Portugal Tourism

Beautiful Buildings, Bustling Beaches and Balmy Skies 

With most of its coastline facing west, Portugal is a country that proudly guarantees a stunning sunset every single day. Its delectable cuisine, multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites, stunning landscape and thriving tourism industry make it a great country to visit if you’re planning a trip to Europe. 

Portugal is also a hotspot for adventure activities like bungee jumping, sky diving, surfing, and scuba diving, which means that the country can offer a myriad of experiences that will stay with you for life.

Plan a trip to Portugal for a vacation that is exciting and memorable, and you’ll never regret this decision! Keep reading to know more about what this gorgeous country has to offer. 

Portugal Tourism : A Quick Overview
Continent Europe
Capital Lisbon
Official Language Portuguese
Dial Code +351
Population 10,084,245
Currency Euro
Time Zone UTC
Area 92,090km²


Highlights of Portugal

Cities of Portugal

Lisbon is one of the most spectacular cities that Portugal has to offer. With the river Tagos lapping against the shore of this city, and two UNESCO World Heritage sites in the form of Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, there’s beauty everywhere you look in this city. 

Sintra has one of the most stunning cultural landscapes, with the city nestled cosily right under the Serra da Sintra hills. Hiking across these hills makes for a wonderful experience, and you’ll never forget the sight if the city and Atlantic coastline from the top. 

You know a city is truly special when its labelled as a World Heritage Site, and this is exactly why you must add the highly lauded city of Oporto. With neoclassical buildings, baroque churches and the river Douro sparkling by, this city offers views that are unparalleled by any other city in Portugal. Take a local cruise to fully appreciate everything Douro has to offer.

If you’ve always hankered for the taste of the good life, head down to Obidos, a town that was famously gifted by generations of Portuguese Kings to their Queens. The town was eventually gifted to the public and now scores of tourists flock to it to marvel at its beauty. You’ll see lines and lines of whitewashed homes, bustling cafes, cobbled streets and handicraft stores filled with adorable tchotchkes for you to take home.

Finally, if you’re looking for a tranquil spot to visit, then you should certainly add Bragança to your itinerary. This remote city is beautifully enclosed by granite walls and has a beautiful castle and keep within its boundaries that will certainly inspire your imagination. 

Tourist spots

The capital city of Lisbon offers a wide range of experiences and tourist spots that you simply cannot miss. To start with, Lisbon has a wonderful nightlife and you can take your pick of a number of clubs and pubs to enjoy a thrilling evening. Oceanario de Lisboa is a fascinating place to lose yourself in the beauty of nature and enjoy feeling as though you live in a bubble underwater. You should also take the time out to climb the Torre de Belem and take an iconic selfie at the top.

Beach lovers should definitely sunbathe at Matosinhos Beach and enjoy feeling the warm Portuguese sun against their skin. This beach is also a great spot for more active travelers who want to indulge in other activities like playing football or volleyball. You can also catch a few decent waves while surfing.

With more than 6,000 artefacts, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is a must-visit for art lovers. Some of the artefacts in this museum are older than 4,000 years and come from Asian, European, and classical roots. 

Finally, you should also head down to the Ribeira district in Porto for delicious meals and a spot of shopping. This place is primarily known for having a great nightlife scene, as well as the fantastic options for dining. The beautiful buildings in this area will all serve as wonderful backdrops for your pictures, and you can bet that they’ll set your social media on fire!

Adventure sports in Portugal

Now, if you think that Portugal is all about languid walks and beautiful scenery, think again because there are a lot of adventure sports that you can enjoy here. You can enjoy skydiving at Alentejo and enjoy looking at the beautiful landscape of the country from a completely different point of view. If you’re coming in from Spain, you should get in touch with Limite Zero, a company that makes it possible for you to zip line from Spain straight into Portugal. You’ll certainly remember the 720-meter-long ziplining ride for the rest of your life!

Surfing is one of the biggest activities in Portugal. Nazaré and Peniche have some of the best waves, though Algarve works as a close third because of the cliff-side waves. Water lovers can also head down to Albufeira to enjoy a unique bungee jumping experience in which they get to take a dip in the water before being pulled back up the bungee ropes. There are only 5 places in the entire world that offer this experience, so if you are in Albufeira, do not miss out on this!

