7 Reasons You Should Include Portugal on Your European Tour 

Europe is a continent of thrilling variety. From the classical grandeur of the great Italian cities to the cosmopolitan clamor and pulse of London, you’ll never get bored on a trip to the old world. Whether you’re a first time traveler to Europe or a seasoned explorer, there are many reasons to visit Portugal. Here are 5:

The History

Portugal has a long and proud history – much of it connected with the sea and oceangoing trade. You will find historical monuments, old fortresses and fishing communities all along the coast that reward investigation and who could forget that it was from here that Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world in the 15th Century.

The Culture
Porto desde puente


Portugal’s culture is colourful and captivating, with many traditional and modern festivals for travellers to enjoy. Almost every village in the country has a festival to celebrate the harvest where you can expect dancing, food and traditional music. The country also plays host to some mega music festivals during the summer, featuring some top line-ups. The country’s art galleries, museums and landmarks are among the most fascinating in Europe.

The Climate

Portugal is often said to have the best climate in Europe. Because of its position in the south west of the continent, lapped by the Atlantic ocean it has pleasant year round temperatures. Winters are never too cold and hot summers are freshened up by a cool sea breeze.

Portugal’s lively and historic capital is a place of gothic splendour and enviable nightlife. It is a stunning place to look at, spread over a series of picturesque hills. Take a tram through the city and stop off at must see destinations like the UNESCO listed Monastery of Jerónimos and the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian..

The Seafood

With 800km of coastline and the biggest fishing zone in Europe, it’s no wonder that he seafood in Portugal is world renowned. Codfish has been popular for centuries and salted cod (known locally as Bacalhau) is delicious. Dourada, Sardinhas and Robalo are also excellent, and exceptionally cheap. Go for Salada de polvo (octopus salad) if you’re feeling adventurous.

The Douro Valley

Portugal is home to one of the most famous wine producing regions in the world, the Douro Valley. This is a feature destination on most Portugal tours, with local wine tasting high on the agenda. Love port wine? Try it at the source whilst admiring the beautiful landscape that it came from.

The Algarve
Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal
Famous for beach holidays and golf holidays, the Algarve is also a place where you’ll find  pretty villages, sublime shopping and rugged scenery. It could be the perfect place to stop and relax when you’re galloping through a busy European tour.

If you hadn’t thought of going to Portugal before, maybe it’s time to think again! Here are some ideas from a Portugal tour specialist.

Images by rodrigomezsbalavenise and martingarri used under Creative Commons License.

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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