Currency and Official language
When to Visit Portugal?
Points of Interest
The best beaches
With nearly 1000km of gorgeous Atlantic Ocean coastline, Portugal has some of Europe’s best beaches. The Algarve province is considered to be the most beautiful of these, with a range of beaches and resorts to explore and enjoy. Albufeira and Lagos are some of the most renowned coastal resort towns in the region. Albufeira has a variety of beaches, from those that are action-packed to deserted sandy coves if you want to get away from the crowds. Whether you are with your family or travelling solo, there is a sandy spot on the shores for you.
One of the prettiest beaches in southern Portugal; Camilo Beach is near Lagos and is also considered one of the best beaches in the country, with beautiful cliffs as well as a stunning rock formation known as Ponta da Piedade.
As one of Portugal's premier surfing locations, Amado Beach is a large beach stretching along three valleys. Featuring thriving flora and fauna, Amado beach falls into the southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. With rolling dunes, Amado is a very popular beach but there are still spots to take a breather if you walk along the beach for a bit.
Must-see towns and cities
Lisbon is a popular destination for tourists, with a rich culture featuring cuisine, markets, museums and festivals. As Europe's second oldest capital city, Lisbon has a combination of old- and new-world shops, restaurants, cafes and monuments. Totally tourist-friendly, the city has numerous activities for visitors.
Sitting on the edge of Lisbon at the mouth of the River Tagus is Belem, home to three of Lisbon's most famous monuments, including The Monument to the Discoveries, the Jeronimos Monastery and the Torre de Belem. All to be explored for their beautiful architecture, and as relics that commemorate Portugal’s sea travellers and maritime culture.
As Portugal’s second most populous city and the home of port, Porto is worth a visit for the beautiful architecture, including the famous azulejos, the distinctive form of thousands of ocean-coloured ceramic tiles that adorn the buildings and even the interior of train stations in Porto. There are also plenty of opportunities to indulge in port and wine, with several wine cellar tours taking visitors through the history of port and the process of making it.
The Douro Valley
Porto's harbour is where the Douro River cruises set off, with foodies from all over the world coming to the Douro Valley for wine- and food-tasting tours. The Douro wine valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its history as the oldest demarcated wine-making region in the world and the unforgettable views which can be experienced by boat, on a hike or even on a drive. It is a must-see.
The town of Sintra is a short trip from Lisbon and is located in the foothills of the Serra mountains. The town was once the home of the Portuguese monarchy and—as a result—it is still home to beautiful castles and palaces. Sintra is a UNESCO heritage site and with excellent reason, as one of the palaces in this town is the Palacio National De Pena, considered one of Europe’s most exquisite palaces.
The museum city of Evora is a favourite destination in Portugal for travellers. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is home to classic buildings and has roots dating back to Roman times. The Evora Museum is over a century old and displays a collection of art and archaeology presenting the history and culture of Portugal, including Roman and Moorish pieces. The food in the city is also famous for being a stellar representative of the mediterranean diet, with a range of traditional delicacies including Alentejo bread, mature cheeses, olives, gazpacho and desserts to delight in.
Delicious Portuguese cuisine
Portugal is famous for their Pastéis de nata or custard tarts, and it has a well-earned reputation, as this tiny custard-filled pastry is simply delicious.
The national dish is dried, salted cod and it can be served in a variety of ways. There are apparently hundreds of recipes to cook cod in Portugal, with each version of the dish competing for preeminence.
Piri-piri chicken has its roots in the Portuguese’s former African colonies, but it is said the best piri-piri in Portugal can be found in the Algarve. It's a delicious spicy grilled chicken that absolutely must be sampled when in the region.
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