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Portugal is more accessible to visitors than ever before thanks to numerous openings of hotels and restaurants.
Whether you love what the urban centers can offer or want a rustic retreat that lets you find some solitude, Portugal offers grand squares, expansive fields, and hundreds of kilometers of shoreline to explore. Good things come in small packages here in this nation and you can choose any city and still explore almost everywhere with a simple day trip or two.
Dramatic landscapes. Extraordinary rivers. Vibrant cities and a passionate nature that simply will not let up. Portugal is a country that will surprise, entertain and educate throughout your visit, with an intoxicating mix of fantastic food, fascinating culture and an enchanting heritage.
Thanks to its presence as the Western point of Europe, the weather in Portugal is almost always beautiful. It might rain a little more in the north, but even that seems like something expected and special. Only Athens predates Lisbon as the oldest capital on the continent and there are hidden gems to find everywhere, whether you’re looking for a cove, a cave, or a special little cafe with something incredible to offer.
Lovely and alluring Portugal is now one of the most renowned holiday hot spots and attracts visitors from all over the world. The result is an area abuzz with activity and energy but equally quaint and serene with something new to discover around every corner. With castles and villages peppered along the coastline, Portugal has an wonderful charm and the stunning beaches and shores of the Algarve are unparalleled when it comes to sun getaways.
If you want to get really get away to explore, the highest point in Portugal isn’t on the mainland. It’s Mount Pico, on an island of which it shares a name, and some of the tallest mountains in the world are found in the Azores. This island group is so isolated that it is virtually halfway between the US and Europe. You won’t find resorts out there, but you will find magical vistas that will take your breath away.
From a whale watching adventure to a leisurely afternoon stroll with some coffee around some of the nation’s historic sites, Portugal offers an amazing experience that is full of warmth. The consistent sunshine isn’t bad either.
Best of Portugal
Despite its immense popularity as a holiday destination, you’ll find that Portugal is still an excellent value. It is a country that has everything one could want on a holiday: fantastic art, stunning landscapes, a rich culture, and friendly communities.
Here are the best places to visit if Portugal is your destination of choice.
If you find yourself along the coast of this country, then you’ll discover that surfing is a way of life. Make your way to this small fishing village to find some of the best waves to surf. There is arguably no better location for a consistent curl to enjoy. At the same time, you’ll discover the restaurants offer world-class dishes that work perfectly with the world-class surfing.
If you enjoy plenty of sunshine, some nightlife options, and long trails to hike, then you’ll love this destination. The cliffs look out over the blue waters and take care breath away with the view. Several beaches are sprinkled in here and there to enjoy some down time. Then you can find a club that offers a favorite beverage and music that makes your feet move.
The Chapel of Bones is located here in the capital of the Alentejo region. The walls of the church are actually filled with thousands of human skeletons. You’ll find the city to be mysterious in other ways as well. There are plenty of historic landmarks to discover, wine to enjoy, and small retreats where you can hide away to relax.
Faro uses the coastline to its advantage, with a surfing culture that dominates the nearby coastline. The picturesque Cidade Velha, with its awesome medieval walls and winding, peaceful cobbled streets, is also worth your time. If all this sounds a bit too much, however, then head to the beach with a good book. There are plenty of places to do this near Faro – it serves as one of the access points to the famed Algarve strip of coastline. Golf is also an immensely popular pastime and there are plenty of luscious golf courses to choose from.
From stunning grand plazas, to picturesque narrow streets, the city of Lisbon oozes charm. Being only a stone’s throw from the beach too, you can combine a city break with a bit of relaxation. The area of Bairro Alto has a great relaxed atmosphere but when the evening rolls round, the bars spill out onto the cobbled streets to create a lively but not too over the top vibe. The pedestrianised region of Baixa is great for an afternoon stroll, with quaint cafes combined with up market boutiques you can dip in and out of.
Porto is a fantastic alternative to Lisbon for those wishing to discover a different side of Portugal. It is much smaller and quieter than bustling Lisbon, and certainly somehwere to visit if you’re after a cultural and quaint Portuguese city break. One of the iconic sights in Porto is the double decker wrought iron arched bridge that connects the city with Vila Nova de Gaia across the Douro River.
The forests in the stories written by Hans Christian Andersen are based on the woods in this community. As you hike along to see the various fortresses and palaces the city offers, you can still find the house in the woods where Andersen lived. Color seems to come from everywhere, no matter where you happen to look. Make sure that you see the Castle of the Moors during your stay here, as well as the beautiful Pena Palace.
With clusters of whitewashed homes, small flower gardens, and the occasional souvenir shop to browse, this stunning city is located within a set of castle-based defensive walls. Everything feels compact and cozy as you explore, which makes the experience feel perfect. Enjoy the local specialty called Ginja de Obidos, which is a cherry liqueur traditionally served within a small chocolate cup.
Serra da Estrela
If you love skiing, then this is the mountain peak you’ll want to climb. It’s the tallest on the mainland and the only place where skiing is realistically good. There are several small villages that provide you with access to the mountain. Honey is made locally during the warmer months and a local cheese is excellent, though its odor may not be for the faint of heart.
The best of Portugal brings out the best in each one of us. Whether you choose to explore Lisbon, Porto, or one of the destinations listed here, you will find that the warm days found in this country help to warm the heart.
Travel resources for Portugal.
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How is the weather in Portugal ?
When is public holidays in Portugal ?
Below you can see a list of the public holidays / no working days.
|1 January||New Year's Day||Ano Novo|
|Variable||Good Friday||Sexta-feira Santa|
|Variable||Easter||Domingo de Páscoa|
|.25 April||Freedom Day||Dia da Liberdade|
|1 May||Labour Day||Dia do Trabalhador|
|Variable||Corpus Christi||Corpo de Deus|
|1 June||Azores Day||Dia dos Açores||Azores only|
|10 June||Portugal Day||Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas|
|1 July||Madeiran Communities Day||Dia da Região Autónoma da Madeira e das Comunidades Madeirenses||Madeira Only|
|15 August||Assumption||Assunção de Nossa Senhora|
|5 October||Republic Day||Implantação da República|
|1 November||All Saints Day||Dia de Todos-os-Santos|
|1 December||Restoration of Independence||Restauração da Independência|
|8 December||Immaculate Conception||Imaculada Conceição|
|25 December||Christmas Day||Natal|
|26 December||1st Octave||Primeira Oitava||Madeira Only|
What is the largest city in Portugal ?
Below you can see a sortable list of the largest cities in the country
|3||Vila Nova de Gaia||302,092|
|17||Santa Maria da Feira||139,393|
|18||Vila Franca de Xira||136,510|
|20||Vila Nova de Famalicão||133,804|