With a wonderful Mediterranean climate, amazing food, glorious beaches and whitewashed villages to explore there is something to suit everybody.
With over 1200 kilometres of coastline and 300 days of sunshine each year, it is hardly surprising that Portugal has some of the best coastal activities you could hope for on a holiday.
When you are looking for a destination to travel too, what are your top priorities? If you are like us, you will want variety and some sunshine.
Which is why Portugal is one of the best locations to visit. With over 1200 kilometres of coastline and 300 days of sunshine each year, a wonderful Mediterranean climate, amazing food, glorious beaches and white washed villages to explore there is something to suit everybody.
History and UNESCO world heritage sites
There is so much history in Portugal, did you know, it is actually one of the oldest countries in Europe, having kept the same borders for over 900 years?
The historical sites are all over the country, with many being granted UNESCO world heritage sites, but our favourites are Sintra and Tomar.
Sintra (which is located next to Lisbon) is considered to be one of the most romantic locations in the world. A land full of fairytale castles and palaces. This area is so important that not just one building was granted UNESCO world heritage status, the entire area was.
Another favourite is Tomar, where you will find the Convent of Christ which was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983. The convent and castle were originally a Roman Catholic convent built in the 12th century. and being a Templar stronghold, in the 14th century the order of the Templar Knights were dissolved and became the Knights of the Order of Christ.
These are just 2 examples, but there are so many more, to visit.
With 1200 kilometres of coastline, you just know that there will be some amazing beaches in Portugal.
Though the Algarve is certainly the most famous, there are many beautiful beaches in the other regions.
Whether you are looking to laze on a deserted cove or join the fun packed beaches with water sports there is a beach to suit you.
On the Silver Coast, you can find the most famous surfing beach in Portugal. Praia do Norte in Nazaré is where the world’s largest wave was ever surfed.
Or enjoy the expanse of soft sand and sea along the Alentejo Coast.
But if you are looking for non stop entertainment, Albufeira in the Algarve is for you. There are lots of cafes and bars, and in the water you can try fly boarding, snorkelling, parasailing, jet skiing and enjoy inflatable rides.
Food can be one of the main reasons to visit Portugal, there is so much choice and variety. The cuisine may be something of a culinary surprise, but there are certain foods that you just have to try.
Many are traditional dishes and served in most restaurants and cafes, although the ingredients, recipes and flavours vary depending on where you eat.
Having so much coastline, fish and seafood are on every menu. Did you know there are over a 1000 different ways to try bacalhau (cod)?
Sardines are also one of the most popular dishes, served in a variety of different ways from sardines being caught and dried on the beach in the traditional way in Nazaré through to the BBQ varieties served in the restaurants in the coastal regions for Sunday lunch.
And best of all you can take these home in souvenir cans, from shops that are as much a tourist attraction as the actual food itself.
If you are looking for nature in your trip, then you will find this in abundance in Portugal, visit the Central region and treat yourself to a trip to a river beach. These can be small natural streams found on country walks through to larger dams which have dedicated swimming areas with cafes and other facilities.
Visit one of the many nature reserves found throughout the country by yourself or go on an arranged trip and see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. The Azores is currently one of the world’s largest whale sanctuaries.
Portugal is only a small country but there is a huge variety of things to see, visit, do and eat, which is what makes Portugal so special. Each region has it’s own weather patterns and unique areas to discover and explore.
Whether you want an action packed trip or a trip where you can visit nature reserves, a touring trip where you can take it all in or a week lazing on the beach.
Portugal is the place to visit on your next trip.