly often shaped by international influences from the seafaring nation.

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From the capital, we head directly west to the sea. There awaits Cascais, a charming fishing village on the coast, which has developed into a popular vacation resort. Relax on the beach and enjoy a good coffee in one of the countless beach bars – especially at dawn at sunrise the view over the rough Atlantic coast offers breathtaking scenery.

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Continue on to the picturesque town of Sintra, known for its magnificent castles and gardens. Here, be sure to visit the Castle of Pena, the Palace of Monserrate and the National Palace of Sintra. After the extensive sightseeing, we recommend a visit to the restaurant “Tascantiga”, where you can enjoy traditional Portuguese dishes such as “Arroz de Pato”.

Why is “Arroz de Pato” a must for Dr. Alexander Klose on every trip to Portugal?

“Arroz de Pato, or duck rice, is a traditional Portuguese dish that originated in the Minho region in the northwest of the country. The origin of this dish dates back to the 15th century, when Portuguese cuisine was greatly influenced by voyages of discovery and trade with other cultures. During this time, rice and exotic spices such as pepper, cloves and cinnamon were brought to Portugal. This had a great influence on the development of Portuguese cuisine,” explains Dr. Alexander Klose, Executive Vice President Overseas Operations at Aiways. “I’m fascinated by the dish mainly because they combined new flavors with familiar ones to create something completely new. This open-mindedness and trying new things, this pioneering spirit is something I personally appreciate – because it for always expanding one’s horizons.”

The dish consists mainly of rice cooked in a rich broth of duck meat, onions, garlic, tomatoes and a variety of spices. The duck is previously marinated, roasted or braised to give it an intense flavor. In some variations of the recipe, the duck rice is also enhanced with chouriço (Portuguese paprika sausage) or bacon for additional flavors and textures. After cooking, the dish is often baked in the oven for a crispy crust.

“Arroz de Pato” is often served at family gatherings and special occasions, as it is considered a feast. The combination of tender duck meat, aromatic rice and the hearty mixture of spices makes this dish a real taste sensation and an important part of Portuguese cuisine.

Afterwards, the tour will take you to Óbidos, an impressive medieval town. Here you can stroll through the cobbled streets and visit the historic buildings, the castle and the church of Santa Maria. The co-drivers should definitely try the “Ginjinha” – Óbidos is famous for this very special cherry liqueur.

A highlight for sports enthusiasts is Nazaré. The small fishing village on the coast has now become a world-famous surfing hotspot at Praia do Norte.

What makes Nazaré so attractive for surfers?

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“The attraction lies in the gigantic waves, which are among the highest in the world. They are created because of a unique underwater canyon, the Nazaré Canyon, which stretches just offshore and reaches depths of up to 5,000 meters,” explains Joana Andrade, Aiways brand ambassador and the only female Portuguese big-wave surfer in Nazaré.

“Its topography has a decisive influence on the creation of the huge waves. It acts as a kind of wave guide, focusing the energy of the Atlantic waves and directing them towards the coast. When the waves hit the flatter area of the coast, their height increases rapidly, creating the famous monster waves of Nazaré. The waves can reach heights of up to 30 meters, offering surfers an incredible challenge.”

For spectators, the lighthouse of Nazaré, the Farol da Nazaré, offers a fantastic vantage point to watch the surfers in action. During these months, international surfing competitions are also frequently held, guaranteeing additional excitement and spectacular scenes.

If you like it a bit more tranquil, you should continue to Aveiro. The “Venice of Portugal” awaits you with its canals and traditional boats. The culinary recommendation here is the sweet “Ovos moles” for afternoon coffee. The café “Pastelaria Rossio” is a good place to enjoy this specialty.

Destination of the trip: Porto

At the end of the road trip you will reach Porto, a charming city on the Douro River, famous for its port wineries and baroque architecture. Stroll through the historic old town and let yourself drift. A recommendation is the restaurant “Casa Guedes”, known for its delicious “Francesinha”.

Where does the little French girl come from?

The “Francesinha” is a traditional Portuguese sandwich that actually originated in the city of Porto. The dish dates back to the 1960s and is attributed to restaurateur Daniel da Silva. Inspired by the French croque-monsieur sandwiches, he wanted to create a Portuguese version that appealed to the tastes of his countrymen. Thus was born the “Francesinha,” which literally means “little French girl.”

The “Francesinha” consists of several layers of different meats, such as ham, smoked sausage (linguiça) and grilled steak. These layers of meat are placed between two thick slices of white bread and generously covered with melted cheese. What makes the “Francesinha” special, however, is its spicy sauce, made with tomatoes, beer, brandy and a variety of spices. The sauce is poured generously over the sandwich, giving it its characteristic flavor.

The “Francesinha” is usually served with French fries and is often offered as a main dish in restaurants and cafes. The combination of hearty meat, creamy cheese and the spicy sauce makes this dish a real taste experience and an important part of northern Portuguese cuisine.

Technical data of the trip:

Route length: Total distance of the route is about 400 kilometers.

Recommended Travel Time: Allow about 5 to 7 days for the entire trip to thoroughly enjoy the main sights along the route and have enough time for relaxation and culinary discoveries.

Best time of year: The ideal time to travel is from April to June – During these months the temperature is pleasantly warm, it is less crowded than in high season, and the landscape shows itself in its full splendor.