So why visit Portugal? The simple answer is, Portugal has it all, including beautiful beaches to sun yourself on, championship golf courses, history and culture, an amazing interior to explore, an array of land and water activities and a great club scene. The Portuguese people have a deep respect for their heritage and traditions, hence the many festivals that are held throughout the country all through the year. These festivals and fiestas are a great way for you to experience the local culture, traditions and cuisine.
Portugal is well known for its great choice of golf courses with a number of courses designed by the 3-times British Open champion Sir Henry Cotton who lived in the Algarve. Most courses are found in the Algarve but there are good golf courses all over Portugal including the Lisbon area.
Mainland Portugal and its islands offer more than 500 miles of coastline making it a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. Windsurfing, surfing and sailing are extremely popular with the more experienced surfers heading to the Lisbon Coast. Away from the sea Portugal’s rivers are becoming more and more popular with kayakers and canoeists.
Portugal offers every type of resort you could wish for, from laid-back fishing villages to purpose built resorts like Vilamoura, there is something to suit everyone and to suit all budgets.
The Algarve is located in the south of Portugal and is the most touristy area of the country. Here in the Algarve you will find over 100 miles of
beaches which vary from long stretches of open sands to small secluded coves. Lapped by the Mediterranean Sea, the east is the more popular side as it is slightly warmer than the western coastline. The resorts to the north of the Algarve are excellent for beach holidays and water sports at any time of the year.
The Lisbon Coast and the Costa Verde in the north of the country have a unique charm. These areas are more popular with visitors looking for culture and exploration. History plays a big part in these areas with the historic cities of Lisbon on the Lisbon Coast and Oporto on the Costa Verde. However, they still offer beautiful beaches, lots of countryside to explore, plenty of sport and lively nightlife. For those people wanting the best of both worlds this is the place to visit.
Portugal’s interior is just waiting to be explored. The Peneda-Geres National Park is Portugal’s only national park and along with the Park Natural de Montesinho offers amazing scenery, villages that seem to have stood still in time and protected species such as the royal eagle and wolves.
Horse lovers will not be disappointed when visiting Portugal. With a long equestrian tradition and famous for the Lusitano horse, the country offers a range of equine facilities including famous riding schools where you can improve your dressage skills to stables where you can take a horse out and discover the beauty of the surrounding countryside.
The Portuguese people eat 10 times as much fish as they do meat therefore fishing is very important to them. Restaurants offer tasty freshly caught fish on their menus, perfect for an evening meal accompanied by a glass or two of wine while looking out over a white sandy beach. Along the Algarve and the west coast visitors will find charter boats and guides who will take you out to try your hand at catching mackerel, marlin, tuna, ray, salmon bass and swordfish. Portugal’s lakes and rivers also offer peaceful fishing opportunities.
The weather in Portugal varies greatly from area to area. Summer temperatures on the Algarve reach the low 30′s with clear blue skies and around 12 hours of sunshine a day. The further north you travel, the temperature will drop to around 25C with more chance of rain, especially from December to March. You will also notice a considerable drop in the temperature of the sea as you move further north.
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Here is some useful information;
Portugal and the UK are in the same time zone.
Currency is the Euro.
Flying time from the UK is approximately 2-3 hours, depending on where you are flying from and to.
Useful phrases are por favour or agradar (please) and obrigado (thank you).