From the castles of Lisbon to the golden beaches of the Algarve, Portugal has something for everyone. The seaside nation’s vibrant culture, history, and natural beauty make it a tantalizing holiday destination for those looking for a laid back, yet sophisticated travel experience. Ten days is the perfect length for a Portugal vacation, giving travellers enough time to indulge in some of its pleasures of Portuguese culture, while taking in incredible scenery and relaxing on golden beaches. Here’s where to start!
Don’t underestimate this beautiful city. With a large main square featuring stunning architecture, enjoy all Lisbon has to offer. Visit the Belem Tower, drive over the 25 de Abril Bridge (their version of San Fransisco’s Golden Gate Bridge), and enjoy a glass of Vihno Verde. This vibrant capital features cobblestoned streets, funicular railways, and magnificent museums, along with world class dining, shopping, and nightlife. Over the past few years Lisbon has experienced a renaissance, and the seaside city is reestablishing itself as a stylish and thriving global destination. This chic city is definitely worth spending at least a few days in on your Portugal vacation.
Fatima: The Holy Land
Fatima is one of the most important Catholic Pilgrimage destinations in Europe, drawing millions of faithful each year. Regardless of your religion, you’ll be fascinated by the place the Virgin Mary is said to have first appeared to local children. The 12th and 13th of each month, from May to October, sees herds of pilgrims arriving in the sleepy town, many of whom travel the last miles on their knees. There are several masses daily at the famous Basilica de Fátima or at the Chapel of Apparitions.
Pour Up Some Porto
If you’re a red wine connoisseur, Porto needs no introduction. The birthplace of the delicious red wine that shares its name, this city is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, brimming with gorgeous ancient churches and monuments. The city is very proud of its famed sweet alcoholic drink and Port is still matured and bottled in the classic cellars located along the riverside. Portugal’s second largest city is set on the northern bank of the Douro River, surrounded by spectacular vistas. Be sure to take a port wine tour and visit the city’s various wine caves – they’re incredible!
The Awe-inspiring Algarve
Famous for its sun-drenched beaches, this southern coastal region is most popular from March until the beginning of October. With almost 200 kilometres of clean, sandy coastline, you’ll be able to take your pick of beautiful beaches along the Atlantic coast. Find your own slice of heaven, on your Portugal vacation, among sandy beaches, spectacular rock formations and quiet coves. Enjoy fresh seafood, charming coastal towns and endless sunshine. Embark on a beautiful boat trip along the Algarve coast and keep your eyes out for playful wild dolphins. You can also try your hand at sailing, surfing, snorkeling, and other water activities.
This fairy tale castle town is located just outside of Lisbon, making it a perfect day trip anyone visiting this region must take. With exquisite palaces, extravagant residences, and decorative gardens, this bright coloured Portuguese town is set amidst the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra. This slightly cooler climate once enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal, who built ornate palaces, ancient ruins, and decorative houses. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town of Sintra is surrounded by breathtaking hiking trails.
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