Travel to Portugal
Combining the best of the past and present, Portugal is a fascinating country full of surprises, providing you a wonder range of activities to choose from. With historical narratives dotting the scene in the cities of this small European country, you’ll find your to-do list is never short of activities!
From groves and vineyards to beautiful beaches and shopping spots, Portugal has it all. So if you’re looking to plan your perfect Portuguese getaway, you might like to feast your eyes over the highlights on offer below.
Portugal’s capital city, and the gateway to the country, is situated on the beautiful Tejo River estuary, where the waters are pristine and blue and the hills are abundant. With breathtaking architecture, a combination of modern and ancient style culture, world-class museums, a lively cultural scene and a vast choice of restaurants, Lisbon is an outdoor lover’s ideal destination. Take a walking tour of the city’s narrow cobblestone lanes or jump on one of the yellow trams as it takes you on a journey through the tree-lined streets.
While the scenery and architecture is enough to entice you alone, you can’t go past the many incredible cafes and restaurants, Bohemian bars and boutiques selling all kinds of classic and modern treasures. When visiting Lisbon take pleasure in a visit to the famous museums, including the Gulbenkian and National Tile museum, shop to your heart’s content in Baixa and sample the traditional flavours of Portuguese cuisine along the way! Of course, just outside Lisbon you’ll also find woodlands, beaches and seaside villages all waiting for you to discover them.
- Porto (or Oporto in English)
Porto, Portugal’s second largest city is built along the hillsides, overlooking the mouth of the Douro River. Another enchanting city, full of architectural and visual delights, the city centre is a UNESCO Heritage Site and is home to a number of monuments and museums.
Porto is famously known for making port wine, the sweet dessert wine that takes many years to produce. The vineyards here are elevated perfectly to allow more robust flavors to be absorbed into the grapes – one of the many reasons why port wine tastes far better here than anywhere else.
So, what’s on the top of your to-do list in Oporto? Enjoy the sites with a glass of port in hand, matched with some amazing food of course.
Sintra-village is another of Portugal’s UNESCO Heritage sites, famous for its spectacular villas and palaces, and most famous for being home to Pena Palace, built in the 1840s. If it’s beauty and architecture you’re seeking, don’t forget a visit to the 19th century, gothic style “Palace of Millions” in the Regaleira Estate.
While Sintra has become quite popular in recent years and is a must-do day trip, there’s plenty of culture and beauty to keep you active for a several-day visit!
This once quaint little fishing village has grown into a colourful popular town, with its origins still found at the beachside fish auction that takes place every afternoon. While majority of travellers head to Cascais to visit its trio of golden bays for some much needed relaxation and sun-soaking, there’s also plenty of post-beach activities on offer.
With small museums, alfresco fish restaurants, designer boutiques, nearby surfing and cycling and a beautiful marina to explore, there’s never a dull moment in Cascais.
Evora is known as one of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns and is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage listed monuments. In Evora’s main square, Praco do Guiraldo, you’ll find the city’s centrepiece – a magnificent fountain erected in 1571.
Lose yourself in Evora’s history, detailed in the city museum, dating back to Roman times, where you’ll also find a collection of 16th century paintings and modern sculpture to inspire you.
Best time to travel?
Summer and early autumn months. Travelling to/around Portugal – tips Portugal is roughly 700 kilometres in length and 350 kilometres in width, so hiring a car and driving is definitely an option. Your average driving trip from Lisbon to Porto takes about 3 hours non-stop and Lisbon to Coimbra or Evora about 1.5 hours. By plane: International commercial airports:
- Lisbon (LIS)
- Porto (OPO)
- Faro (FAO)
- Funchal (FNC) (Madeira Island)
- Ponta Delgada (PDL) (Azores islands)
- Lajes (TER) (Terceira, Azores islands)
National Portuguese Airlines:
- TAP-Air Portugal
- SATA (also connects all nine Azores islands).
- There are also air links between Funchal (Madeira) and Porto Santo (Madeira). Portugalia airlines operate scheduled flights to and from Portugal in Europe.
Emirates offer the most direct flights into Lisbon from Australia, while other airlines generally fly via another city.
By train: International trains run between Paris and Lisbon (Sud Express); Lisbon and Madrid (Lusitânia Train), and Porto and Vigo. Regional trains are operated by Comboios de Portugal (CP). Express trains connect Lisbon with the North and South via the Alfa Pendular ran by CP.
By river: If you’re after something a little different, river cruising is also available for 7 nights between Porto and Barca d’Alva. However, this is generally part of a tour that includes a visit to Spain before or after your stay in Portugal. With multiple itinerary options available, such as Viking tours or scenic cruises, river cruising is ideal for those looking to visit something different and somewhere new.
If you’d like to know more about Portugal or you’re ready to plan your next holiday, you can always give us a call on (02) 6041 5577 or book an appointment. You can find more on our top travel destinations here!
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