Ultimate Guide to Gap Year Travel: Tips,...
Location:Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain
Area:92,090 sq km
Population:10,263,850 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official, but locally used)
Religion:Roman Catholic 81%, other Christian 3.3%, other (includes Jewish, Muslim) 0.6%, none 6.8%, unspecified 8.3% (2011 est.)
Things to Do
1. Surfing in Nazaré
Experience the thrill of surfing on the giant waves of Nazaré, known for its record-breaking surf. This small fishing town in Portugal attracts surfers from around the world.
2. Exploring Belem Tower
Visit the historic Belem Tower in Lisbon, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This iconic fortress is a symbol of Portugal's Age of Discovery.
3. Wine tasting in Douro Valley
Indulge in a wine tasting tour in the beautiful Douro Valley. Discover Portugal's famous Port wine and explore the vineyards along the Douro River.
4. Hiking in Peneda-Gerês National Park
Experience the pristine beauty of nature while hiking in Peneda-Gerês National Park. Discover waterfalls, lakes, and breathtaking landscapes.
5. Visiting Sintra
Explore the enchanting town of Sintra, filled with fairytale-like castles and palaces. Visit Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira for a magical experience.
6. Golfing in Algarve
Enjoy a round of golf in the sunny Algarve region. With its stunning golf courses and beautiful coastal views, it's a golfer's paradise.
7. Exploring Porto's Historic Center
Discover the charming streets and landmarks of Porto's historic center. Visit the iconic Ribeira district and explore the city's rich history.
8. Cycling in Alentejo
Embark on a cycling adventure in the picturesque Alentejo region. Explore vineyards, olive groves, and medieval villages along the way.
9. Boat tour of the Benagil Sea Cave
Take a boat tour to the enchanting Benagil Sea Cave, one of the most famous natural wonders in Portugal. Marvel at its stunning rock formations.
10. Fado music in Lisbon
Immerse yourself in the soulful sounds of Fado music in Lisbon. Experience a traditional Fado performance in one of the city's cozy taverns.
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Portugal has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The country experiences an average of around 2,800 hours of sunshine per year. Portugal is known for having a relatively high amount of rainfall, particularly in the northern regions of the country. The southern regions are generally dry and sunny, especially in the summer.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Portugal depends on what you're looking to do and see. The high season for tourism runs from June to September, when the weather is warm and sunny, and the chance of rain is low. This is also when the majority of festivals and events take place. However, this also means that the prices may be higher and the crowds bigger.
If you're looking to experience the beautiful beaches of the Algarve, the best time to visit is from June to September, when the weather is warm and sunny.
If you're looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy more affordable prices, the shoulder seasons (April, May, October and November) can be a good option. This is also the best time to visit if you're interested in visiting the cities, as the temperature is mild and the scenery is beautiful.
Overall, the best time to visit Portugal would be from June to September, when the weather is warm and sunny, and the chance of rain is low. But if you're looking for fewer crowds and more affordable prices, the shoulder seasons, from April to May and October to November, are also a good option.
Portugal offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels. Many of the hotels in Portugal are modern, and they vary widely in terms of quality and facilities. Some of the newer and more luxurious hotels are in the major cities and tourist destinations like Lisbon, Porto, and Algarve.
Guesthouses and Bed and Breakfasts
Guesthouses and bed and breakfasts are a popular option for accommodation in Portugal, particularly in rural areas and small towns. They offer a unique and authentic experience of Portuguese culture and lifestyle, and they are often more affordable than hotels.
Vacation rentals, such as apartments and villas, are becoming increasingly popular in Portugal. These can be a great option for families or groups of friends who want more space and privacy. Many vacation rental options are available online, such as Airbnb and Booking.com.
Hostels are a budget-friendly option for accommodation in Portugal, particularly in the cities. They are often located in the city centers and offer dormitory-style accommodation and shared facilities.
Camping is a common option for accommodation in Portugal, particularly in the summertime, and in the coastal areas. There are several designated campsites in the country, where you can rent a tent or a cabin, and enjoy the nature.
Portugal has an extensive public transportation network, which includes buses, trains, and trams. Public transportation is relatively cheap and efficient, but it can be crowded, especially during peak hours. The main forms of public transportation are the state-run buses and trains, which connect major cities and towns. There is also a metro system in Lisbon and Porto, which can be efficient way to get around.
Taxis are widely available in Portugal's major cities, and they can be a convenient option for getting around. However, it is important to note that the quality and safety of the vehicles can vary, and prices are often negotiated rather than being based on a meter.
Cars and Bikes
Renting a car or bike is another option for getting around Portugal. This can be a great way to explore the country's rural areas and have more flexibility on your trip. However, it's important to keep in mind that driving in Portugal can be challenging, with narrow roads and unpredictable driving habits.
Air travel is another option to move within the country. Portugal has several airports, such as Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon, Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto and Faro Airport, and it is connected to major destinations around the world. It also has regular domestic flights between major cities like Lisbon, Porto and Faro.
Overall, the best way to get around Portugal will depend on your travel plans and budget. Public transportation is relatively cheap and efficient, but it can be crowded, taxis are widely available but prices are often negotiated, renting a car or bike can be a great way to explore the country's rural areas, while air travel is an option to move within the country.
- The currency in Portugal is the Euro (€).
Cash And Cards
- Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in most establishments in Portugal. However, it's always recommended to carry some cash for smaller establishments or in case of emergencies.
- ATMs are readily available in most cities and towns in Portugal. Make sure to check with your bank regarding any fees for international withdrawals.
- Tipping in Portugal is not mandatory, but it is appreciated. A customary tip is around 5-10% of the total bill in restaurants. Tip a few coins to taxi drivers and round up the fare for other services.
Cost Of Living
- Portugal is relatively affordable compared to other Western European countries. The cost of living in Portugal can vary depending on the region, with Lisbon being the most expensive.
- Be cautious of pickpocketing in crowded tourist areas, especially in Lisbon and Porto. Avoid accepting unsolicited help from strangers, and keep an eye on your belongings at all times.