Portugal has always been a popular choice for British holidaymakers. With a rich history and stunning natural beauty, this country on the western-most edge of Europe is always a good choice of sunshine-filled holidays. In Portugal, you’ll find dramatic landscapes, vibrant cities and stunning natural beauty, with some of the best local delicacies to keep your tummy happy, too. The food, culture and heritage of Portugal makes it a rich and exciting destination; Monarch offers flights to Lisbon, Faro, the Algarve and the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, so you can find exactly what you want in a Portuguese holiday.
If you’re after a beach holiday, then the Algarve could be the place for you. The Algarve has a thriving expat community – visit it and you will see why some many Brits fall in love with the area. Resorts vary for every taste; Albufeira is the biggest in the region, while the best nightlife can be found nearby in Praia da Rocha. Other popular destinations are the charming coastal town Carvoeiro and tourist-friendly historical town Lagos, renowned its summer evening fun. Further south, the more exotic island of Madeira will offer something different for your Portuguese holiday. Faro has a stunning coastline, with a strong surfing culture to match, and the town of Cidade Velha has beautiful cobbled streets, just waiting to be explored. If you’re looking for a city that sparkles, you must visit Lisbon – with museums, art and restaurants a plenty, this a buzzing city with lots of offer for holidaymakers.
Why Choose Portugal?
For one thing, the sunshine Portugal is an attraction in itself. The southern Algarve region boasts long warm summers with lots of sunshine, clear blue skies and low rainfall. It’s a lovely place to visit over the summer, as the high temperatures are softened by cool, fresh sea breezes, meaning the beaches are always pleasant. There are some fantastic activities for all the family the Algarve, including beach sports, golfing and cruise adventures, and with sunshine this good, you’ll be spoilt for choice on activities to fill your day. Portugal has a real charm, with castles and villages peppered along the coastline – it’s only a quick flight from the UK, and you can be sunning yourself on the beach with a good book in no time. There’s a whole host of fantastic beaches near Faro, which is the best access point for the whole sunny Algarve region.
Attractions & Activities
Every year, tourists flock to Portugal for the beaches. The white sandy beaches of Madeira and the Algarve are a major draw for holidaymakers, with beautiful blue seas and perfect sand. The beaches are great for kids, and there’s a huge range of water sports and beach activities, such as kayaking, jet skiing and volleyball, to keep them amused. Family-friendly activities in Portugal include water parks and adventure cruises, dolphin and other wildlife parks and bird-watching. Portugal is, of course, also a huge attraction for golfers. Some of the best golf spots in the world can be found in Portugal, especially in the Algarve region.
The golf courses around Vilamoura are particularly popular, and watersports fans will find great amusement in the sports on offer in Madeira. If you like fishing, Portugal is the place for you. For culture, Lisbon is the place to come – it’s one of the finest cities in the world for dining out, with great local specialities and seafood restaurants, for a truly cosmopolitan experience. For culture-lovers, the town of Faro has masses to explore, with quaint local shops and fantastic seaside restaurants. Ilha da Barreta and Ilha da Culatra are only accessible by ferry but definitely worth the trip.
The former is a quieter and calmer beach where sunbathing and swimming are the activities of choice, while the latter is a small seaside community with lots going on and plenty of cafes for a cool drink.
Almost every village in Portugal has its own festival to celebrate the local saint’s day or the regional harvest, which range from days-long celebrations to quiet local affairs. Most towns have weekly fairs, which are great for tourists, with agricultural shows, food and festivities. There’s often special music events throughout the year in Portugal, with a thriving jazz scene. Easter week and the Santos Populares festivities are huge in Portugal; during Easter, there are special religious processions in town, as well as local delicacies only eaten at this time of year. If you’re in Lisbon for the saint’s day fiesta for Santo António, expect street parties and dancing late into the night.
Trains are a great way to get around Portugal; Comboios de Portugal operates all trains, and they are generally reliable, with lovely views of the countryside. For town hopping, Portuguese buses connect almost all of the country’s towns and villages, and you can buy tickets in advance online. The main roads in Portugal are safe and well maintained, so renting a car is a good option if you’re looking to do a multi-city trip. Car rental is generally cheap, starting at as little as £150 per week, including fuel. Once you’ve reached your destination, cycling is a popular way to see the sites and bike rental companies can be found all over Portugal. Top Tips for a holiday in Portugal
• Portugese food is a real delight, try local delicacy Pastel de Nata – an egg-based custard tart that is popular throughout Portugal, often eaten for breakfast.
• Remain attentive when crossing the roads in Portugal as they don’t have zebra crossings, so you must always double-check before moving. Coffee is very popular in Portugal, but just don’t ask for a latte. Here, coffee is drunk black – an espresso is a Portugese favourite, although you’ll be forgiven for adding sugar to it.
• Pack for all the seasons in Portugal; the weather can alter dramatically throughout the day, with soaring highs, as well as strong winds and rain. Make sure to bring an anorak if you’re going out to sea.
Portugal flights, holidays and hotels
|Flights||Holidays||Hotels & Villas|
|Algarve||Flights to Algarve||Algarve Holidays||Algarve Hotels and Villas|
|Estoril Coast||Estoril Coast Holidays||Estoril Coast Hotels and Villas|
|Lisbon||Flights to Lisbon||Lisbon Holidays||Lisbon Hotels and Villas|
|Porto||Flights to Porto||Porto Holidays|