Portugal is a vibrant and fascinating country that is very distinct from its larger neighbour, Spain and has retained a unique character all its own, a distinct Portuguese culture and way of life. A visit to Portugal can be very economical for many visitors from other European countries, making this beautiful destination a very good budget break option. The weather is warm, the scenery varied and picturesque, the cities vibrant and interesting and many of its beaches clean and pleasant.
Visit Portugal for Scintillating Cities & Towns
Porto is the northern capital of the country, Portugal's second city. It is situated in the northern portion of the country, which is often said to be the birthplace of the nation. Lisbon, Portugal's capital, is a fascinating city and it is also well placed if you plan to explore the central portions of the country. Faro, on the country's south coast, is located in the Algarve region and gives access to that regions many gorgeous beaches and busy resorts.
Braga, Guimarães, Barcelos and Amarante are all inland towns that are increasing in popularity. Guimarães is a particularly important place in Portuguese history. 'Portugal was born here' is the town motto.
Visit Portugal for Beautiful Beaches
Portugal has a beautiful and varied coastline, huge stretches of which are less-developed than most people would imagine they would be considering how stunning they are and how balmy the weather. Whatever you are looking for, you are bound to find many beaches in this country that will satisfy your every whim, whether you are looking for a natural spot to watch the wildlife, a family destination for the kids to enjoy, a simple patch of sand to sun yourself in or a romantic place to watch the sunset on a sultry evening.
The popular beaches of the Algarve and the Costa Verde are not the only options. Visitors who want something quieter and more laid back should check out Miramar, Porto, Troia Peninsula, Setúbal – a quiet alternative to popular Cascais and Estoril, Europe's most westerly sands at Praia da Adraga, Sintra, the little cove of Praia do Castelo or family-friendly Altura, which are just some of the wonderful options you could consider.
Visit Portugal for Outdoors Adventure
A long distance hiking trail, the Rota Vicentina, follows the Portuguese Atlantic coast for 350km, taking in this huge swathe of the most unspoiled and wildest stretch of coastline to be found on the Iberian Peninsula, or anywhere in southern Europe. It is composed of two sections which are called the Historical Way and the Fisherman's Trail. The route takes you from the town of Santiago do Cacém to the Cape of St. Vincent which is the most south-westerly point of mainland Europe.
From the mountains of Serra da Estrella Nature Park, to the unspoiled nature parks, little villages, farmland and vineyards of the Alentejo region, from the breathtaking Douro River to the coastline and coastal waters, Portugal offers almost endless opportunities for nature lovers to enjoy hikes, bike rides and many other outdoors adventures.