Long established as one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, Portugal is a fantastic choice for couples looking for a romantic break, families searching for something to keep everybody happy and friends seeking a beach to laze on during the day and a bar to frequent in the evenings.
With a selection of resorts all offering a different flavour there is plenty to make everyone happy and provide lasting memories of a fabulous holiday. Activities include the traditional beaches and watersports, whilst those looking for some culture will be happy to explore some of the history to be found in Portugal including UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the Archaeological Museum. Of course Portugal also offers a plethora of golf courses which are a huge draw to those who fancy a day or a week out on the links, though these areas tend to have plenty to keep non golfers entertained.
Gastronomy is another highlight of life in Portugal, which bordered by the Atlantic offers a lot of seafood, lovingly prepared and beautifully cooked, ensuring guests are well fed during their stay. The savoury dishes are only upstaged by the desserts which are guaranteed to delight those with a sweet tooth.
Nightlife in Portugal is varied and extensive with great restaurants for those who are looking forward to a good night’s sleep, casinos for those who fancy a flutter and a number of nightclubs for those who don’t come on holiday to sleep. For families there are a selection of options in different resorts including, musical performances, shows and dancing.
Portugal’s winning combination of sandy beaches, dramatic scenery and world-class golf courses has kept it firmly on the holiday map for decades. And if all that wasn’t enough, the country also has a good weather credentials, basking in around 300 days of sunshine a year.
Curving round the south coast is the Algarve region, which has a dramatic coastline scalloped with sandy bays and secluded coves. Resort-wise, you can choose between large, lively towns and sleepy fishing villages. This pocket of Portugal is also one of the best places in Europe for golfers – and some of the courses are spectacular.
Carnival time For a real Portuguese party, visit the Loulé Carnaval in February. The locals dress up in neon colours, feathers and lots of glitter as they parade through the streets to samba music.
Floral floats Two weeks after Easter is the Madeira Flower Festival, one of the biggest annual events on the island. Floats travel through the city of Funchal, each decorated with the island’s native blooms.
World music The Loulé Med Festival is a popular world music celebration which attracts thousands of festival-goers every June.
For golfers If you’re a golf fanatic, you won’t want to miss the Portugal Masters which takes place in October.
By taxi: Resort areas have plenty of taxi ranks. Be aware that it is standard for taxi drivers to charge extra for luggage.
By hire car: A hire car is a good idea if you want to explore the more rural areas of the Algarve or Madeira.
By train: Portugal has a vast railway network that covers most of the country. The state-of-the-art Alfa Pendular trains are a great option if you want to travel directly from the Algarve to Lisbon.
Temperatures: Summers are generally hot and dry with temperatures averaging between the mid and late 20s (°C).
Best time to visit Portugal: Pleasant throughout the year, with mild winters and comfortable summers.
Weather in Portugal varies from region to region. Portugal weather is usually mild during winter, with temperatures rarely falling below 10°C. Coastal regions such as the Algarve are slightly cooler than inland areas, but still warm and sunny.