2015 may be drawing to an end but there is still time to enjoy a last minute holiday. Whether you are seeking a city break or rural retreat, Portugal could be the perfect choice. I have not been there myself yet, but here are 8 reasons why you (and I) have to visit this beautiful country.
You don’t have to travel to a far flung paradise to escape the winter chill. Portugal enjoys a beautiful climate throughout much of the year with highs of 28°C during the summer and a pleasant average of 15°C in the winter. Combined with the warm sea temperatures and gentle sea breezes, Portugal is one of the best places in the Mediterranean for a sun kissed holiday.
Sun worshippers rejoice – the impressive Portuguese climate can be enjoyed at one of the country’s many world class beaches. Head to the Algrave and you’ll find an endless stretch of coastline with plenty of Blue Flag awarded beaches to lay your towel upon. The more adventurous can try an array of watersports from surfing to kayaking and windsurfing.
For the culture vulture, a holiday in Portugal promises a one-of-a-kind experience. With over 14 sites registered with UNESCO World Heritage status, you can travel back through time and enjoy some of the most impressive ancient architecture in Europe. A trip to the jaw dropping town of Sintra is a must, where fairy tale palaces and castles overlook spectacular scenery.
With its varied landscape and endless days of sunshine, it’s no surprise that Portugal is great for outdoorsy types. Marvel at the flora and fauna in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Kayak deep into the heart of the Lagos Sea Caves or mountain bike along the rugged Serra de Estrela.
Portugal’s long and rich heritage as a wine producing region dates back hundreds of years. Wine fanatics shouldn’t miss a trip to Portugal’s second largest city, Porto. It’s the birthplace of famed Port which is best enjoyed at one of the cities street side cafés overlooking the Douro River.
What better way to indulge in world class wine than with mouth wateringly good food. You’ll be spoilt for choice in Portugal with no shortage of restaurants offering some of the best seafood in the Mediterranean. Foodies can also enjoy the many food markets which take place each week in all the major cities. Expect an enticing selection of locally sourced cheeses, olive oil and cured meats.
Don’t be deceived by the countries laidback charm, Portugal offers a lively mix of nightly entertainment. In Lisbon’s charming Bairro Alto district, the winding streets come to life after dark with bars and clubs playing music into the early hours.
Prices in Portugal are considered to be the lowest of all the Western European countries. It’s surprising given the array of attractions and unbeatable climate. Five star hotels can be anywhere from 25% to 50% cheaper than neighbouring Spain which makes it the perfect choice for those on a limited budget.
Late holidays are a great way to enjoy some much deserved rest before a hectic start to 2016. Take a chance on Portugal and you’re guaranteed an unforgettable break – and if you know where to look you can secure up to 50% off!
Have you been to or would like to travel to Portugal? What sounds most interesting about the country?