Portugal has been a firm fixture on the European holiday scene for generations, with that hallowed trinity of great beaches, great scenery and great food. If that’s not all, the island of Madeira is a botanical paradise a thousand kilometres into the Atlantic!
Millions flock to the Portuguese coastline each and every year to enjoy one of the most diverse coastlines Europe has to offer. You’ll find sleepy fishing villages and majestic cliff-faces, sand-swept coves and lush Championship golf courses – Portugal has an endearing love affair with the Atlantic, and why wouldn’t it? The Algarve in particular has magnetic appeal, with Faro, Albufeira and Lagos basking in year-round sunshine.
If you can tear yourself away from the fabulous coast, you’ll discover another side to Portugal which gives the country much more depth than the typical sun, sea and sand destination. Invest time in remarkable towns and cities such as Obidos, Coimbra and Braga, to negotiate narrow cobbled lanes packed with historic clandestine churches and impressive cafes and restaurants. And of course there’s Lisbon, undoubtedly one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
While mainland Portugal is stunning from virtually every angle, the Portuguese islands offer another dimension. Madeira is a jewel of the Atlantic, its abundant gardens coating the island in a kaleidoscope of colour. An even more exotic outpost of Portugal lies even further west at the Azores, a group of nine volcanic islands which feel a world away from anywhere, offering one of Europe’s last remaining adventures.
Here's a small snapshot about on what Portugal can offer you, so you can make sure you come home with amazing memories, instead of a bunch of those dreaded what ifs!
Whether you’re looking for excitement, scenery or simply some of the Iberian Peninsula’s very best family resorts, the Algarve is always the first port of call. Exceptional value, clean and tastefully developed, this region offers what is for many the archetypal European beach holiday, with plenty of authentic Portuguese charm.
THE DOURO VALLEY
The Portuguese coast wins plenty of plaudits, but the meandering Douro Valley offers visitors some of Portugal’s most impressive scenery. Its steep awe-inspiring terraces are home to the port industry, and there’s a rich cultural heritage which has grown up around Portugal’s most indulgent export. Irresistible hiking and cycling country too!
Portugal has unrivalled choice when it comes to beaches. You’ll never be crammed like sardines on that stretch of sand – there’s over 150 to choose from along the Algarve alone! From sleepy coves to rampaging water sports, whatever ambience you want to create, you can do it with ease in Portugal.
FOOD AND DRINK
As a rule, Portuguese food is simple, understated and delicious, with little room for style over substance. Deep, rich stews and finely smoked meats are the order of the day. Having said that, don’t miss authentic Portuguese piri-peri chicken, with its fiery mix of chili offering a powerful kick.