If you’re thinking about travelling this summer, I suggest you do somewhere with nice weather, a rich culture, and plenty of things to do. Portugal fits this description perfectly and is great for either a couple of days stop-over on a Eurotrip or a full blown month long holiday.
A lot of people tend to forget about Portugal as its neighbour Spain takes all the attention. However, it’s a country that’s famous for a lot, and it has a wonderful climate as well as some of the best cities in the world. If you are planning a trip there, you’re probably keen to find some things to do.
You’re in luck, as I’ve compiled a list of the best attractions in Portugal and the top things you need to do/see:
Visit The Castelo de Sao Jorge
I always think it’s great to really explore the history of any country you’re travelling to. In Portugal, there are many landmarks and iconic things you can see and marvel at. Here, I’ve chosen a visit to the ancient Castelo de Sao Jorge, a large castle that sits pretty in Lisbon. It’s been around since the 5th Century and is a real piece of art. You’ll love all the cobblestones and walk around this magnificent structure. But, here’s the best bit, it’s right on the hillside which provides you with exceptional views of the city. Honestly, Lisbon is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and you really see why from up here. The sights are magnificent, you feel like you’ve been transported back in time and have been put in a romantic Shakespeare play! If you’re travelling with your partner, then this is an absolute must. In general, Lisbon is a very romantic city anyway so you can have a lot of fun there as a couple. But, it’s equally enjoyable for a group of friends or as a solo traveller.
Go On A Douro River Cruise
The Douro river is almost a forgotten river in Europe. It’s never spoken about like some of the bigger and more well-known rivers like the Rhine. However, it’s a really beautiful place, and it runs from Portugal all the way to Spain. There are some absolutely stunning views, and my favourite part is seeing all the Portuguese architecture as you cruise down it. You can see from the photo that it’s an extremely picturesque setting. The great thing about river cruising is that you can take up a whole day just seeing more of the country. There are loads of cruise options that take you from Porto to Lisbon and back. In fact, there are even some that take you out into Spain and then back up the river to your starting point. The opportunities are endless, and it’s a really beautiful experience.
Sample Traditional Portuguese Cuisine
Portuguese cuisine is quite unknown compared to other cuisines in this part of Europe. Ask anyone what Spanish or Italian cuisine is, and they’ll easily be able to list a load of things. Most people only think about Portuguese cuisine as peri chicken, but it’s much more than that. During your trip, you need to sample some traditional foods such as the Caldo Verde, Arroz de Pato, and the legendary chourico. There are endless food markets you can go to and sample all of these foods as well as many more dishes. If you want to go to a restaurant, I recommend Feitoria in Lisbon. It’s got a Michelin star and great river views – what more could you want?!
Relax On A Beach In The Algarve
The Algarve is right on the south coast of Portugal and features some of its best beaches. There’s a real Mediterranean feel to them, the sand is perfect, and the water is exquisite. Naturally, there are plenty of beaches to choose from, and some attract more visitors than others. I don’t know about you, but I think quiet beaches are always the best. So, if I had to recommend one beach, it would be the Praia do Castelo. This lovely little cove is tucked away amongst the beautiful cliffs in the Algarve. To get to it, you usually have to walk along some of the more popular beaches, which often distract everyone else and they don’t bother making the trip. So, you get to a lovely hidden beach with hardly anyone else around, it’s bliss.
I think it’s always good to make a travel itinerary when you go away. It gives you a list of things to do, and there’s more structure to your travels. Add these things to your list if you visit Portugal, you won’t regret it!