Thursday, August 11, 2022

Things To See in Portugal

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Historic Cities and Architecture

Once a powerful colonial nation, many living Portuguese towns still have an atmosphere reminiscent of Old World times. They are full of remarkable monuments and with a little effort you will discover traditional cafés and craftsmen whose families have run their businesses for generations.

Make your way to the charming port city of Porto to linger at the Cais da Ribeira, a perfect spot. Recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, this beautiful waterfront area is characterised by old buildings and streets and, of course, the view of the harbour full of Rabelo boats. Lisbon, the country’s capital, is very lively with contemporary culture, but also has countless monumental limestone buildings to offer. Don’t miss the magnificent cloister of the Jeronimus Monastery and don’t forget to climb the battlements of St George’s Castle for excellent panoramic views of the city. For a royal day out from Lisbon, head to the environs of Sintra and its famous castles, including the romantic Pena National Palace. Then there’s the charming medieval university town of Coimbra, considered by many to be the most romantic city in Portugal. Get lost in the maze of old streets and don’t miss the University Building with its beautiful view of the river. For a more intimate experience, head to the romantic and well-preserved village of Óbidos, once a traditional personal gift from Portuguese kings to their beloved wives. Make your way to the monumental city of Tomar or follow the tens of thousands of religious travellers to Fátima, the most visited pilgrimage site on the Iberian Peninsula. The 12th-century Portuguese capital Évora is a great place for ancient architecture, combining Roman ruins with Moorish and Portuguese architecture, or head to Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal. If you don’t tire of Portuguese cities, the list of places to see goes on. Try Viana do Castelo, Braga, Aveiro, Amarante, Bragança, Chaves, Lamego, Viseu, Vila Real, Lagos, Silves or Angra.

Natural beauty and beaches

The most popular beaches are those of the Algarve, which has stunning coastlines and landscapes of breathtaking natural beauty. It has been a major holiday destination for decades. The waters of the south coast are generally warmer and calmer than those of the west coast, which is distinctly Atlantic and does not benefit from the Gulf Stream. For surfing or just playing, there are great beaches all along the west coast, near Lisbon and Peniche. Don’t forget some of the almost deserted beaches on the Costa Vicentina in the Alentejo.

Si vous souhaitez passer vos vacances à la campagne, vous pouvez visiter Viana do Castelo, Chaves, Miranda do Douro, la vallée du Douro, Lamego, Tomar, Leiria, Castelo Branco, Guarda, Portalegre, Évora, Elvas or même Viseu.

And if you want to observe wildlife in its natural environment, the islands of Madeira and the Azores are also places worth seeing, not forgetting, of course, the Peneda-Gerês National Park, the Douro Valley and the Serra da Estrela Nature Park.

Museums

Portugal has a rich cultural tradition and became famous for its art during the country’s golden age in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. A number of world-class museums offer a glimpse of national and foreign riches, and not only in the form of paintings. The best of them are in Lisbon. The Museu da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian has an impressive collection of sculptures, paintings, carpets and other Asian and European objects. The Museu Nacional dos Coches displays beautifully decorated state carriages and the Museu de Marinha, housed in a wing of the Jeronimus Monastery, is considered one of the most important maritime museums in the world. Sintra is home to the Museo de Brinquedo, a remarkable toy museum, and the Sintra Museum of Modern Art. For religious treasures, visit the museum in Evora, or head to Coimbra, where you’ll find another excellent art collection at the Museu Nacional Machado de Castro.

How To Travel To Portugal

By plane Portugal has five airports with regular international passenger traffic: Lisbon Portela Airport (IATA: LIS) is the main hub with numerous intercontinental connections to the Americas and Africa (mainly operated by the national airline TAP Portugal and its Star Alliance partners), as well as a dense network of connections in...

