With its thousand and one wonders, Portugal is unquestionably one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world. So, if you have opted for a holiday in Portugal, rest assured you made the right choice and will not regret it, because you will see the most beautiful scenery in the world and taste one of the best cuisines that Europe has to offer. Let's take an overview of all the wonders this country in continental Europe has to offer.
A Mediterranean Climate
Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal looks out on the Atlantic Ocean. Although not directly bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, its climate is considered Mediterranean. Indeed, in summer, the country, which shares a border with Spain, enjoys warm and dry temperatures, while winters are mild and wet.
The best time to visit Portugal is during the summer months of July and August when temperatures can climb to 45 degrees Celsius in some areas! Although summer is the ideal season, winter can also be a good time to go to Portugal when both the temperatures – and the prices – are lower!
Madeira and the Azores
Apart from its territory of 89,000 square kilometres, Portugal also has two archipelagos, Madeira and the Azores, which are a real must to explore during a trip to Portugal.
Entirely surrounded by water, the islands are particularly conducive to the observation of marine mammals such as the dolphin, the blue whale, and the humpback whale. You'll undoubtedly have the opportunity to see some on your trip to Portugal, particularly in the Azores, which is one of the most important whale sanctuaries in the world!
The Azores are also the perfect place to visit if you want to stay away from mass tourism. Renowned for its rich flora and fauna, the Azores archipelago is full of ecological wonders and is a true paradise for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers. The Azores' volcanic topography will leave you breathless with admiration. If you are not yet convinced, you only need to check out some photographs!
The Nine Garden-Islands
Consisting of nine main verdant islands in total, the Azores are made up of three main groups of islands: the western group, the centre group, and the eastern group.
The main attractions in the Azores are Terceira, the most populated island, which will seduce you with the beauty and richness of its flora and fauna (including the chance to attend bullfights); Faial, nicknamed The Blue Island because of its great quantity of hydrangeas; and Sao Miguel, known as The Green Island in honour of its lush vegetation. In short, if you are looking for a quiet and authentic destination, far from mass tourism, the Azores will certainly fit the bill.
Madeira, the Most Beautiful Island Destination in Europe
As for the volcanic island of Madeira, it promises you the most beautiful moments with your friends, lovers, or family. With a subtropical climate, it attracts millions of tourists each year who come as much to enjoy its lush landscapes as for its sunny climate and the surrounding sea.
Having been twice named the most beautiful island destination of Europe, Madeira has everything for you to enjoy a perfect stay: breathtakingly-beautiful beaches (Porto Santo is especially worth seeing!), museums rich in history, varied themed attractions, hiking trails, gourmet restaurants, trendy shops, and bars, etc.
Hillside Hotels and Apartments
For accommodation, you can either enjoy the unique amenities of the territory's all-inclusive hotels or else rent one of the many small apartments along the coast. Whichever option you choose for your accommodation, you will be sure to like it, since the destination is beautiful.
People also visit Madeira to admire the opulent flora and fauna, its pretty, small, colourful villages, and to enjoy typical Portuguese dishes, since Portuguese cuisine is very present in Madeira.
Fish freshly caught and prepared, meats (especially pork and beef) boiled or in stews, as well as soups and vegetables prepared in oil are among the best dishes to try on a trip to Portugal. And do not forget a glass of wine to accompany your meal. It's all part of the place's traditions!
Lisbon, the Capital
If you are planning a trip to Portugal, you will also want to visit Lisbon, the capital. Built entirely on hills, the city charms visitors with its lively-coloured houses and streets and its trendy restaurants and boutiques. This is the perfect place to first discover Portugal.
The Alfama district with its steep streets is one of the places to see. Lisbon's oldest neighbourhood, it is appreciated for the beauty of its historic monuments, its views, and its sunny terraces where you can sip a coffee or drink a glass of wine.
Go Out in Bairro Alto
Those who want to party and shop should go to the famous Bairro Alto, an old run-down district converted into a chic and trendy neighbourhood full of upscale shops and restaurants. In the early hours of the morning, the place takes on a real festival-like atmosphere, which is sometimes compared to the Carnival in Rio. That tells you how active and lively Bairro Alto is!