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From rolling vineyards and charming villages to sweeping mountains and endless stretches of sandy dunes, Portugal welcomes visitors with old-fashioned charm.
Discover hidden gems and captivating landscapes on your mesmerising holiday to Portugal. Soak up the sun on the sun-kissed shores of the south, or sip a glass of port on the banks of the River Douro in the north. Take a ride on the old trams that chug along the winding streets of cultural Lisbon and head to the city centre, where the ornate Manueline architecture of the Belem quarter tells a tale of its fascinating history.
Half an hour away from Lisbon is Estoril’s elegant seafront, lined with bistros and old-fashioned cafes. Take the opportunity to see UNESCO-listed Sintra, a former royal retreat, with its remarkable palaces set in a National Park full of dense and verdant trees and plants.
Beyond the cities, Portugal's scenery ranges from mountainous backdrops to dramatic windswept coasts. It's a charismatic country that offers spectacular beaches, historic cities and some of the world’s finest wines, all waiting to be explored by you. Discover Roman sites and ruins that date back thousands of years in the Algarve, or visit the famous port-wine-producing quintas of Oporto. Gleaming with picturesque vineyards, rich culture, vibrant bars and restaurants, Oporto invites visitors to indulge in fine wine and delicious food in a historic location peopled by charming locals.
Travel with Newmarket Holidays and look forward to a holiday to Portugal that suits you – whether you prefer a scenic train holiday along historic railway lines, want to savour the flavours produced by the local vineyards or simply wish to unwind on pristine, sun-baked beaches.
Stretching for nearly 1800 kilometres along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is graced with a mixture of rugged and scenic landscapes, rolling hills and plains. From the north all the way down to the south, you’ll find something unique to enjoy wherever you choose to go. Here's our pick of some of the must-dos to consider during your holiday in Portugal.
Portuguese cuisine is boldly rich in flavour, and often accompanied by excellent wines from the north.
A typical Portuguese menu includes a variety of fish and seafood, and seems Mediterranean in style despite the nation's Atlantic location. Fruit and vegetables are plentiful, as is a choice of soups and meat-based dishes.
If you’re a fish or seafood lover, a visit to Portugal is a treat for your taste buds. The country has the highest fish consumption per capita in Europe. The scent of charcoal grilled sardines – barbecued with a little olive oil and salt – fills the air as you wander through the streets at lunchtime or early evening. Prawns are also plentiful along the coast, and prawn piri piri is one of Portugal’s most popular dishes. If you choose, it’s even possible to enjoy bacalhau (dried cod) a different way every day – the Portuguese have over a thousand recipes for this fish staple. Another dish to try during your visit is caldo verde – a hearty, comfort-dish soup consisting of potato, shredded collard greens, and chunks of sausage that's served in most restaurants.
If you have a sweet tooth, pastel de nata – delicious egg tarts with a wonderful, flaky crust – are a real treat, and wine lovers will find many excellent, well-priced red and white wines to enjoy, including the famous Vinho Verde. And, of course, you can try any number of port-wines when visiting the lodges in the Oporto area.
First holiday to Portugal? Here are a few questions you might have.
The weather in Portugal is heavily influenced by the Atlantic. The north of the country tends to be cooler, whilst the south enjoys a warmer, more Mediterranean climate. with coastal areas slightly cooler throughout. Summer temperatures range from around 30°C in the south to 25°C in the north. Winters in Portugal are comparatively mild, although nights can be chilly. Temperatures are pleasant in spring and autumn, averaging around 20°C.
Generally speaking, the best time to visit Portugal is during the spring, when the country is in bloom, or in autumn. Both seasons enjoy pleasant temperatures, and are largely free of the summer crowds.
Portugal is famous for its breathtaking Mediterranean coastline and beaches, the wine-producing Douro Valley, and its elegant, cultural cities, including Lisbon and Porto. Surfing is popular in Portugal, thanks to its long coastline and Atlantic winds.
In Portugal they use the Euro (EUR). For the latest exchange rates, please see www.xe.com. Portugal is one of the least-expensive countries in Western Europe.
Unsurprisingly, Portuguese cuisine has a strong Mediterranean influence, and the diet consists of a lot of fresh fruit, vegetables and olive oil, along with seafood and meat. However, Portugese food does tend to be spicier than many of its neighbours. Pastries and sweets are also popular, especially churros and pastel de nata (egg tart pastry). Being a wine-producing country, wine is popular in Portugal, especially port, a fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley.
Portuguese is the national language of Portugal. However, English is widely spoken, particularly in touristy areas. Below are a few useful phrases in Portuguese:
Hello – olá
Goodbye – tchau
Thank you – obrigado
Please – por favor
Do you speak English? – você fala Inglês?