Charm, cuisine, culture – Portugal’s got it by the bucketload.
Portugal’s winning combination of sandy beaches, dramatic scenery and world-class golf courses has kept it firmly on the holiday map for decades. And if all that wasn’t enough, the country also has good weather credentials, basking in around 300 days of sunshine a year.
Portugal may be small compared to its Spanish neighbour, but it packs in a whole lot of variety. Think charming cobbled cities, sandy beaches, family-friendly hotels and delicious food and drink. Portugal’s capital takes silver for being the second oldest city in Europe. The centre of the city‘s marked by Rossio Square – it’s one of the liveliest spots in town and its surrounding streets are a runway for buzzing bars and restaurants.
There are also two island groups off its coastline – Madeira and the Azores.
The islands have their own cultures and traditions. Madeira draws visitors in every season. It’s warm year-round, and its natural beauty offers brilliant hiking trails, botanical gardens and dolphin-watching. Its sweet wine is a hit – visit the capital, Funchal, to sample some.
Curving round the south coast is the Algarve region, which has a dramatic coastline scalloped with sandy bays and secluded coves. Resort-wise, you can choose between large, lively towns and sleepy fishing villages. This pocket of Portugal is also one of the best places in Europe for golfers – and some of the courses are spectacular.
The best time to visit Portugal is between June and August.
The hottest month of the year is July with an average daily maximum of 30 C and an average low of 22 C.