04 February 2019
From enviable beaches and eclectic architecture to quaint fishing villages and famous vineyards, Portugal is a culture-rich country brimming with old-world charm. The southern region of the Algarve is a firm favourite with travellers, where an array of top-class beach resorts, once sleepy fishing villages, provide luxurious oceanside accommodation. There is far more to Portugal than its beaches, however. The country is home to some breathtaking architecture and cultural treasures, including the Jerónimos Monastery and its Manueline architecture, the iconic Monument to the Discoveries, and the most-photographed building in all of Portugal, the Tower of Belém.
Best time to visit Portugal
Portugal has a typically Mediterranean climate, characterised by hot, dry summers, and cool, wet winters. The best time to visit Portugal is during spring and autumn, when the weather is warm and fine, and there aren’t too many tourists around. However, summer is the high season, and is probably when the ocean is at its most appealing.
Recommended length of stay: A weekend away for a city break, to two weeks to delve deeper into all that Portugal has to offer
Local currency: Euro (EUR)
Top three experiences
PGA courses in the Algarve sunshine
Though not one of the historical homes of golf, southern Portugal now draws legions of enthusiasts to its luminous courses. Over forty are featured in the Algarve alone, with at least half of these stretched out across the 100-mile coastline, looking out over the Mediterranean, making this the perfect place to relax and enjoy a round at a leisurely pace.
Explore scenic architecture and wine lodges, Porto
Porto has a picturesque location on a steep hillside above the River Douro. Visit some of the city’s most striking monuments including the opulent 19th-century Stock Exchange. End the day on the Ribeira district’s alluring quayside, the Cais da Ribeira, after a port wine tasting at one of the famous wine lodges.
Discover the wonders of Lisbon
Explore the Alfama Quarter, with its steep streets and alleys, or head to the Baixa, Lisbon’s main shopping and banking district. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Avenidas Novas is Portugal’s finest museum; its collection includes a magnificent range of artefacts, sculptures and paintings.
Where would you like to visit on your next adventure? Contact your local Travel Counsellor for a tailor-made holiday, or read our Authentic Encounters brochure for more inspiration.