For many years Portugal has been a popular holiday destination for travellers who want to escape the somewhat manic tourist scene and packed costal hotspots of southern Spain and to this day it remains a lovely place to visit. If you like sunshine holidays that feature obviously lovely weather, stunning coastlines, tasty dishes and of course plenty of sites to see, then this southern European country could be the place that you should visit.
In practical terms, getting to Portugal from the UK is pretty easy since many European flight operators fly between the two on a daily basis particularly when it comes to the capital airport in Lisbon. The flight time is a reasonable 2 hours 40 minutes from London to Lisbon and let’s face it, any direct flight under 3 hours is a doddle. You can easily set up alerts on any flight checking website to make sure that you can get a great deal if you do decide to visit the country. Other major Portuguese airports include Porto, Faro and Santa Maria.
Lisbon is of course the most common flight destination, and it couldn’t be better placed for getting out there and checking out the Portuguese Atlantic coastline as well as the city itself. The city of Lisbon is located on the western coast around half-way in the length of the country. It is a fascinating place to visit and is one of the oldest cities in Europe and certainly the oldest in the whole of western Europe with evidence of Phoenician settlements dating back to around 1200 BC! As you can therefore imagine there are some truly magnificent sides to behold such as the Lisbon Cathedral which features a Phoenician archaeological dig, the Old Wall which was part of the city boundaries, the port as well as Belem Tower. This tower is one of the most famous of all Portuguese sites and played an important role for Portugal during the great Age of Discoveries. Built in the early 16th century it stands on a beautiful spot and is simply breath-taking.
You can’t go to Portugal without heading to the beach at some point or other and whether you are in the Algarve, Lisbon or further north, the Atlantic coastline is simply inescapable. The sea is somewhat fresher than those countries protected within the Mediterranean Basin, however it lends itself perfectly to such sports as kite-surfing, surfing, paddle-boarding and more, so you can easily get yourself involved in a fun water sport during your trip.
One other thing that you have to be sure that you investigate when you are visiting Portugal is of course the delicious local cuisine. Portuguese speciality dishes include caldo verde which is a sort of peasant soup, bacalhau which is salted cod, and the delicious pastries of pasteis de nata. The favoured Portuguese cooking spice is piri piri so you can enjoy that spicy piquant taste in many of their dishes too. Also make sure that you taste some port in its original setting for a truly special sense sensation.