Travel to Portugal, where variety is the spice of life. Portugal offers an enticing range of places to see and things to do no matter what you’re looking for. From endless stretches of beach along the coast to cosmopolitan nightlife in major cities to the fairy tale magic of the interior villages—every day is completely different.
It’s hard to resist the charms of Portugal in southern Europe, a land of luscious wine, beguiling beaches, captivating countryside scenery and more.
The hilly, coastal capital city of Lisbon is a treasure trove of architecture and art, including 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles. Explore its quaint cobblestone streets by foot, for great shopping, taverns with fado singers, and seafood restaurants.
Stroll down to the waterfront to see the 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, or head to the Parque das Nações and the expansive Oceanário aquarium.
Mediterranean beaches and golf resorts more your style? With its whitewashed fishing villages perched atop cliffs overlooking sandy coves, the Algarve may be right up your alley, also a great place to take in whale watching and sport-fishing.
An enviable lifestyle, eye-popping landscapes, a culture that is both rich and very much alive… Experience all of this and more as you visit the country’s premier destinations!
Lisbon Portela Airport is uniquely located within the city limits, making it very convenient if you’re flying in for a bit of tourism in and around the city centre. Once you land and get settled in one of Lisbon’s many choice hotels, prepare to explore Portugal’s ever-so captivating capital.
In Lisbon, do as the… Lisboetas do! To whet your appetite, have a glass of ginginha (the traditional cherry liqueur) in A Ginginha, a tiny and very atmospheric bar near the Rossio, a main square in the lower town (Baixa). Then nibble petiscos (Portuguese tapas) in a typical Bairro Alto tasca (a neighborhood restaurant) and while in the area, explore its fine shops. Take a stroll to Praça do Comércio to dine al fresco and enjoy a nightcap at Pensão Amor, a former brothel turned into an amusing bar in Cais do Sodré. Wandering about these very different districts should give you a pretty good sense of place!
There’s a reason Porto is home to the third busiest airport in all of Portugal. Not only is the birthplace of port wine experiencing an architectural design renaissance, it also boasts some of the finest restaurants in the country. Porto is full of surprises and you’ll love travelling with your family, friends or other half!
Located a mere three-hour drive north of Lisbon, Porto is incredibly beautiful. UNESCO didn’t err at all when it designated the city’s historic center a World Heritage Site! Azulejos (tiles) adorn whole buildings. The historic train station looks like a ballroom. Mosaics of white and black stone turn pedestrian streets into works of art. And then, at the foot of the northern capital city, flows the mighty Douro river! Aboard an old rabelo, a type of boat that was once used to transport wine barrels, what a beautiful cruise you’ll enjoy ! Remember: it's in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the opposite bank, that the wine produced in the Upper Douro Valley is stored and ages in the cellars of world-famous wineries. Such memorable tastings await you!
Portugal’s Faro has a history of being hard done by. Sacked by the Earl of Essex in 1596 and then levelled by an earthquake in 1755, it’s no wonder the modern city has relatively few historic buildings. Those that remain, however, are stunning and well worth seeing.
Like Val d'Orcia in Tuscany and the Upper Middle Rhine Valley in Germany, the wine-growing area of the Alto Douro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its amazing man-made landscapes. And what landscapes! Here, the vines and the low, dry stone walls that protect them criss-cross the mountains while whitewashed quintas (agricultural estates) shine through olive groves in the glaring sun. In addition, at harvest time in September, some of these estates, like Fonseca at Quinta do Panascal, still practice grape-stomping. This traditional lagarada is quite a sight! Will you be there this year to witness it?
Did you know? In 2003, UNESCO, a United Nations agency, ratified an agreement with a number of States to ensure the transmission of intangible cultural heritage. This includes songs, dances, festivals, rituals, in short, all intangible cultural practices and expressions threatened by globalization. From Portugal, fado, a type of folk song performed mainly in Lisbon (in Mouraria and Bairro Alto neighborhoods), cante alentejano, the polyphonic singing of the Alentejo region, as well as the Mediterranean diet are part of that special inventory. To date, the list numbers 314 elements from some 160 states.
With its mild year-round climate, the Portuguese Riviera (as the Cascais region is known) offers a surprising variety of landscapes and attractions, combining a wide range of possibilities in one very unique destination. With seven golf courses (among the very best in Europe), sun, sea and water sports, Cascais simply has it all! The region is a leader in responsible and ecologically sustainable tourism.