Portuguese cuisine

Portuguese cuisine has been gaining a lot of traction over the last few years, with renowned chefs like Anthony Bourdain shedding some light on the local dishes. It may come as no surprise that Portuguese cuisine features a ton of seafood, with Mediterranean overtones in the flavours. 

If you want to start by experimenting with the comfort foods of the country, chomp into Sardinhas assadas, which is a Sardine platter. These sardines are roasted on an open flame and sprinkled with coarse sea salt. The crispy skin paired with the flaky meat is definitely a delight to the senses, and if you don’t want to be called out for being a tourist, eat this like the locals – hold the head and tail and take a bite!

Cataplana de marisco is a hearty meal filled with clams, chorizo, and whole prawns. The main flavours in this seafood feast come from white wine, tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Caldo Verde is a delicious soup made of cabbage, chorizo, potato puree and olive oil. Though this dish is ideal for the winter season, many enjoy it during the summer too. 

Finally, don’t forget to try codfish, which is practically a national obsession! You’ll find over 300 popular dishes that use codfish as the hero element, and you can pick the ones that appeal to your sense of taste the most. In case you’re not sure where to start, try Bacalhau à brás, which is codfish with scrambled eggs.


Interesting facts about Portugal

  • With defined borders that date back to 1139, Portugal is the oldest country in Europe! That’s not all though. Portugal has the oldest university in the world, as well as the oldest bookstore. 
  • 70% of the world’s cork comes from this country. 
  • Portugal was the first country to ban slavery. 


Location of Portugal

Portugal is a stunning country that is located in the Iberian Peninsula and shares borders with Spain. 


Best time to visit Portugal

The summer months see the greatest number of tourists, and it’s best to avoid travelling at this time as most accommodation and plane tickets are likely to be at their highest fares. Having said that though, the summer season has certainly earned its reputation for being the best time to visit as the warm climate is perfect for visiting the beach, scuba diving, and surfing.

The shoulder seasons fall in spring (April – May) and Autumn (September – October). During this time, the climate is fairly pleasant, and you get the added benefit of not running into tourists everywhere you go. 

If you want to experience a lot of outdoor activities, then you should avoid planning a trip during the winter season. However, if you’re envisioning a quiet holiday where you get to marvel at the beauty of the country and gorge yourselves silly on hearty stews and soups, then winter can be a great time to visit. The biggest benefit of planning a winter vacation in Portugal is how affordable everything will be.


How to reach Portugal

By Air: All major airlines fly to this country, so finding a flight won’t be very hard. Portugal is a member of the Schengen Agreement and travellers who want to see many European countries in one go should take this into consideration. 

By Train: Lisbon is connected to Spain and France via train, making this an affordable and convenient option for bag packers.

By Boat: Portugal also has many seaports that make it more than possible to travel to this country via cruise ship.


History of Portugal

As one of the oldest countries in Europe, Portugal has a very rich history as is evidenced by the myriad of historical monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered all over the country. Portugal was also a part of Napoleon’s empire. It became a constitutional monarchy in 1834 and also remained neutral during the Second World War.

Plan a trip to this amazing nation by going through Thomas Cook’s Portugal travel packages. 

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Best Portugal Tourism Guide

Go on Portugal Holidays to gaze upon medieval castles, enchanting cities, sun-kissed beaches or scenic villages. It offers you a grand  tour well rounded with history, food, nature, medieval town centers and scenic locales. This nation is known for its various historic rulers, including the likes of the Celts, Christians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. Portugal Tours bring you in proximity to a great mix of cultural amalgamation that is both spell-bounding and exotic.

Avail various Portugal Travel Packages to see the Vila Nova de Foz Côa, megaliths outside Évora, and UNESCO World Heritage sites in Tomar, Belém, Alcobaça and Batalha. A visit to the misty woodlands and elegant castles on hilltops is another must on your Portugal Holiday Packages itinerary.

The Portuguese table has much to offer when you Travel to Portugal to please your palate, ranging from olives, fresh bakes breads, red wine, char-grilled fish, seafood stew, smoked meats. These simple meals are deliciously packed in robust flavors that are a joy to the heart. Embark on a Trip to Portugal to sample these choicest cuisines on Portugal Vacation Packages.

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