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Portugal has for years been a top destination for travel and tourism. The glorious beaches and holiday hotels attract visitors from far and wide.

Sadly, it also has, in my opinion, some of the worst and most dangerous taxi drivers I have ever experienced in Europe. Despite the white-knuckle ride I endured when taking a taxi to my Faro hotel some years back, Portugal is a country I rate highly as it simply ticks all the boxes when it comes to what we as tourists demand from a holiday.

The coastline of the Algarve has some of the finest beaches in Europe while the capital city of Lisbon as well as Porto provides history, culture, and nightlife. If you want to get out and about, then you have plenty of national parks and outdoor spaces to enjoy. In addition to this, Portugal has pretty good food, superb beer, a warm climate, and incredible history. Overall the country is a bit of an all-rounder.

Portugal also has some great island destinations. Madeira – the pearl of the Atlantic with its flora and fauna and its Madeira wine. You can stay or enjoy an afternoon tea at the famous and ever so fabulous Reid’s Palace Hotel in Funchal. The Azores islands provide opportunities to spot migrating whales along with superb walking and hiking.

Portugal has plenty to offer the holidaymaker or intrepid explorer. 

Key Information

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Tourist OfficeVisit Portugal

Memories Of Portugal

You have to spend the time to immerse yourself in all that Portugal offers. You can’t simply “get it” on the first visit as you may be sadly disappointed. I certainly was. It was not just those taxi drivers. It was also the service in some hotels that had been a bit of a letdown – the occasional rude waiter or barman. There was also cold food that was occasionally served up. I guess I expected more of Portugal in those early visits. In recent times I have visited with less expectation and been quietly surprised. Very similar to my first impressions of Malta.

Madeira is a beautiful island. Staying in a Quinta – an old manor house – was a highlight. I remember one I stayed at had a resident giant tortoise who patrolled the gorgeous grounds.

Porto Santo off Madeira is another hidden gem away from the crowds with its pretty little villages and a shoreline where you can be the only person strolling along a golden beach with the roaring Atlantic ocean before you – just magic!

Getting Around Portugal

Air – The three main airports in Portugal are Lisbon, Faro, and Porto. All have excellent connections throughout Europe and beyond.

Bus – Taking the bus is a cost-effective means of travelling to various parts of Portugal.

Car Hire – Car Hire gives you the freedom to explore. Something to consider is the cost of tolls in addition to the car hire itself. 

Taxis – Given my experience in Faro I would avoid them unless booked through a trusted source!

Tram – No trip to Lisbon and Porto is complete without taking a ride on the local tram. 

Train – Portugal has a good train network between all the major cities. There are also connections to some of the more off-the-beaten-track parts of the country. The cost of taking trains is reasonable.

Top 20 Things To See & Do In Portugal

  1. Lisbon: Explore the vibrant capital city, with its historic neighbourhoods, such as Alfama and Bairro Alto, and iconic landmarks like São Jorge Castle and Belém Tower.
  2. Porto: Wander through the charming streets of Porto, visit the famous Livraria Lello bookstore, and sample port wine in the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia.
  3. Sintra: Discover the fairytale palaces and lush gardens of Sintra, including Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and the Moorish Castle.
  4. Algarve Beaches: Relax on the golden sands and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Algarve’s stunning beaches, such as Praia da Marinha and Praia da Falésia.
  5. Douro Valley: Take a scenic cruise along the Douro River, passing terraced vineyards and picturesque villages, and visit wineries for tastings of Portugal’s famous port wine.
  6. Évora: Immerse yourself in history in Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its well-preserved Roman ruins, medieval streets, and iconic landmarks like the Temple of Diana.
  7. Coimbra: Explore the historic university town of Coimbra, home to one of the oldest universities in the world, and visit the stunning Joanina Library and Sé Velha Cathedral.
  8. Azeitão: Indulge in delicious Portuguese cuisine in Azeitão, known for its traditional dishes like queijo de Azeitão cheese and tortas de Azeitão pastries.
  9. Aveiro: Discover the “Venice of Portugal” in Aveiro, with its charming canals, colourful moliceiro boats, and delicious ovos moles sweets.
  10. Fado Music: Experience the soulful sounds of fado music in Lisbon’s intimate tavernas and clubs, where passionate singers express Portugal’s melancholic saudade.
  11. Peneda-Gerês National Park: Hike through pristine wilderness and rugged mountains in Portugal’s only national park, spotting wildlife and enjoying breathtaking vistas.
  12. Nazaré: Witness the awe-inspiring giant waves of Nazaré, one of the world’s premier surfing destinations, and explore the quaint fishing village and its historic sites.
  13. Guimarães: Step back in time in Guimarães, known as the birthplace of Portugal, and visit its medieval castle, charming old town, and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza.
  14. Obidos: Wander through the cobbled streets of Obidos, surrounded by ancient castle walls, and sample the local cherry liqueur served in chocolate cups.
  15. Alentejo Wineries: Tour the vineyards and wineries of the Alentejo region, tasting award-winning wines like Vinho Verde and Alentejo reds.
  16. Tomar: Discover the Templar history of Tomar, with its impressive Convent of Christ and the Castle of Tomar, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  17. Serra da Estrela: Explore Portugal’s highest mountain range, Serra da Estrela, known for its stunning scenery, hiking trails, and winter sports opportunities.
  18. Berlengas Islands: Take a boat trip to the Berlengas Islands nature reserve, a haven for seabirds and marine life, and explore the pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.
  19. Ria Formosa Natural Park: Embark on a boat tour of Ria Formosa, a protected wetland area teeming with birdlife, and visit the charming islands of Culatra and Armona.
  20. Braga: The charming town of Braga in the north of Portugal is known for its nightlife, narrow streets, stunning architecture, and numerous churches.

Pre-bookable Excursions in Portugal

More Information

Contact Visit Portugal or your local travel agent for more information on holidays to Portugal.



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