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Travel guide  Portugal

Portugal - apartfromtherest - Travel Guide
An Introduction to Portugal
Portugal is a country situated on the Iberian Peninsula with a population of nearly 11 million inhabitants and a land mass of 92,391 square kilometres. The country has a distinctive history and although Portugal is usually overshadowed by the prowess of neighbouring Spain, there are many hidden features to this majestic country.

Places in Portugal

Portugal is the land of exciting cities such as Lisbon and Porto, traditional villages with a wonderful luscious green countryside with rolling flower-covered hills and untapped coastlines with dramatic cliff faces for a backdrop. In addition, there is the stunning Algarve that attracts the most holidaymakers to the country.





Belem Tower, Lisbon


Portugal used to be Iberia’s best kept little secret, but this is no longer the case, because nearly 13 million people visited the country during 2006. The tourism hotspots are the Algarve, Lisbon and Madeira. There are several other tourist areas that are still quite understated and relatively unknown such as Douro Sul, Costa do Sol, Templários, Costa Azul, Planície Dourada and Dão-Lafões.

The capital of Portugal is Lisbon and situated on the picturesque banks of the River Tagus. The city is steeped in history with historical castles and renovated churches around every corner. Lisbon is similar to Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, in regards to its exciting and vibrant nightlife and top quality restaurants serving delicious local delicacies. The Portuguese mentality of partying the night away mirrors that of their Spanish neighbours.




A Hillside Portuguese Village

Outside the city grounds, you will find endless open countryside spaces and the romantic landscapes of Douro valley. Trawling the Portuguese countryside in search for medieval castles in Pousadas de Portugal and traditional little villages allows you to appreciate this country for what it really is away from the tourism traps.
 Things to do in Portugal 

The beautiful beaches of the Portuguese Algarve have become a firm favourite with tourists because of scenery, golf and the many interesting things to see and do. The warm oceans and the all year round sunshine is also a major reason for so many visitors. This captivating region is Portugal’s number one tourist destination with 350,000 residents over an area of 5,412 square kilometres of paradise. Although the Algarve is not technically on the Mediterranean, it does share the climate. The Algarve is a golfer’s paradise, and a great place to book an affordable luxury holiday home rental to use as a base to explore the choice of international courses and stunning facilities. For children there are lots of parks including some must see water parks appealing for young and old.


An Algarve Beach





Mosteiro de Alcobaca

Viewing the Portuguese architecture at first hand is another reason tourists flock in their droves to this unique destination. Portugal is home to a long list of World Heritage sites that include the Old Area of Porto City, the 12th century monastery at Mosteiro de Alcobaca, Sintra and its town of palaces, the Roman ruins at Evora, the 15th century seaport at Angra do Heroismo, the prehistoric paintings at Foz Coa, the Historical Centre of Guimaraes and the Port Wine growing area at Douro.
When to go to Portugal and Weather

The high temperatures of the Algarve ensure you can take a holiday at any time of the year, and the country is a favourite getaway for winter breaks. The peak tourist season in Portugal starts in June and finishes in September, but low season is the most enjoyable period because the weather is still great and the destinations are less crowded.




A Portuguese Village


Getting to Portugal and Getting Around

The country is very safe to visit and the locals are welcoming and courteous. Incoming flights terminate in all major cities and the Algarve on a daily basis.

Useful Information

The currency is the Euro and the all round prices and cost of holidaying are very cheap and affordable.


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