Portugal has a lot to offer for those overcome with wanderlust, from stunning scenery and beautiful beaches, to delicious food and incredible activities. There is something for everyone in this amazing country, but if you are feeling a little lost, or on the fence, here is a bite-sized guide to Portugal to help you make up your mind.
Portugal has a fantastic Mediterranean climate, with stunning sunshine all year round – there is no wrong time to visit Portugal! In the winter, you can still expect an average temperature of 15°C, although January might see a little bit of rainfall. Spring temperatures are around 20°C with ten glorious hours of sunshine; however, it’s easy to see why summer is the most popular season. The temperature averages at around 28°C, but with low humidity and a cool breeze, it’s absolutely perfect.
The Portuguese are all about family, and their culture is richly influenced by a considerable number of other cultures, such as Germanic, Celtic, Viking, and Moorish. It is one of the oldest countries in Europe, so perfect for those history buffs. You will need Euros for the local markets, as that is the official currency of the country, and of course, you won’t be surprised to learn that they speak Portuguese. Although you may be surprised to know that it is the official language of eight other countries too! Portuguese culture is very artistic, with a love of art, dance, music, and folklore at the front; however, soccer is also really important to them!
Food and drink
Each place in Portugal has its own specialties, and it’s a fantastic way to get to know the area you are in. Head to a local restaurant (the less touristy, the better!) and try out some of the most popular dishes. You are likely to find a lot of seafood options, and many meals will come with rice. You will also be given a delicious Minho soup to start. Be sure to sample some of Portugal’s coffee, as they pride themselves on their delicious espresso. It’s a great way to start your day of sightseeing.
Where to go and what to do
Portugal is so full of incredible places to visit; it can be a little overwhelming deciding on where to head first. Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal and is blissfully affordable to explore. Stroll down the winding, cobbled streets, visit the world’s oldest bookstore, and enjoy some bohemian nightlife at Bairro Alto.
Algarve is another popular destination, and it’s easy to see why. The most stunning water, breathtaking cliffs, exhilarating hikes, most relaxed beaches and places to party, all make it a fantastic vacation destination.
Madeira is a subtropical island, perfect for some winter sun, especially if you head to the famous Funchal New Year’s Eve party. The food is delicious, the beaches are bountiful, and there are a decent number of challenging and exciting hikes.
Porto is the culture capital of Portugal, with an endless amount of palaces, cathedrals, and galleries to visit – not to mention the vineyards of the Douro Valley! They’re definitely well worth a visit if you have time.
As you can see, Portugal is a country with a lot to offer visitors, and those who are yet to add it to their bucket list are missing out! Whether you want to sip a few drinks on a beach, eat delicious food, explore hiking trails or simply party, there is something for everyone.