Spotlight on Portugal

03 October 2017

Portugal’s coastline stretches for 1,794 km – far longer even than its land border with Spain, which runs to 1,214 km.  Little wonder then, that this European country boasts so many spectacular beaches and such a variety of wonderful resorts.  It also enjoys some of the best sunshine stats in Europe – averaging 2,500 to 3,200 hours of sunshine per year.  Add to that its unarguable historical, cultural and gastronomic attractions and you can see why Portugal is such a rewarding destination.

Did you know?


Travel Counsellor Ursula visited Lagos in Western Algarve in January 2016 and said...

"Once a small fishing village the resort has blossomed into one of the most popular on the Algarve. The town is split into the Old Town and the Marina area. The Old town is surrounded by the 16th century walls which have beautiful cobbled streets, plazas and some unique churches and historical sights to visit. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from and the Praca del Gil Eanes has children’s entertainment and music most evenings which was perfect for us each evening before or after dinner. There are also several streets off the Praca for exploring and souvenir shopping."


When to visit Portugal


Travel Counsellor Karen visited Olhao in October 2016 and said...

"As our trip was early October, the resort was quiet and we were lucky enough to share it predominately with the locals. Saying that, I sense even high season it wouldn't be a busy resort, with most people opting for the popular Albufera just down the coast. Because it's not a busy, commercialised resort, the prices are still very very reasonable. Five of us were enjoying a two course meal with wine for around £12-£15 each.The weather was also fab, not too hot but warm enough to sunbathe comfortably. I'd absolutely go back to this lovely little gem either with friends, family or with my husband as a couples getaway."


Sights to see in Portugal

Portugal’s capital Lisbon is one of the least visited capitals in Europe – which means you can explore its fascinating sites like the Torre de Belem, Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, or the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in relative peace.  Wander narrow streets winding up the steep hillsides of Alfama, the grand avenues and plazas of Baixa, admire the view from the Castelo de Sao Jorge which perches above the city, and, when you’ve had enough, take one of the iconic wooden trams back to your hotel.

Portugal has many wonderful beaches – some of which are just a day trip from Lisbon, enabling you to easily combine a fabulous city break with a beach holiday.

Despite its oldest course being established as late as 1966, the Algarve is blessed with 35 of Portugal’s 70 golf clubs, which include world-class courses and some exclusive golf resorts, including one of Portugal’s first – and still exceptional – Vale do Lobo near Loulé.

The Algarve’s beaches range from long sandy shorelines bordered by promenades and cafes to secluded sea-sculpted coves dotted with caves and interesting rock formations and framed by golden sandstone cliffs.

Also on the Algarve, the port of Vilamora is a favourite of Portuguese footballing legend Christiano Ronaldo.  Take an evening stroll around the flash marina before enjoying its waterfront restaurants, bars and nightlife.

In Madeira, wander the narrow, cobbled streets of its capital Funchal, then soak up the sun at a seaside lido.  Pay a visit to Blandy’s Wine Lodge to sample the island’s eponymous wine.  And spend a day or two exploring the island’s rugged interior by hiking its network of hillside irrigation channels, or “levadas”, for awe-inspiring views.

 

Try something a little different…


Travel Counsellor Allan visited Madeira in October 2016 and said...

"No visit to Funchal would be complete without a ride on the cable car from Funchal to Monte (or a journey between heaven and earth - as it is advertised). It costs €10 one way or €15 return. The cable car is 3300 metres long and take you over Funchal to the village of Monte. The views are spectacular, you can see all of Funchal and the harbour where cruise ships dock. P&O Azura was in overnight while we were there."


 

A taste of Portugal

For more ideas about what to do in Portugal, how to get there, when to go and where to stay, get in touch with your local Travel Counsellor.

 

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