Located on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is one of Europe’s most visited countries due to the amazing climate, affordable travel costs and exceptional attractions. In this article we will show some of Portugal holiday destinations that you definitely should visit if you’re thinking about travel to Portugal. In this country you can also have, lying in the Atlantic Ocean, the archipelagos of Azores and Madeira, known for their lush landscapes and flower gardens.
Some of the best Portugal Holiday Destinations:
Lisbon: The old, melancholic, historical and beautiful, Lisbon is the best place to start any tour of Portugal. Lisbon is a vibrant and diverse city, which is forward thinking and liberal but has not forgotten its heritage and past. You can listen to the sad fados that emerge from the taverns of the historic neighbourhood of Alfama. Enjoy a good dinner and continue the party until the early hours in the multiple bars full of life in Bairro Alto. The city is a joy to explore with grand plazas leading to narrow cobbled streets that are dissected by the quaint tram network. Lisbon has so many varied and distinct districts, each one proud of its own unique history and architectural styles. You can also visit Belem which is one of the most beautiful areas of Lisbon!
Algarve: The Algarve is the beautiful northern coastline of Portugal. It is a region that is fortunate to have stunning beaches, picturesque fishing villages and spectacular weather, all that combines to create the perfect destination for a vacation. The Algarve has a fascinating variety, capable of attracting a great diversity of tourists, offering everything from immaculate beaches for families with young children, to water parks for teenagers, a nighttime night for young couples and groups of friends and a special offer of towns historical discoveries during cultural visits. Sunny Mediterranean climate, gorgeous beaches, fabulous cuisine and affordable costs are just some of the reasons that make the Algarve one of the best places to visit in Portugal.
Coimbra: Coimbra may not be the newest tourist destinations in Portugal but the history that it’s around the city is amazing. There are several points of interest throughout the city. The city itself it’s small, but with a whole structure, calm, safe, clean … and with a great night! It’s the city of students, parties and tradition. Coimbra is the ancient university town of Portugal and is an intriguing mix of historic sights and youthful energy, imparted by the larger student population. These students are frequently seen throughout Coimbra dressed in their black robes either rushing to classes or later in the cafes groups performing classical songs. It is worth spending time strolling its streets and enjoying the aura of Coimbra.
Sintra: Sintra is a village perched on a mountain covered with forest where the castles and palaces take your breath away. The nobility constructed lavish palaces, while the elite of Portugal who followed them constructed equal opulent residences. Today these palaces and stately homes are open to the public and Sintra is considered as the best day trip from Lisbon. It’s a step away from the beautiful Lisbon. The fog swings voluptuously among the trees to be a companion in the reading of a story in which magic and mystery live. They say that Sintra is the capital of romanticism, also of nostalgia.
Madeira: Using the nickname “Floating Garden of the Atlantic,” Madeira is a fertile oasis in the Atlantic Ocean between Portugal and North Africa, popular for its lush green landscapes, flower gardens and wines. Madeira is warm all year-round with temperatures rarely rising above 30C or falling below 16C. However, there are six micro-climates which means that you could be battling chilly drizzle one minute and sunbathing on the beach the next. It’s this landscape that is such a draw for thrill-seekers, with activities such as mountain biking, canyoning and paragliding experiencing a boom in popularity. But for those who prefer to appreciate the landscape without the adrenaline rush then there are more than 1,000km of footpaths running alongside the levadas (irrigation channels) which snake their way through the countryside, and cable cars from which to enjoy aerial views. There is a lot of things you can do on this island.
Porto: Set aside the Douro River, Porto—Portugal’s second city—is one of the most eclectic destinations in Europe. With its Medieval architecture, it’s defining Dom Luis I Bridge (designed by the engineer and disciple of Gustave Eiffel, Teófilo Seyrig) and Art Nouveau cafes, there’s something for everyone. All too often overshadowed by popular capital Lisbon, Porto is a colourful, UNESCO-listed city that offers an authentic slice of Portuguese life. The pace is much slower than in tourist-heavy Lisbon – and in that sense, it feels much more European.
Aveiro: Hugging the country’s Atlantic Coast in Central Portugal, Aveiro is a bustling city often called “the Venice of Portugal” due to its picturesque setting of scenic canals connected by charming bridges and dotted with colourful gondolas and speed boats. Historic sites, gorgeous beaches and tasty cuisine also make Aveiro a popular tourist destination. Aveiro’s many sightseeing gems include the Aveiro Cathedral, and the Convento de Jesus. These all offer lovely architecture and art works. You can enjoy a trip on their gondolas, or go to the amazing beaches and there’s a villa with beautiful beach houses!
Azores: This remote archipelago simply abounds with adventures; it is, in fact, the Hawaii of the mid-Atlantic. Azores is composed by 9 islands, but the bigger is São Miguel. It has world-class whale watching, sailing, diving, hiking and canyoning; excellent surfing and other watersports. The Azores contain two of Portugal’s 15 Unesco World Heritage sites – the vineyards of Pico and the old town of Angra do Heroismo on Terceira – and three biospheres (Graciosa, Flores and Corvo). The regional government has bolstered this with an award-winning network of natural parks and marine reserves to safeguard the unspoiled environment.
Sesimbra: As well as fine sands, turquoise waters and a Moorish castle slung high above the centre, this former fishing village offers excellent seafood in its waterfront restaurants. Though the beach gets packed in summer, the town has kept its low-key charm with narrow lanes lined with terracotta-roofed houses, outdoor cafes and a palm-fringed promenade for lazy ambles. Cruises, guided hikes and scuba-diving activities here include trips to Cabo Espichel, where dinosaurs once roamed. It’s 30km southwest of Setúbal, sheltering under the Serra da Arrábida at the western edge of the beautiful Parque Natural da Arrábida. Aside from the beautiful beaches and delicious food, there is a lot to do within the Sesimbra region. Sesimbra is a fantastic destination for tourists seeking an authentic Portuguese holiday experience, which combines wonderful beaches with a wide host of sights and activities.
Evora: Evora may be a small town in the Alentejo plains region of southern Portugal, but it packs huge tourist appeal. With a history dating back more than 2000 years, Evora was once a flourishing city under Roman rule. Today, Evora is the capital of the Alentejo region, regarded for its well-preserved Old Town, which shelters more than 4,000 historic structures including the old Roman walls and temples. Another highlight is the 13th century Cathedral of Evora, one of Portugal’s most important Gothic structures. Not far outside the city is Europe’s largest complex of prehistoric megaliths that are also worth a look. The city has an old town, many places of tourist interest and a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Between the cities there are regular and cheap train and bus services, which makes Evora an interesting option for a day trip departing from Lisbon.
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