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With its vibrant cities, world-class beaches and impressive sunshine record, Portugal offers huge vacation potential. Read on for our top five Portugal travel highlights.
Lush, green and magical, the verdant hills of Sintra have been attracting travellers for centuries. Here you'll find fairytale castles and architectural marvels like the Palácio Nacional de Sintra, Pena Palace and the incredible Quinta Da Regaleira, one of Sintra's most famous landmarks.
There are so many things to do in Lisbon that it's difficult to know where to start, but a ride on the famous Tram 28 is better than a city bus tour. Idly wander the city's pretty cobbled streets, get stuck into the famed Lisbon nightlife, taste traditional food at local hotspots or meander through the twisting lanes of Alfama. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to stop and admire the incredible vistas from one of the many miradouros (scenic viewpoints) along the way.
Portugal has miles upon miles of beautiful beaches, from the rugged and unspoiled to the developed and touristic, so whether you're looking to top up your tan or get stuck into the surf there's something to fit the bill. Explore the popular beaches of Faro or try surfing in Santa Cruz or Lagos, with many more world-class breaks to be found the length of the country, in easy distance of Porto and Lisbon.
Situated on the banks over the Tagus overlooking nearby Torre de Belém, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is one of the most magnificent buildings in the country. Construction of the monastery started in 1501 and took a hundred years to complete. It's now a UNESCO listed building, as well as home to the Maritime Museum and the National Archaeology Museum.
No trip to Portugal is complete without an evening of Fado. This unique and emotionally charged traditional Portuguese art form consists of a soloist backed by an acoustic guitar singing melancholic songs that speak of longing and loss. There's nowhere better to hear it than Alfama, Lisbon's oldest district, a winding maze of streets home to plenty of quaint and inviting bars.
As well as a series of temporary exhibitions, the Berardo Collection Museum is home to a permanent collection of contemporary art including celebrated works by the likes of Picasso, Dali and Warhol. It's a real Lisbon must see, and best of all, admission is free! Feeling hungry after all that culture? Stop for refreshments at the nearby Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém, home of the legendary Portuguese custard tart.
Squeeze into tram 28 as it rattles up the streets of Lisbon overflowing with visitors snapping photos of the quintessential occasion; it may be a typically tourist activity but it’s certainly not one to miss. For less than 3 euros riders are given a tour of the city’s finest corners, rolling through areas like Graca, Alfama, and Baixa. The yellow Remodelado trams have been weaving through Lisbon since the 1930’s, standing as a testament to the Portuguese mentality that they are still in use and not caged up in a museum.
As a city famous for its wine, it’s only right to swing by the Porto Wine Museum. With Port Wine being one of the most celebrated products of Porto, learn about its history, production and commercialisation at this fascinating museum. The Porto Wine Museum is located in an 18th century warehouse right on the Douro River.
Part storytelling experience, part art gallery, part open air museum, ‘Cascais through Art’ has revitalised Bairro da Torre, and has fast become one of Lisbon’s most intriguing tourist attractions. The people behind the movement work exclusively with young, local artists, who dress up the grey, damaged buildings with bursts of colour, expression, and positivity. Through art they tell their personal stories, as well as cultural representations of their area.
Portugal’s west coast is one of the best spots in Europe to find perfect surfing conditions for all abilities, and has so many golden beaches that overcrowding never becomes a problem. No matter your skill level, you'll be mastering the waves in no time. If want to hit the waves in a different way, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, or SUP might be for you.
^(when amended or cancelled up to 30 days prior to departure)
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