Tentatively placing sunscreen, swimsuits, and straw hats in your suitcase with each announcement that travel restrictions are being lifted? Dreaming of the day when you can click that long-overdue trip? We feel you! And we think you should start with a Portugal holiday.
Fingers, toes, and absolutely everything else that’s crossable crossed, that wonderful day is just around the corner. But the time to choose your dream holiday destination is certainly now. And if you’ve overwhelmed by choice, in our opinion Portugal sticks out like a stunning flag fluttering freely on top of a sublime sandcastle.
With its dramatic and delightful Atlantic coastline and Iberian credentials, this superb destination soaks up sensational African, European, Mediterranean, and Transatlantic influences like a sponge. If that’s not enough to convince you, here are five additional reasons your perfect post-travel-restriction trip should be a Portugal holiday. Trust us, you won’t regret it!
Portugal Holiday Highlights
The iconic Algarve is where you’ll find Portugal’s most pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. This sun-blessed Portugal holiday hotspot is set in the south of the country and packed with gorgeous golden beaches backed by luscious limestone rocks. It’s full of famous resorts and plenty of off-the-beaten-path gems.
From popular sandy hotspots to hidden coves and sporty activities to historical sites, there’s something to satisfy all the senses in this preternaturally pretty part of the world.
For instance, if unusual architecture is your cup of tea, you’ll love Silves, with its superb sandstone Moorish castle and 13th-century cathedral. But if you want something more adrenaline-fuelled, surfing at the famous Amado beach will get your pulse racing.
Meanwhile, Faro is the area’s capital. It’s a charming must-see area complete with gardens and a national park. It’s also where you can take a 15-minute speedboat shuttle to the white sands and clear waters of the Deserted Isle – a divine expedition!
There are also plenty of things to do in charming and historic Porto, a Portuguese city you simply can’t miss. For starters, the Cais da Ribeira riverside area is always interesting to explore and features a buzzing piazza where locals and visitors mix freely, there are bars and restaurants aplenty, and you can take a scenic riverside stroll.
Alternatively, if you appreciate At Deco architecture, you need to make a beeline for Serralves Museum & Villa in the west of the city. It features a sumptuous interior designed by Charles Siclis, fabulous formal gardens, and a neighboring Contemporary Art Museum featuring masterpieces by Liam Gillick and Joan Miro.
Last but not least, if you’re a wine lover, Porto is the home of port wine which means there are plenty of port cellar tours available where you can see how this famous drink is produced. Then, of course, you can sample a few glasses for yourself – cheers!
Lisbon, the laid-back, elegant capital of Portugal, is a city that has attracted everyone from Moorish conquerors to Roman legions and even Berber pirates over the centuries.
And it’s still a breathtaking place to visit. The Bairro Alto district boasts a multitude of artisan coffee shops and there are fearsome shark encounters available at the Lisbon Aquarium. The spiritual Sintra area is nestled in the nearby hills, and the beaches and coves which wind around the Tagus Estuary and Atlantic Coast are awe-inspiring.
Portugal’s first city is actually so inspirational that many foreigners move here – if that thought floats your boat, realty specialists Property Lisbon can help. Opening your bedroom doors every morning to enjoy your coffee while you gaze over a sun-kissed blanket of terracotta tiles and whitewashed walls – sounds pretty sweet, right?
With its maritime history and sun-kissed Iberian climate, Portugal has become a unique melting pot of cultures over many generations.
A bastion of Roman Catholic family-centered sensibility, you’ll find Celtic, Phoenician, Visigoth, Viking, Germanic, and Sephardic Jewish influences in everything from food to music and architecture, as well as the strong aforementioned Roman and Moorish inputs.
Arte AFK is a hip gallery in Lisbon featuring some of the world’s coolest paintings and photographs, Lello bookstore in Porto is a book-lover’s paradise, and Fado and folk music are some of Portugal’s richest forms of self-expression and national pride.
All in all, if you’re a culture vulture, you’re in for a fine feast with a Portugal holiday!
With its prime position on the Atlantic, Portugal is the perfect place to sample ocean-fresh seafood, which is often prepped and flavored according to imported Mediterranean traditions.
If you’re a fan of all things fishy, try a cataplana de marisco – a seafood feast cooked in an authentic copper pan, where whole prawns, clams, chorizo, and white wine are stewed to perfection with tomatoes, onions, and garlic!
Yearning for haute cuisine instead? Check out Alma in Lisbon. It boasts two Michelin stars and it’s a gourmet experience you’ll savor forever.
As far as street food goes, you’ll have several choices. But we recommend that you definitely sample a strong coffee and egg custard tart from a roadside vendor. That combination is one of life’s simple but stupendous treats.
Well, that wraps up our quality quintet of reasons you should choose a Portugal holiday for your first post-travel-restriction trip. Oh, and be sure to send us a postcard when you get there!