If you would like to stay in Europe and make the most out of the great weather the Southern part of the continent has to offer, Portugal is a great country to explore this summer. From stunning rugged coasts to traditional fishing villages and big cities with fantastic designer shops, there’s something for everyone. Whether you would like to learn more about the history of the country or take advantage of the water sports activities offered by the main resorts, you are sure to find something that will capture your heart in Portugal. Find a few reasons why you should choose this great country as your next holiday destination.
1. Low Cost Accommodation
Portugal has some great apartments and cheap hotels tourists from all around the world can enjoy. You can get a stunning modern apartment for a week with two balconies and sea view for just a couple of hundred dollars. No matter if you are interested in luxury accommodation with satellite TV and individual air conditioning, or a budget flat near the seaside, you will find a place that will help you stay comfortable without breaking the bank. If you are planning on camping and taking your Coleman tent with you to explore more of the countryside, you will also find some affordable deals in Portugal.
2. Great Roads
The road network of Portugal is of high standard. You will have no difficulties reading the road signs, and most satellite navigation systems will work perfectly. If you are planning on renting a car during your stay, you will be able to save money and get anywhere using the well connected highways or country roads. Whether you would like to explore the shoreline or would like to see the big cities, you can plan your route and itinerary easily when you choose Portugal as your next holiday destination. From Porto to Lisbon and Faro, the cities offer great attractions and deals for travelers.
3. Public TransportIn case you would rather go backpacking in Portugal, you will find a well established train and bus network. While trains run through main cities and are on time, you should be prepared for a hectic local bus service. Long distance public transport providers and local companies offer great weekly or daily deals, and you can even pick up a tourist card to get discounted travel at your destination.
4. Great Fashion
The charming historic cities of Portugal don’t only offer quality restaurants and small shops, but also designer outlets. Visit Porto and Lisbon if you would like to pick up something from a local designer or just check out the elegant women strolling the streets for inspiration. From leather to shoes, you will find a perfect addition to your wardrobe. When visiting Lisbon, don’t forget to check out the Fashion Clinic, the traditional Sapataria do Carmo, and the stunning Tous.
If you are a foodie, you will not be disappointed with Portugal, either. From seaside resorts to small fishing villages and local restaurants, you can pick up some stunning seafood almost anywhere. The good news is that the price of seafood is much lower in Portugal than in England or other parts of the world, so you can afford to try some of the fish and clam you have never thought you would be able to.
6. Family Friendly Resorts
If you are looking for a family vacation this summer, you will find plenty of safe resorts to choose from. Most of the seaside hotels have their kids’ pools and they usually offer all inclusive packages, so you don’t have to reach in your pocket every time the little ones want an ice cream or a juice. The food hygiene rating of most hotels is excellent, and the Portuguese cuisine is great for small fingers. You will also be able to take advantage of kids’ clubs and entertainment at most resorts, so you can enjoy some free time during your stay without having to worry about the little ones.
7. Scuba Diving Paradise
Portugal’s coastline is popular among scuba divers. Whether you are a keen diver or have been thinking about giving this watersport a try for a long time, this can be your chance. There are courses and training programs run at most resorts, and they are extremely affordable. You can practice your skills and even earn a certificate. Explore the underwater caves in the Algarve or the hidden treasures left over by the pirates hundreds of years ago.
8. Amazing Small Cruises
In case your type of vacation involves sitting back and enjoying the scenery and weather, you should give some of the small cruises Portugal has to offer a try. You can visit Gibraltar in a day or two, nip over to the Canary Islands, or simply enjoy a fishing trip or sailing on the water. No matter what your preference is, you can see more of the shoreline from a mini boat tour or cruise than you would see from the car.
9. Cheap Flights
Portugal is also a budget-friendly destination, well served by short haul and long haul airlines. Several budget companies operate here, including Ryanair and Jet2. If you book your tickets a couple of months in advance, you can secure a great price, even if you are arriving in the main season when hotels are fully booked and tourists flock the beaches and the proms. Thanks to the size and popularity of Portugal’s beach resorts, you can also get a cheap transfer from the airport to your accommodation.
10. People Speak English
With summer tourism accounting for a large percentage of Portugal’s GDP, people are motivated to speak English and German as a minimum. You will not have problems getting yourself understood in the bar, hotel, or restaurant. Portuguese people are welcoming and will accommodate your needs, speak your language, and try to communicate with you to the best of their abilities.
11. Diverse Landscape
Portugal is also far from being boring. In fact, it is one of the most diverse European landscapes. You can go in the mountains, enjoy rock climbing on the shores, or simply enjoy the sandy beaches. Going off the beaten path will also offer great surprises. This is where the fun begins. You can stay close to the Tagus River, go on a cruise or fishing trip, or camp in the hills of the Iberian Peninsula.
12. Pastry Shops
Even if you spend all day on the beach or sightseeing, you are never far from a traditional Portuguese pastry shop. You will see people stop for a coffee and the dessert. Whenever you feel like you deserve something sweet, you will have dozens of options; from cakes to puffed pastry and rice pudding. Make sure that you don’t ask about the sugar content of the food served; it is likely to be high, but Portuguese people don’t seem to like talking about it.
From music events to religious festivals and local fairs, you are likely to come across some form of celebration when exploring Portugal. Check out when the local Carnaval is held, or arrive around Easter to be dazzled by the colorful celebrations in Algarve. If you are visiting Barcelos in May, don’t forget to check out the Festival of the Crosses. Attending local festivals is a great way of learning more about the traditions and culture of Portugal.
Of course, there are several more reasons why you should visit Portugal, but hopefully the ones mentioned above have convinced you to book your trip this year.