Portugal, a small country in the south west of Europe, has a holiday vibe all year round, with everything you’d expect out of an exotic European travel destination: beautiful countryside, green hills, blue waters and sunny beaches, a unique culture, happy and friendly people, and lively cities full of parades, festivals and feasts. You can travel across Portugal and enjoy Algarve’s glamorous beach environment in the south, Alentejo’s near-desert landscape in the middle and the green mountains of the North. The official language is Portuguese, though some Spanish is spoken in places, and the currency is the Euro. 

Places to see in Portugal

Lagos

The Algarve city of Lagos is a tropical paradise, with luscious beaches, scrumptious dishes, exciting tours, adventure sports and eco-expeditions. To get insight into Portugal’s darker past, walk into history at the African slave markets. Take a breath of sea air and admire the boast down at the marina. Grab some cheap and sumptuous fresh seafood from the fish markets or any of the nearby shops and stalls. Hire a guide and fishing boat for a few euros and take a tour of the grottos and caves along the coastline. For a little more money, you can swim with the dolphins on a safari out of the local harbour. It’s well worth the cost. Visit the Municipal Museum with its collection of Moorish, Spanish, Portuguese and African influenced art. A day’s sight-seeing tour of Lagos’ own castles, churches and monuments is a great way to see the town, or jump onto a motorbike side-cart ride courtesy of the local tour operators for a breath-taking view of surrounding scenery. You can also go on Ru Porta Da Vila’s Mountain Bike Adventure which is a guided tour of the Algarve mountainside. There are many beaches in Lagos’s Praia de Batata, which features its own lighthouse, steep cliffs, a cove only reachable by boat and dozens of cafes. Spend your lazy days on the stunning Camila Beach or the equally fabulous Meia Praia on the other side of the marina, with its great beach bars. Ride in high-powered motor boats, kayak to your heart’s content, surf the waves, or just swim around in some of the most pristine beaches you’ll ever see.

Lisbon

Portugal’s capital city Lisbon has a civilisation dating back hundreds of years. Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Moorish and African cultures all had an influence which can still be seen to this day. Walking through the old quarters of the ancient city is a journey in itself. It’s a traveller’s delight to get lost within these walls and find little secrets across the city that you will never forget and maybe never stumble across again.
Begin delving into this port city’s history by finding the Discoveries Monument. Wander the grounds of the Palace of the Marquises. March around Saint George’s Castle. It sounds boring, but you’ve got to check out the artwork at National Tile Museum, influenced by Portugal’s ancient cultures. The intricate patterns and colourful designs will blow your mind! If you love your sports, play a round of golf at any one of Portugal’s famous clubs, or take a surf class with the Epic Surf School.

Take a ride on the Parque das Nacoes cable cars or a Tram 28 ride through the city streets to see modern Lisbon. Any trip to Lisbon would not be complete without a visit to Pastéis de Belém, home of the world-famous Portuguese Tart. Head to the Bairro Alto quarter for nightlife and clubbing. Club Lux is hailed as one of the best in Europe, but there are many other clubs, restaurants and bars down by the river near dock under Abril Bridge, where you’ll find a good time on any budget.

Guarda

If you’re more of a mountains person, make a pilgrimage north to the inland Guarda, which is windswept and cool most of year, but has green mountains, lush bush, sprawling valleys, wineries, great food, national parks and protected wildlife areas.

Visit the prehistoric rock-art sites in the Foz Coa Archaeological Park. Do a vineyard crawl through the Coa Valley and get happy home-style with the locals. Wander the medieval graves and castles of the Fornos de Algodres, which is a little bit ghostly and eerie! Guarda isn’t the liveliest place to be for the nightlife, so expect a quiet evening at a town café with a few tourists, or a home-cooked meal if you’re lucky enough to get invited by a local family you met during the day.

Porto

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon, this historic hillside is known for its river and its port. Have a coffee at the Majestic café, a city landmark, take a cruise down the world heritage Duoro valley, head down to the Foz, the sophisticated district of Porto with it’s many ocean front bars, clubs, cafes and restaurants or relax at the Crystal Palace gardens that overlook the Duoro River.

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