Discover the best experiences, tours, activites and excursions in Portugal in one place. Read articles, travel tips and guidebooks from locals.
Portugal is a Western European country just west of Spain. It has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline with two archipelagos off the coast of the mainland. In 711 the Moors (North African Muslims) occupied what is now Portugal. The Moors brought over certain customs and artisanal techniques that are still used today like tile painting and glazing. Centuries later the Moors were pushed out by the Christians. Today nearly 80% of the population is Roman Catholic. The capital of Portugal is Lisbon and the second biggest city is Porto. The official language is Portuguese.
Portugal is a popular vacation destination for Europeans, especially during the summer months when it’s warm enough to go to the beach and enjoy the water. Whether you seek a beach vacation or want to escape to the countryside, this Western European country offers it all. Just a quick trip from Spain, the two countries are often bundled together to make one grand trip. Wine-lovers love the country for its famous port wine and cork trees. Compared to some of its European counterparts, the country is relatively inexpensive and offers plenty of options in terms of reasonably-priced accomodations, restaurants and activities.
Wander the cobblestone streets of Lisbon to uncover charming restaurants and stunning overlooks. Visit some of the capital’s most recognizable attractions incuding Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Just a short train ride away is the town of Sintra, home to palaces, castles and a stellar view of the ocean. Go to Porto to taste some of the country’s famous port wine and then venture down to the south to chill out on the beach. Algarve’s beaches are said to be some of the best in western Europe. Travelers with a bit more time should head to the islands of Azores and Madeira.
Portugal tends to be a summer destination, with many tourists and locals heading down to the southern coast to enjoy swimming and sunbathing. The cities and other tourist spots are also crowded during the summer months. The best time to visit is either during the months leading up to the peak season (June to August) or just after it. You’ll still have pleasant weather, though the water may be a little chillier. The winter is generally pretty mild and definitely bearable. If you plan on visiting Porto, autumn is an exciting time to visit because of the harvest!