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Most popular destinations in Portugal

Here are the top destinations

WHAT TO SEE IN PORTUGAL

Portugal with its rich artistic and cultural heritage and its unspoiled nature can please different types of tourists. From cities of art to the beautiful beaches along the Ocean, passing from mountain and religious tourism, every Portuguese region has treasures that are worth being discovered.

Bathing sites

With more than 800 kilometres (497,1 miles) of coast, bathing sites play a major role in the Portuguese tourist offer. Algarve, the most southern part of the country, deserves a special mention. The hot and dry climate and the Ocean crafted beaches are the ideal environment to those loving the sea and water sports. The most renewed beach in the district is Marinha, considered one of the world 100 most beautiful beaches. Other important cities in Algarve for seaside tourism are Faro and Albufeira.

Mountain tourism

Generally, talking about holidays in Portugal, we generally do not think about mountain destinations, although places like Serra de Estrela offer enchanting landscapes for those loving such type of vacation. Located inside the natural park with the same name, Serra de Estrela includes Portuguese highest mountain Malhão de Estrela as well as the only ski resort in the country.

Religious tourism

As far as religious tourism is concerned, the most visited venue is no doubt Fátima, where the Virgin Mary appeared before 3 shepherds in the early twentieth century. Lisbon, Saint Anthony’s birthplace, and the Batalha monastery are very well know pilgrimage sites.

Cities of Art

Lisbon and Porto are not only the 2 most important cities in Portugal. They are also the most interesting ones from a cultural and architectonic point of view. In Porto you cannot miss a visit to the Ribeira quarter, a UNESCO World heritage site, the Cathedral and the Lello e Irmão bookshop. Lisbon, the capital whose architecture is deeply influenced by the Arab culture, offers many interesting sites. The most interesting quarters are Bairro Alto, Baixa and Alfama.

CULTURE AND TRADITIONS IN PORTUGAL

Fado is Portugal’s traditional music: a sad chant accompanied by guitars, both the classical and the Portuguese ones.

Some Portuguese cities still offer corrida. Unlike the Spanish version, the Portuguese tourada does not end with the killing of the bull; the forcados must show their strength and skill by blocking the animal.

Portugal has the largest number of mills in Europe, most of which still working.

As far as the cuisine is concerned, one of the main ingredients for many traditional recipes is bacalhau, codfish: barbecue, fried or served as nuggets, it is a constant presence in the Portuguese tables. While fish is a constant of the traditional coastal Portuguese cuisine, the inland offers many meat-based dishes with cheese and vegetables. Typical Portuguese dishes also feature many sweet recipes like pasteis de nata, a typical Lisbon cream based dessert.

CLIMATE

The territorial extension and the influence of the Atlantic Ocean cause different climatic areas. For practical reason, Portugal can be divided into 3 different climate areas:

• the Northern one with an Atlantic climate, mild temperatures throughout the year and a rainy fall
• the internal area, with a typical dry, continental weather
• the Southern part, with a typical Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers

When Best Visit Portugal

The best time of the year to visit Portugal is between April and October . In these 6 months, rain is not so frequent and temperatures are mild. Those not liking excessive hot weather should avoid Algarve in the summer, when the thermometre easily goes beyond 40 °C (104 °F). The best time of the year for the Southern part of Portugal is spring .

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