Destination Overview

Portugal

If you are dreaming about your next trip to Europe, dare to discover Portugal, located at Europe’s most westerly edge. With a fascinating Mediterranean gastronomy and an appealing climate with an average of 200 days sunny days a year, Portugal offers a wide variety of activities and experiences. A country with a diverse landscape, mountains and amazing valleys and rivers, and the beaches of the Algarve with white sand and beautiful rock formations along the coast.

Time

GMT + 0

Capital

Lisbon

Language

Portugese

Religion

Roman Catholicism

International Airports

Lisbon, Faro, Porto, Funchal

Weather

Portugal is influenced on the coastal region by the Atlantic Ocean, so an Atlantic Climate is to be found along most of the coast. However, the Algarve coast gains with the warm influence of the Gulf current, changing the climate in the region to a Mediterranean one, something that can be felt and seen in the type of vegetation common of Mediterranean countries. Summers are warm, Winters are cooler. It can get stormy sometimes, but the number of hours of sun throughout the country exceeds 3000 in the southern part of the country. MARCH-MAY JUN-AUG SEPT-

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Top Highlights

About Portugal

Portugal occupies the edge of the Iberian Peninsula; its frontiers are the Atlantic Ocean and Spain. A small country with just over 10 million inhabitants, some of its main economic activities is tourism. The islands, Madeira and Porto Santo and the Azores, are part of the Portuguese territory but with an autonomous parliament and government. Tourism is also one of their main activities, along with agriculture and fishing. Independent since 1143, Portugal is one of the oldest independent countries in Europe, it was a monarchy until 1910 when it became a republic.

Food and Wine

The Portuguese love their food and even more so, their wine! From north to south the variety is huge, the north prefers their strong meats and stews accompanied by full bodied red wines from some of the 250 native grape varieties, or a salted cod baked in the oven paired with a reserve white. The coast offers such an array of fresh fish and shellfish, grilled on charcoal accompanied by a cool Vinho Verde. The south is the land of garlic, olive oil, and acorn fed black pigs. The Algarve goes Mediterranean with its oranges, figs, almonds that taste so good in the local traditional sweets.

Nature

Portugal is surprisingly varied in nature, considering how small the country is. From the craters of the old volcanoes in the Azores, turned into beautiful colourful lagoons, to the ravishing tropical vegetation and breath- taking cliffs of Madeira island, the vineyards of the Douro Valley, or the endless plaines of Alentejo just after the highest mountain in the country with its pure springs of water, until we get to the caves of the Algarve, in between the long white sand beaches and sand islands where the birds build their nests when fleeing from the cold weather of norther Europe.

Portugal Journeys

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Portugals Top Destinations

Lisbon

Where the old meets the new, it has an incredibly rich heritage whilst being one of the trendiest capitals in Europe. Lisbon is a very walkable city and offer spectacular hilltop views in Alfama or at St. George's Castle. One shouldn't miss a ride in the famous Tram 28, that passes some of the cities must-sees, or a long walk along the waterfront neighbourhood of Belém.

Alentejo

While to the north the pace is set by the green of the flatlands as far as the eye can see, further south the landscape combines with the sun, the heat, and a slower pace of life. The Alentejo, the idyllic heartland of Portugal, impresses with variety: deserted surf beaches and charming fishing villages on the western coastline and picturesque walled towns and forts on the boarder to Spain. An ideal place for those that wish to escape the tourist crowds and dive into the authentic Portugal.

Sintra

Where the old meets the new, it has an incredibly rich heritage whilst being one of the trendiest capitals in Europe. Lisbon is a very walkable city and offer spectacular hilltop views in Alfama or at St. George's Castle. One shouldn't miss a ride in the famous Tram 28, that passes some of the cities must-sees, or a long walk along the waterfront neighbourhood of Belém.

Porto

Be it the millennium-old cathedral or the latest molecular gastropub, the city of Porto is really a living heritage, one that reinvents itself while maintaining its core character. A vibrant and fascinating city, world-famous for the production of Port wine, matured in vast cellars that stretch along the banks of Douro River. But Porto is more than that: rich culture, a buzzing nightlife, captivating tourist attractions and many more is waiting to be discovered.

Obidos

Discover this delightful town of white houses adorned with bougainvillea and honeysuckle, surrounded by its castle medieval walls. Considered as one of the most characterful places of central Portugal it is a symbol of a traditional Portuguese city. The surrounding region is equally fascinating, not far away from Lisbon and ideal for a day trip.

Douro Valley

A dream made of enchanted valleys, unscathed nature, and world heritage sites; in its steep vineyards is where Port Wine is produced. The Douro Valley in northern Portugal is the oldest wine-growing region in the world and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cultivation of wine here dates back to the Roman's. With all these centuries-old vineyards running along the Douro River, the area is a must-visit for gourmets and vine-lovers and shouldn't be missed during a stay in Portugal.

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