Combining dramatic scenery, effortlessly beautiful golden beaches and vibrant cities bursting with history and culture, it’s no wonder that Portugal has made a name for itself as one of the top 20 tourist regions in the world.
The westernmost point of Europe, Portugal’s mainland borders Spain on the east side, and hugs the sparkling blue Atlantic to the west. The Portuguese empire also stretches to the autonomous Madeiran and Azores island clusters off the coast. Boasting almost 300 days of sub-tropical sunshine each year, Portugal is the ideal, year-round holiday hotspot whether you’re after a relaxing beach escape or a lively city break.
The capital city of Lisbon is awash with stunning 15th century architecture and quaint winding streets, testimony to an age gone by. Although a bustling capital, Lisbon has lost none of its old world charms and graces. With UNESCO world heritage sites dotted around the city, Lisbon is an explorer's dream.
One of Portugal’s most popular tourist regions is the Algarve on the southern coast. With miles-long expanses of unspoilt golden sand, bordered by curiously twisted cliff faces and majestic rock archways, the Algarve makes the perfect spot to soak up the Portuguese sun and take some memorable holiday snaps to boot!
Things to Do
With a choice of beaches to build sandcastles on, and enough historical sites to keep your cameras clicking, there is no excuse to find yourself bored on a holiday to Portugal! With water sports, golf courses and day excursions galore, there is something to keep everybody happy!
The Algarve is famous for its world class golf courses. With 7 in total in the southern region alone, prepare to dig out the plaid trousers and tee off in the sunshine!
Situated just outside Albufeira is the Zoomarine Algarve aquatic park. A water park with a difference, this popular tourist attraction is home to a variety of marine species including tropical fish and dolphins as well as water slides, swimming pools and theme park ride attractions.
Portugal’s vibrant capital city Lisbon is a hub of cultural and historical tourist sites. With much of the city standing practically unchanged since the 18th century, there is a wealth of places to discover. Wander the cobbled streets to the Belém (St. Vincent’s) Tower on the banks of the river Tagus, ride the antique yellow trams up and down the hills, and sample the fine dining the city has to offer.
Food and Drink
Portuguese cuisine may not be as high profile as that of neighbouring Spain or France, however Portuguese traditional recipes for cooking fish, hearty stews and deliciously sweet pastries are definitely worth sampling!
A staple part of Portuguese cuisine is fresh fish and shellfish. As a nation, the Portuguese hold the title for consuming the most seafood anywhere in the world, as well as the impressive accolade of creating 100 different ways to cook cod! The national salted cod dish bacalhau, served traditionally with rice, potatoes and salad is a refreshingly flavoursome dish, washed down perfectly with a glass of the famous vinho verde, a sparkling green wine produced locally in Portugal.
As the name suggests, fortified port wine also originates from Portugal. Varying in colour and intensity, port wines are in high demand, shipped all over the world to the finest restaurants. Ranging from the palest rose to the deepest vintage red depending on how long the wine is left to mature, port is perfect as an after dinner tipple.
Famous for its fantastic fresh fish restaurants, hot spicy piri-piri chicken, lively bars and unspoilt beaches it’s not hard to see why the Algarve remains a firm favourite year after year.
A charming destination full of city life and coastal atmosphere, Lisbon with steal your heart with it's quaint streets and majestic architecture.
The Portuguese island of Madeira is perfect for those looking for secluded spots to discover.