Portugal is a European country, and one of the continent’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s not hard to see why this is, since Portugal has amazing food, beautiful weather, fascinating history, and welcoming people. However, it’s also a country that’s little known outside of Europe. Very few people from other parts of the world have ever heard of it before.
If you are interested in visiting one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, then this post has you covered. You will find out why Portugal could be your adventure of a lifetime right here.
When people think of wine, their minds go to places like Italy, France, and even Spain. Rarely do people associate Portugal with wine. However, Portugal actually produces some of the world’s most coveted and sought-after wines. You can get Portuguese wine experiences by visiting and staying in a vineyard. Alternatively, you can take a wine-tasting tour. Portugal’s climate is great for wine, so the wines produced there are deep, flavoursome, and truly unforgettable. It will not cost you a lot of money to stay in a vineyard.
Portugal has incredibly beautiful natural landscapes, from rocky mountains and rolling hills to pine forests. If you want to get out into more rural areas and experience Portugal’s countryside (which is strongly recommended, since it is beautiful) then you should download a trail map. A trail map will tell you about all of an area’s hiking trails. If you are staying in Lisbon, then you can find out about all of the trails around Lisbon. It is a good idea to take a signal booster with you, in case you get lost and lose signal on your mobile device.
Portugal’s people are extremely welcoming. This is in part due to the fact that the nation is overshadowed by its neighbouring countries and other European countries near it. Portuguese people love it when they see tourists. With that said, of course, this post isn’t suggesting for a moment that Portugal doesn’t get any tourists. It is instead saying that Portugal is overshadowed by other more popular European countries and that a lot of non-Europeans have never heard of it before. The best way to experience authentic Portuguese culture is to get out into the countryside, eat at family-run cafés and eateries, and stay in bed and breakfasts.
One of the main reasons that people visit Portugal is to check out its beaches. Portugal has, without a shadow of a doubt, some of Europe’s best beaches. There are far too many to count. If you are visiting to sunbathe, swim, and enjoy yourself on Portuguese beaches, then do some research and try to find one that’s a little off the beaten track. If you go to the main tourist beaches then you will struggle to find a sun lounger. Using Google Maps, you should be able to locate more isolated, less popular beaches.
Another thing to consider doing in Portugal if you want to have an unforgettable experience is trying out authentic Portuguese food, in small family-run cafés and restaurants. Portugal’s larger restaurants (like the ones found in Lisbon) tend to change and adapt Portuguese food, making it more suitable for non-Portuguese tastebuds. When you eat out in small restaurants, however, no such adaptations are made. This means that by eating in these places, you can try authentic Portuguese cuisine, cooked by people whose families have been making food the same way for centuries. Small towns and villages are the best places to find such restaurants.
Portugal has a very interesting history, too. After all, they were a colonial power just like Spain, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom. Portugal’s colonies stretched all the way to South America. Brazil was a part of the Portuguese Empire. Because of Portugal’s history, there are some very interesting museums in the country, showcasing artefacts seized during the colonial period, and also things from Portuguese antiquity. Some of these museums are free to enter, however, it is recommended that you should leave a donation in order to support the management of the museum.
Finally, and as mentioned in the last point, Portugal has an interesting history. Museums aren’t the only way to experience this, however. You can also find out and learn about Portugal’s history by getting out on the ground, visiting churches, and castles, and studying Portugal’s beautiful architecture (which is most prominent in its capital, Lisbon).
Portugal is definitely worth a visit. If you are travelling from within Europe, you can fly there on a budget airline for next to nothing. Travelling in Portugal, assuming you avoid the nation’s capital, is very cheap, also. You can easily get around there on a budget.