Facing onto the enormous Atlantic Ocean, Portugal has a colourful history as a nation of seafarers and explorers. Nowadays the nation radiates life, culture, great flavours and relaxing vibes. From the urban vivacity of Lisbon and Porto, to the tranquil waters of the Algarve and islands in the middle of the Atlantic, Portugal offers holidays for the soul.
February - October
The nation’s capital, Lisbon, towers over the estuary of the Tagus River and is a hub of culture and shopping. To wind down after exploring Lisbon, go to the Martim Moniz, where quirky street stalls, art installations and even a dragon will pique your curiosity. Later, enjoy the sun set over the bay from the Miradouro-area, before heading to the famous Clube do Fado in Alfama to catch some traditional Portuguese music.
While in Porto, take in some of the hidden gems in the city. Visit Lello and Irmao, one of the oldest and arguably most beautiful book stores in the world, with carved wooden interiors. Admire the views of the city from Torre dos Clerigos or tuck into the city’s signature dish, the francesinha. Consisting of layers of bread, different types of meat, cheese and topped with a fried egg, this hearty dish will fill your belly ahead of the essential port wine tour that has been known to leave visitors tipsy.
Portugal is also full of beautiful coastlines and scenic islands. At the very south of the country, the sandy beaches of the Algarve stretch as far as the eye can see. After bathing in the sea and the sun, head into the more rugged Serra-landscape to experience a slice of authentic and local Algarve culture and cuisine. Away from the mainland you’ll find the Azores, a cluster of islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which contain marvellous caves and caverns as well as the highest mountain in Portugal, Mount Pico. Join guided tours that will take you to all the must-see spots and landscape views, or head to the coast to relax on the beach with seaside activities such as water-skiing and windsurfing.
Further south you’ll find the island of Madeira, a prime spot to go whale and dolphin watching for the experience of a lifetime. The island is also a good location to sample famous local fortified wine, while watching the sun against the silhouette of the statue of football-star and Madeira-native, Cristiano Ronaldo.
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