Attractive sandy beaches, beautiful nature, and interesting culture connected with the friendly Mediterraneanclimate are the main reasons to visit Portugal. For a small country, Portugal offers diverse attractions from the sunny beaches to the lively cities, remote Atlantic islands, and forested mountain areas, which makes the country all the more interesting. Portugal is also a golfer’s paradise with a multitude of green fields available for the lovers of this outdoor sport.
Beaches, sea cliffs and outdoor sport facilities: Attractions of Portugal
The most popular travel destination in Portugal is its lively capital city, Lisbon. This large city is a mixture of fascinating cultural and architectural attractions with vivid nightlife. Built on seven hills located on the Atlantic coast, Lisbon is a scenic city offering not only memorable experiences, but also lots of beautiful landscapes to admire. The Portuguese capital is located close to some of the best golf courses of Portugal. The nearby Estoril and Cascais are popular beach resorts.
Golf and nature destinations. Algarve in the south of the country invites many with its sandy beaches and sunny climate, which are made even more interesting by the presence of many golf courses and beautiful landscapes with sea cliffs and green countryside. Another popular travel destination, Madeira is an Atlantic island with dramatic green landscapes suitable for long walks along the levadas of the mountainsides, as well as for golfing. Azores are a scenic group of Portuguese islands in the Atlantic Ocean offering the joys of hiking, whale watching, and sailing.
City destinations. Porto is a popular city in the North of the country with the best nightlife in Portugal, whileBraga on its behalf offers interesting historical sights including the popular baroque stairway, Bom Jesus de Monte. Coimbra is famous for its medieval architecture and for one of the oldest universities of Europe.
Practical information for your trip to Portugal
Located in Southern Europe by the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is easily reached by air from most corners of the world. The main airport of the country is located in Lisbon, which is located in the western part of the country. You can also travel to Portugal by train or bus from the neighboring Spain, or take a cruise there. Traveling around Portugal is easy thanks to efficient bus and train services and good roads of this South European country that hosts diverse landscapes from high mountains to coastal plains and river valleys.
The climate in Portugal is Mediterranean with mild winters and warm, sunny summers. Wintertime average high temperatures in the country are around 15°C, thanks to which Portugal is a year-round destination. However, if you are looking for a place in the sun, the best time to travel to Portugal is in the summertime, when average monthly high temperatures in Portugal easily reach 25-30°C.
Visitor services. Portugal is a quite popular tourism destination with some 13 million overseas visitors a year and modern tourist services available all around the country. The main touristic areas of Portugal offer all-year-round open hotels and plenty of inviting restaurants to serve hungry visitors. Nightlife in Portugal is lively, with diverse facilities from traditional fado performance to karaoke bars pleasing many tastes. The most popular shopping places of Portugal are found in the capital Lisbon, but also all other main tourist areas of Portugal host shops offering you commercial temptations. English is spoken mainly in touristic areas of Portugal. Portugal is a safe travel destination that is popular also among families traveling with children.
Short history of Portugal
Portugal’s history as an independent country goes back to early Middle Ages, when the country gained a status of a European maritime and colonial power, hosting several overseas colonies. During later years, Portugal lost much of this wealth and experienced battle losses and natural disasters, the latter of which destroyed also much of its capital city Lisbon in 1755. These difficulties made nearly two millions of Portuguese citizens leave the country in the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries for a better life in the new continent, namely in Brazil or in the United States. After the military dictatorship that ended in the 1970s, Portugal has gained back much of its wealth and became a founding member of the NATO and more recently a member of European Union.