Portugal experiences a typical Mediterranean climate with warm summers and wet winters. The summer time heat is cooled by sea breezes making the conditions extremely pleasant. Maximum temperatures reach approximately 25°C and the country experiences about 11 to 12 hours of daylight per day during this season. Winter on the other hand reaches a maximum of around 16°C and daylight hours are between 5 to 6 hours on average. September to November are the most popular times for Portugal holidays, as well as March to June.
The Lisbon Coast
Located in the north of Portugal, this region has a variety of experiences to offer those on Portugal holidays. A visit to Sintra is a must, where the National Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the mountains, the castle has a fairytale-feel and was once home to the Portuguese Royal Family. Other notable sites in the region include the picturesque town of Óbidos, Alcobaça which is home to a 12th century monastery and the scenic fishing town of Nazaré.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Porto is located in the northwest of Portugal and is known for producing excellent port wine. The city boasts an array of galleries and museums and presents outstanding architecture to persue at your leisure. Holidays to Portugal must include a relaxing boat ride along the Douro River, passing under six of Porto's magnificent bridges. Other highlights include the Ribeira quarter, the Chamber of Commerce, the Porto Cathedral, Palacio da Bolsa, Mercado do Bolhao and breathtaking views from the top of Clerigos Church.
Boasting superb beaches with quaint villages dotting the coastline, the Algarve is a location to add to the list for on a visit to Portugal. Located in the southernmost region of Portugal, it offers modern amenities and resorts for travellers but provides fishing ports and whitewashed towns for a peak into the roots and history of the region. Points and towns of interest include Lagos, Sagres, Cape St. Vincent, Silves, Faro Town and Olhao Market.
Located in the Atlantic Ocean, between mainland Portugal and the Canary Islands, Madeira offers scenery unparalleled. The islands are known for their Madeira wine and sub-tropical conditions. Highlights include; Funchal offering markets, botanical gardens and wine tasting; the West Island with lava pools and a volcanic backdrop; and Lavada Walk, a path leading through the stunning Paradise Valley.
Food & Drink
In Portugal you can enjoy delicious food matched with beautiful local wines at incredibly reasonable prices. The local specialities Piri Piri chicken or 'Cataplana', and really fresh seafood, complemented by tasty, ripe vegetables and fruity olive oil. Vinho Verde is a refreshing, slightly sparkling white wine which is light in alcohol and a pefect match for grilled fish dishes.
Cuisine can vary significantly from region to region however. Madeira has many traditional specialities, including the ‘bolo de caco’ bread, and beef cooked on a skewer with garlic, bay leaves and sea salt. The açorda, a soup made of large pieces of bread, garlic, poached egg, winter savory and olive oil. Fresh tuna and scabbard fish are popular, as are tasty dishes made from bacalhau (dried cod).