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5 Reasons to visit Portugal

Portugal’s stunning scenery, attractive cities, blissful beaches and quiet coastal walks have been impressing travellers for centuries, so why should you visit now? It’s one of our top destinations for an active break in 2018 – so here are five reasons why you should book before everyone else.
 

Active breaks offer a different way to explore

The south of the country may be most associated with summer beach holidays, but Portugal’s unspoilt coastlines, steep cliffs and rolling, verdant hills are the perfect setting for active breaks. You can of course explore Portugal on a discovery trip of the country’s highlights, but the ‘real’ Portugal is best seen from its quiet roads and often empty walking trails. Take to the saddle and explore on two wheels, navigating the beautiful coastal routes between Lisbon and the Algarve. In the south of the country, the Rota Vincentina includes more than 400km of walking trails, lined with beautiful wildflowers, striated cliffs and sandy beaches; the ideal setting for a walking holiday.
 
 

Fuel up for your adventures with incredible cuisine

What better way to refuel after a long, leisurely walk or scenic bike ride than with dinner in a medieval hilltop village, or a wine tasting of regional vintages in a backstreet bodega? Lunches are a laid-back affair, dinners relaxed and informal. Even picnic lunches to graze on during your walks offer the chance to taste fresh flavours: think hunks of freshly baked bread, fragrant herby cheese from Alentejo, sweet crumbly cakes and zingy oranges. A twin-centre trip featuring Portugal and Spain offers the chance to sample the different tastes and customs of each country.
 

The scenery must be seen to be believed

There’s no doubt about it, Portugal is stunning, from the verdant valleys around the Douro River to the windswept Atlantic Beaches. Perhaps some of its most stunning landscapes can be found offshore, on the autonomous islands of Madeira and the Azores. In the former, follow the ancient network of irrigation channels known as levada around the rugged island, and take in the stunning ocean views over tea at a former palace. In the latter, explore crater lakes, thermal springs, deep gorges and picturesque fishing villages with few other tourists. Alternatively, stick to the mainland and enjoy the whitewashed settlements and pillowy dunes of the serene southwest coast.
 
Portugal’s stunning scenery, attractive cities, blissful beaches and quiet coastal walks have been impressing travellers for centuries, so why should you visit now? It’s one of our top destinations for an active break in 2018 – so here are five reasons why you should book before everyone else.

The towns and cities are just as beautiful as the countryside

Perfect for exploring on foot, Portuguese towns are the best place to explore local customs – and they’re glorious to look at too. With their whitewashed walls (or in Lisbon, sunny primrose yellow), warm terracotta tiles baked by the sun and colourful blue tiles known as azulejos, the Portuguese town is instantly recognisable. The capital, Lisbon can be uncovered by tram; its second city, Porto, best enjoyed under your own steam – its tiny switchback lanes leading to quiet plazas filled with bars serving the local Port wine. In the south, Sagres offers a slice of the Algarve before the developers moved in. One of the best examples of Portugal’s extravagant architecture can be found in the hills of Sintra; buttercup and vermillion palaces set atop craggy cliffs.

Feeling inspired by Portugal? Click here for more information on our trips to Portugal and to explore our full range of holidays.

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