With a rich culture, eccentric cities and an exquisite countryside, Portugal is among the best value destinations in Europe. The landscape is exceedingly diverse as one can see it changing as they travel from green mountains in the North to rocky cliffs and waterfalls in the Centre to the desert-like landscape in Alentejo and laidback beaches in Algarve. Recently named the "Best Golf Destination", Fourteen of Portugal's golf courses are among the top 100 in Europe. Surfing is another activity Portugal is sought after for. Portugal is the place to be if you desire the best of European landscapes and culture in one spot.
Northern Portugal: rich historical tradition; considered the birthplace of Portugal nation; home to Porto – the second largest city.
North Central Portugal: covers the region from Atlantic coast to the mountainous interior-area.
South Central Portugal: important places include - Portugal's capital Lisbon, Estremadura - a traditional province and the Upper Alentejo.
Southern Portugal: home to Algarve and its beaches and Lower Alentejo
The Azores: A group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
Madeira: A sub-tropical archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
Summer (July-August) is the best time to visit Portugal
The Best time to visit Portugal is during spring and fall seasons as they have a balmy weather, summers are long and hot, while winters are wet and cold. However, the country does not have a particular holiday season - it is an all year round destination, and everything depends on what the visitor wants to see and how they want to spend their time in Portugal. July and August are two of the busiest months in Portugal, as it is the time when many Europeans take their summer holidays. For those who want to enjoy the beach, the ideal season is from June until the end of September. However, for seasoned surfers, a good time to travel is between November and January. Even though the air and sea temperatures are not the warmest, it is during these months that the waves are the most magnificent. Late spring or early autumn is considered as another good to visit the country, as it is less crowded, and the weather is beautiful. It is best that travellers on a budget avoid major holidays like Christmas and Easter. Since these seasons come with long weekends and vacations, flight and hotel prices soar. For those seeking a cost-effective holiday, the early months of spring and autumn, are the best months to travel. As for exploring the historical sites and cultural aspects of Portugal, it is a favourable destination all days of the year.
For sea fanatics who love spending time at beaches, go surfing and indulge in water sports.
Staying options in Portugal include youth hostels, camping grounds (where you can pitch your tents) and hotels. A unique option, for those who want an authentic Portuguese experience on a budget, is Residencial – a range of home-like hostels where you can easily get a double room for €25-35. A more luxurious option is 'Pousadas de Portugal' – palace and castle type buildings that offer excellent services throughout the country. In the countryside, an affordable option is “Casas de Campo” – a range of comfortable B&Bs. Adventurous travellers can also rent a fully-equipped, comfortable campervan from an organisation called “Soul Campers”.
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