Go-Now Alert! Visit Portugal.
To visit Portugal has been a dream come true and I regretted not having been to Portugal sooner. This country has been on my list ever since I went to Spain in 2009. What a brilliant country that met all our travel criteria and left us in awe.
Having been impressed with everything we saw and did, I can’t wait to convince you to pack your bags and go to Portugal ASAP. Here is why you should visit Portugal sooner than later.
1. It’s still cheaper than Western Europe and Spain.
Depending on where you are reading this post from, your flight to Lisbon, Faro or Funchal might be the most expensive part of the trip. Especially if you avoid the peak summer of June to August when the rest of the Europe comes down to Algarve Portugal for a soak, shoulder months are still warm and your money would go a bit farther.
2. Portugal People are warm at heart just like the country itself.
We stayed at Airbnbs for the entire trip and every host was just absolutely awesome and really helpful in making our trip as smooth as possible. Our Lisbon Portugal host went out of the way to walk us to our destinations to make sure we were well oriented on day one. If not for him, we might have taken longer to get acquainted with the city.
3. Sunny and warm Portugal weather.
Even in the winter, southern Portugal beaches are guaranteed to give you the summer feel. Especially where Atlantic and Mediterranean meet near Faro, you are in for a warm treat. Southern Portugal such as Faro, Algarve region get 300 days of sunshine per year. Imagine yourself basking in the warm sun all vacation long pretty much any month you go.
4. You can still find a secluded beach for yourself.
Yes, it is entirely possible. Even though Portugal beaches are attracting a great number of Europeans and lately a lot of Americans, it doesn’t take a lot to find a secluded section of the beach that would make you feel like you have a private beach for yourself.
5. English will get you around.
We didn’t have even a single word in Portuguese and we went far and deep into the country. Yes, in the villages it can be a bit difficult. But, you can still find a youngster who watches a lot of subtitled English TV program and can understand you.
6. Mouth watering Seafood, pastries, wine and coffee.
More than half the country is surrounded by coastline and it’s no surprise the seafood is abundant, delicious and yet affordable. The coffee drinker in me had a blast with a Pastéis de nata (Egg tart) to go with an excellent latte. Needless to say that the wine lovers will make a mandatory stop over at Porto Portugal.
7. Azores is the Hawaii of Europe.
Located in the middle of Altantic, the Azores archipelago is considered the Hawaii of Europe. Dramatic landscapes, fishing villages, green pastures and mountains along with great beaches define these islands. What more, you will not find the Hawaii type of tourist crowd there.
8. Madeira Island will take you almost half way to Africa.
The culture is partly Portuguese and partly African in this remote island of Madeira. Not known for beaches per se, Madeira is unique for its mountainous landscape, cloud kissed peaks you can climb and dramatic coastline. Fly into Funchal, rent a car and get lost in the island and you will somehow find your way back.
9. Caters to all type of vacationers.
Families, wine lovers, beach bums, adrenaline chasers, hikers, trekkers, whoever you are, the country has it all. Stay tuned for my top things to do in Portugal post.
10. New World history & Religious significance.
Remember that guy Vasco da Gama ? Wouldn’t you want to visit the tiny village of Sines where he was born ?
How about the sacred churches of Braga and Fatima ?
Are you convinced to visit Portugal ?
In summary, the country is increasingly seeing surge in tourism in the past 10 years and yet it is not as crowded as your regular European destinations. If I were you, I would pop Portugal to the top of the “Must visit” countries immediately.
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