Portugal is one of Europe’s most visited countries due to its climate, affordable travel costs and exceptional attractions. It is located on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula and it is varied geography ranges from the verdant mountains and vineyards of the North to the farmland and medieval villages of the Central region to the breathtaking beaches along the southern coastline.
Portugal is also bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and includes the archipelagos of Azores and Madeira, known for their lush landscapes and flower gardens. Portugal is a wonderful holiday destination and this guide will detail some places to visit.
Porto is a fascinating, vibrant, historic and varied city that is rapidly becoming one of Western Europe’s most visited tourist destinations. At the heart of Porto is the charming pedestrian zone, the Ribeira, an atmospheric place on the river, buzzing in live music, cafes, restaurants and street vendors. Dominating this popular tourist setting is the Ponte Dom Luis, a metal, double-deck arch bridge that links Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia, well-known for its port wine cellars. The region is famed for the production of Port, which is still stored in the vast cellars that stretch along the banks of the mighty Douro River.
Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, has become an increasingly popular place to visit in recent years, with a warm Mediterranean climate in spite of its place facing the Atlantic Ocean.
Lisbon is an enchanting destination of alluring alleys, quaint shops, Gothic cathedrals, impressive bridges and colourful neighbourhoods, reverberating in traditional fado music. The best way to experience Lisbon is by taking one of the vintage trams such as the well-known Tram 28, which winds along historic quarters, gardens and main attractions.
To top it off as a destination, Lisbon has glorious beaches only a short train ride away, meaning that a visit to Lisbon can both be a beach holiday and city break. From families and young couples to the young and more mature travellers who travel in groups or solo, Lisbon is simply a wonderful holiday that all visitors will love.
Sintra is a picturesque Portuguese town that is set amidst the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra. This hilly and slightly cooler climate enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal, who constructed exquisite palaces, extravagant mansions and decorative gardens.
The variety of fascinating historic buildings and beautiful scenery has established Sintra as a fantastic tourist destination, and has since become the most popular day trip from Lisbon.
So enjoy ornate architecture at the Monserrate Palace, hike around the Castle of the Moors and take stunning pictures at the Parque da Pena.
With its gorgeous beaches and warm, sunny weather, the Algarve is Portugal’s most popular holiday destinations. From bustling seaside resorts teeming with activity to secluded stretches of sand perfect for relaxation, the southernmost region of Portugal is an ideal spot for anyone planning a beach vacation. With their whitewashed buildings and quaint old-town districts, Algarve’s inland villages are captivating places to visit as well.
Wherever your travels take you, Algarve is also food-lover’s paradise. Fresh seafood is available daily, and thanks to its temperate climate, field-to-the-table dishes include a huge variety of figs, olives and almonds to oranges, mangoes and pomegranates. Clean, safe and surprisingly affordable, Southern Portugal offers a sun-drenched holiday experience you’ll remember firmly for years to come.
The Algarve’s capital has a more distinctly Portuguese feel than most resort towns. It has an attractive marina, well-maintained parks and plazas, and a historic old town full of pedestrian lanes and outdoor cafes. It also has marvellously preserved medieval quarters harbour curious museums, churches and a bone chapel. The lagoons of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa and nearby beaches, including the islands of Ilha de Faro to the southwest and Ilha da Barreta (aka Ilha Deserta) to the south, add to Faro’s allure.
Azores are constantly named as one of the most suitable travel destinations in the world. They are a group of nine volcanic islands in North Atlantic Ocean and an autonomous region of Portugal. The landscape is actually green in different shades with hills, meadows and lush vegetation as the most striking features. The craters from several volcanos are now occupied by awe-inspiring blue lakes and lagoons creating quite eye-catching contrasts.
Madeira seems to be the island has it all. Having a beautiful, year-round spring climate, tourists can explore mountains soaring from an ocean of deepest blue. Food enthusiasts can enjoy an abundance of exotic fruit, superlative seafood and unusual wines. With all these great factors, it’s no wonder that it is known as Portugal’s “pearl of the Atlantic”.