Portugal, on Europe’s western edge, makes an ideal holiday destination – whether visiting its vibrant capital, Lisbon, and some of Europe’s best nightclubs, or its sun-drenched southern coast, the Algarve, famed for its soft, sandy beaches. Portugal is also a country steeped in history and culture, from the palaces of the north, the medieval relics of Lisbon to the Moorish architecture of the south.
Visitors can take a cruise through the spectacular scenery of the Douro valley in the north, past vineyards and unspoilt villages or get away from it all on the island of Madeira, famed for its natural beauty and flowers. A holiday in Portugal provides many choices. It’s just as possible to see the country from a sun lounger on the beach as it is from the saddle of a horse or a mountain bike whilst travelling through the rugged inland landscape – or experience centuries of culture in the animated city of Lisbon, one of Europe’s most alluring capitals.
Portugal is ideal for an active holiday and offers many possibilities to enjoy water sports such as surfing, windsurfing or scuba diving. It is also immensely popular with golfers, who can exercise their putting strokes on championship courses.
Portugal is one of the warmest European countries, particularly in the south and has a near-perfect climate, with long summers and relatively warm winters. Those seeking a more active holiday tend to opt for spring and autumn, while true sun-seekers enjoy the hot weather of high summer.
Who visits Portugal?
Anyone who likes sun can appreciate Portugal. Sporty types enjoy the many activities Portugal has to offer, while families can look forward to friendly locals and miles of sand, and singles and couples can enjoy lively beaches and buzzing nightlife.
The Portuguese cuisine offers something for everyone, with many traditional dishes on offer. There are soups such as ‘caldo verde’ which is a soup containing potatoes, kale, chunks of chorizo- a spicy sausage originated from Portugal. The fish option is bacalhau (salted cod) which has many ways of preparing it, char-grilled or made into a sumptuous pie are just a couple of ways. Furthermore, the traditional meat option is roasted pig (Leitão à Bairrada) which is a speciality in Portugal, normally served with potatoes and vegetables. Many dishes are spiced using piri piri and black pepper used for giving meals extra flavour. Wine is Portugal’s traditional drink and is the perfect accompaniment to any evening meal. Some of the most typical desserts are ‘arroz doce’ (a cinnamon coated rice pudding) and caramel custard which goes down a treat after a wonderful portugease dish. Portugal takes a lot of influence from its neighbour Spain and like Spain it has been attracting British holidaymakers for many years. For those that do not wish to try local specialities our own tastes are very well catered for.
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