Short Breaks To Portugal
For many visitors, Portugal means the Algarve, with its sandy beaches, lively resorts, and well-tended golf courses. A short break here, in a comfortable hotel, and in an area built with the needs of tourists in mind, can be a perfect way to relax and unwind.
However, there is more to Portugal than this. The remainder of the country is largely unspoilt and unexplored, and encompasses rugged landscape, sleepy villages, and historic towns. Visit the bustling capital, Lisbon, for museums and culture, or the hilltop town of Sintra, with its stunning royal palace, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historians will make for the prehistoric monuments and Roman remains of Evora. Elsewhere you can see medieval towns, coastal villages, and any number of castles and cathedrals.
The countryside is stunning. Vineyards sit on terraces built into the mountainsides, and olive groves abound. It is studded with tiny villages that seem to belong to a bygone era: drink with the locals in hidden-away bars, or wander around to look at the traditional architecture, and the trademark ceramic tiles that decorate many of the houses. You may even choose to stay in a quinta (wine producing farm) or a pousada (an old castle converted into a hotel).
You could also choose to take a short break to the Portuguese islands. Visit Madeira for its subtropical climate, spectacular flowers, and dramatic walks. Alternatively, you can get away from it all in the volcanic landscapes of the Azores.
Things to Do and See
The South of Portugal is one of Europe’s best locations for a golfing holiday, with Vilamoura one of the places to be if you are looking for a golfing destination with excellent beaches, bustling nightlife and plenty of other things to see and do between rounds. Porto in the North also has an abundance of golfing options, with a cooler climate better suited to those who prefer the heat dialled down a notch. Wherever you are in Portugal you are never going to be far from a golf course!
Being a country with such a rich history, Portugal’s cities, towns and countryside are dotted with castles, churches, monasteries and other interesting architectural structures, many of which epitomise the characteristic style of medieval Portugal. Pictured here is the Belém Tower which is located not far from Lisbon’s main town centre and protrudes out into the Tagus River.
Football is a national passion for the Portuguese, with FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon frequent participants in Europe’s elite competitions. A live football game in a passionate country is a unique experience and worlds apart from watching a televised game.
With so much of Portugal developed around the coast, it should come as no surprise that scuba diving is available at locations throughout the country, from the Algarve all the way up to Porto. In addition to the diverse marine life, there are also plenty of ship-wreck dive sites, with vessels from both historic and more recent times waiting to be explored.
Stunning Beaches and Coastlines
Portugal’s Southern Algarve region is the most visited destination in the country, popular with those looking to take a beach holiday with plenty of sunshine and warm seas. The Dona Ana beach seen here is just one of Lagos’s many picturesque beaches, while the other towns in this area also provide their own offerings of sand and sea.
Surfing and Other Watersports
Whether you are a keen surfer, have always wanted to learn how, or are just looking for a new experience to try, many areas along the Portuguese coast offer perfect surfing conditions. Surf schools can be found close to Lisbon while like most activities in Portugal, the Algarve has a number of suitable locations. Other ways to enjoy the waters along the coast include sport fishing and sailing.
Wine Tasting In Lisbon
Portugal may not have the same reputation for wine as a country such as France, but the climate makes it ideal for producing a variety of wines. At the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon you can learn more about Portuguese wine as well as enjoy a free tasting session at the Ministry of Agriculture. Please visit this website for additional information Click here.
Where to Go
Mainland Europe’s most Westernly capital city is often overlooked as a destination for a weekend break away, but those that do make it to Lisbon are rewarded with Subtropical-Mediterranean weather and an interesting city with its own distinctive personality. The surrounding areas of Lisbon are also great places to venture out to on a day trip, with Sintra in particular a novel place to spend a night.
- Spend a weekend in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon
- Lounge on a beach all day in the Algarve
- Dive one of the world-renowned shipwreck sites
- Play golf in the sun
- Learn to speak Portuguese in Porto
Hotels in Portugal