Holidays spent in Portugal are “something special”. It has so much to offer in its varied culture, history and monuments, good wholesome food, a large selection of sports, lovely sandy beaches, wood covered valleys and mountains, and not forgetting the two most important items of all – the traditional warmth and friendliness of its people coupled with the very good climate.
You may either choose to stay in one of the many popular coastal holiday areas with lots to do and plenty of night life. Maybe you will prefer a slightly inland “get away” providing a quiet peaceful location but still within easy reach of normal day-to-day facilities.
Portugal can be easily divided into several different tourist areas.
Main Locations – Beja, Castelo do Vide, Elvas, Estremoz, Évora, Monsaraz, Portalegre.
The large expanse of the Alentejo area consists mostly of rolling open landscape. It is well known for its full bodied wines and its good country cuisine. There are many towns rich in history with semi-destroyed castles dating back to Roman times. In the west there is a lovely long stretch of Atlantic coastline with limitless sandy beaches and sparsely developed tourists areas. In the north east there are several interesting towns reflecting Portugal’s fascinating history and its many battles connected to the various struggles for its independence with from its Spanish neighbours and French invaders. Three notable locations to be visited are Castelo de Vide, Marvão and Monsaraz.
Main Locations – Albufeira, Almancil, Armação de Pera, Alvor, Carvoeiro, Faro, Lagos, Loulé, Monchique, Monte Gordo, Praia da Rocha, Quarteira, Quinta do Lago, Olhão, Portimão, Sagres, Silves, Tavira, Vale do Lobo, Vilamoura.
For some 40 years the popular region of the Algarve has been the choice for many tourists for its splendid beaches and exceptional European weather. Along the coastline there is a good choice of locations and lovely beaches. Here you will find a selection of the popular water sports, like boating, sailing, and fishing. Boat rentals are available with many amenities such as marine speakers and stereos to supply a great music soundtrack. Rent a party barge and dance the night away with your friends! You can also find a large quantity of friendly bars and restaurants, and plenty of night life for the younger visitor. However, just a very few kilometres inland the traveller will find a different attractive holiday location away from the usual crowds and mainly Portuguese in flavour.
Islands – Corvo, Faial, Flores, Graciosa, Pico, Santa Maria, São Jorge, São Miguel, Terceira.
Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with its temperate climate, this group of Islands of different sizes and characteristics lend themselves to lovers of nature and unsophisticated holidays. An excellent choice for those visitors who enjoy walking holidays and the study of flora.
Main Locations – Alcobaça, Aveiro, Batalha, Caldas da Rainha, Coimbra, Fátima, Leiria, Óbidos, Tomar. .
This area is located to the north of Lisbon and stretches up a coastal plain towards the major town of Porto. With the Atlantic coastline on its west side there are many small coastal tourist fishing villages from which to choose. Further inland to the east there are the some interesting main towns offering their own extensive history and culture. Two historic locations not to be missed are Batalha and Óbidos.
Main Locations – Amarante, Braga, Guimarães, Porto, Viana do Castelo. .
It was here that Portugal was originally created as a country. Its ancient monuments and historic buildings are to be found everywhere. Well known for its wine industry it is also the most densely developed from a manufacturing point of view. Bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean this coastal plain area reaches from Porto northwards to the Spanish frontier. To the northeast there is a popular mountain Nature Reserve named Gerês.
Main Locations – Cascais, Estoril, Lisbon, Mafra, Queluz, Santarém, Sesimbra, Setúbal, Sintra.
Lisbon being the capital offers all types of entertainment and interesting cultural choices to fascinate the visitor. It is small city compared to many other European capitals and as a result retains its personality and individuality. To the west along the north side of the estuary leading to the sea are Cascais and Estoril, both quite sophisticated locations for holiday makers. Across the same estuary and further south are the Sesimbra and Troia, both popular with tourists. Two locations not to be missed are Mafra and Sintra.
Main Locations – Funchal, Porto Santo
Situated in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa, Madeira is popular throughout the year as a holiday destination because of its mild climate. It is an island which consists of narrow coastal locations for tourists which quickly turn into the steep sides of its mountains. Close by is the much smaller Island of Porto Santo which is much flatter and has sandy beaches.
Main Locations – Bragança, Castelo Branco, Chaves, Covilhã, Guarda, Vila Real, Viseu .
As the name suggests this area is the eastern inland area of Portugal which varies from wooded valleys to the mountain area of Serra de Estrela. It commences to the north of the Alentejo and stretches northwards bounded on the west by the Spanish boarder and again to the north of Bragança. This is a lovely area which retains its Portuguese character and rarely caters for the mass tourist.