Sometimes your summer just isn’t complete without a good old dose of sunshine, and Portugal is one of the best places in Europe to escape to for some fun in the sun.
Flying to Portugal from the UK only takes around 2.5 hours, and the cultural highlights you can enjoy once you’re there will make you glad you got on that plane.
Portugal is a cultural hotspot for great food and wine, and has some of the most gorgeous beaches to be found on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
The country’s long and beautiful coast has influenced the national dishes of salt cod and grilled sardines – these are a must try in Portugal if you want to sample the local culture and cuisine.
The country is a stunning mixture of historical landscapes and sunny, sandy beaches.
Oceanic landscapes collide with the classically Mediterranean colours typical of Portuguese towns and architecture, making this a holiday destination your eyes won’t forget easily.
Plus, there are a dazzling range of inclusive holidays in Portugal to choose from if you’re after a holiday full of relaxation and indulgence.
Here are few of my personal suggestions of places worth visiting across Portugal on your next summer escape:
Spend some time in Lisbon
The hilly, coastal capital city of Lisbon is one of the brightest jewels of Portugal, and is becoming extremely popular with trendy UK tourists. There are many incredible architectural and cultural gems to see here.
From the imposing São Jorge Castle you can catch an amazing view of all the old city’s pastel coloured buildings, as well as the Tagus Estuary and the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge.
Other notable monuments worth visiting are the Jeronimos Monastery and the Tower of Belem, which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites and offer fascinating insights into the history of Portugal.
When you’ve had enough culture, just outside of Lisbon you can visit a string of blissful Atlantic beaches, from Cascais right down to Estoril.
Explore your way along the Algarve
The Algarve is one of the most famous beach resorts in the world, loved for its all year round sun, stunning lagoons and coastal beaches.
This southernmost area of Portugal has plenty of culture and a rich heritage. Visit whitewashed fishing villages on low cliffs and sandy coves, and enjoy lazy afternoons in scalloped sandy bays.
For a day away from the coast, take a stroll around the rugged back country and stumble across tiny picturesque villages such as Alcoutim.
A visit to the Castle of Silves is also highly recommended. This national monument has been a fortress since at least 210 BC, and was taken over by the Moors and is one of the best preserved Moorish fortifications to be found in Portugal.
Dive into history in Tomar
If you decide to include Tomar on your Portuguese holiday, you will discover a culturally abundant town full of local delights.
You should visit the Convent of Christ – which was initially a Templar stronghold in the 12th Century.
Today the town of Tomar is charming and quiet, but back in the day this place was a hugely important centre of power on the Iberian Peninsula, which means the town has so much fascinating history on offer for exploration.
When you need a break from history, you should try a local sweet treat called Fatias de Tomar – a very famous and delicious traditional Portuguese indulgence.
Roam the Douro Valley
The Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site on account of its rich wine-making history, and you’ll be pleased to know that it’s present is still very much a heaven for wine lovers as well.
Its main city Porto is an incredibly vibrant place to spend a few days sampling all of the wines made on the hillsides of the Douro Valley, and is the second largest city in Portugal.
Explore South-West Alentejano and Costa Vicentina Natural Park
This is the place to come to for some of the best beaches and vistas in Portugal.
The region of Alentejano is absolutely perfect for lovers of the outdoors and nature, and hiking lovers seeking adventure will find plenty of peaks and trails to keep them entertained in this stunning corner of the country.
The Costa Vicentina Natural Park is a peaceful, sprawling area of natural beauty that wraps around the cliffs of the coast.
The jagged rocks and dramatic beaches along this 120km stretch of protected land make a really beautiful site for long, meandering walks staring out into the sea.
Thank you for reading about holidays in Portugal
Thank you for reading by blog post all about exploring Portugal as a possible holiday destination for your much-needed summer vacation.
I hope you found this article useful and enjoy a wonderful trip to Portugal in the future.