How To Travel Around Portugal

By train In Portugal, the train is generally slightly faster than the bus, but the connections are less frequent and cost more. The immediate surroundings of Lisbon and Porto are quite well served by suburban trains. Rail connections on Portugal's main line, i.e. between Braga and Faro, are good. Alfa-Pendular (fast)...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Portugal

Portugal is a member of the Schengen Agreement. There are normally no border controls between the countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. This includes most countries of the European Union and a few other countries.Before boarding an international flight or ship, there is usually an identity check. Sometimes...

Destinations in Portugal

Regions in Portugal Northern PortugalA historic region considered the birthplace of the nation. Includes the second largest city, Porto.Central PortugalThese include Coimbra, home to one of Europe's oldest universities, and also the Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain in mainland Portugal, and most of the Extremadura coast.Lisbon RegionThe densely populated...

Weather & Climate in Portugal

Portugal is one of the hottest country in Europe. On the Portuguese continent, the average annual temperatures are around 15°C in the north and 18°C in the south. Madeira and the Azores, as might be expected, have a lower temperature range due to their island location, the former having...

Accommodation & Hotels in Portugal

The youth hostel network has a large number of hostels throughout the country . There are also many camping sites. Wild camping" (camping outside camping parks) is not allowed unless you have the landowner's permission. Holiday villas are another option to consider. The hotel offer is large and plentiful throughout...

Things To Do in Portugal

Beaches The Portuguese beaches, almost completely surrounded by the sea, are well worth a visit. There are many activities on offer, from surfing to kite surfing, and during the summer months the most popular beaches offer activities on the sand, such as aerobics. If you're not the type to sweat...

Food & Drinks in Portugal

Food in Portugal It is possibly the most diverse experience one can have in the country and is clearly a favourite pastime of the locals. Portuguese cuisine has evolved from a hearty peasant diet of the countryside, with seafood from the country's abundant coastline and cows, pigs and goats raised on...

Money & Shopping in Portugal

Currency, ATMs, exchange Portugal uses the euro. It is one of the many European countries that use this common currency. All euro banknotes and coins are legal tender in all countries. One euro is divided into 100 cents. The official symbol of the euro is € and its ISO code is EUR....

Traditions & Customs in Portugal

Language The Portuguese feel genuine pleasure in helping tourists, so don't be ashamed to ask for help. If you make the effort to speak a little Portuguese with locals, it can help you a lot. A large percentage of the young population speaks English and many Portuguese understand basic Spanish. Although...

Festivals & Holidays in Portugal

Holidays in Portugal DateEnglish namePortuguese nameNotes1 JanuarySolemnity of Mary, Mother of GodSolenidade de Santa Maria, Mãe de DeusmobileCarnivalCarnivalCarnival in Portugal is an annual celebration that ends on Shrove Tuesday (called Fat Tuesday in Madeira - Terça-feira Gorda in Portuguese), the day before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent). It...

Language & Phrasebook in Portugal

The official language in Portugal is Portuguese (português). Portuguese is one of the main languages in the world today and ranks 6th in terms of the number of native speakers (about 240 million). It is the language with the largest number of speakers in South America, spoken by almost...

Culture Of Portugal

Portugal developed a specific culture while being influenced by different civilisations that crossed the Mediterranean and the European continent or were introduced when it played an active role in the era of discoveries. In the 1990s and 2000s (decade), Portugal modernised its public cultural institutions, in addition to the...

History Of Portugal

Ancient History: Pre-Celts and Celts Portugal's beginnings are shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula in south-western Europe. The name Portugal derives from the Romano-Celtic name Portus Cale. The region was settled by the Pre-Celts, giving rise to peoples such as the Gallaecans, Lusitanians, Celts and Cytes, visited by...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Portugal

Portugal is a relatively safe country to visit and a little common sense will get you far. There are no internal conflicts, no danger from terrorism, and violent crime is not a serious problem as it is usually confined to certain neighbourhoods and rarely committed randomly. However, there are certain...

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