Portugal has it all for an unforgettable holiday – stunning beaches, dramatic scenery, thriving cities, quaint small towns, great weather, an interesting history and friendly locals. And the green light from the government, meaning that there is no need to quarantine either going or coming back from a holiday there. It’s no wonder that so many visitors are keen to return year after year. We’ve selected just some of the top places you might like to see on your next trip to Portugal.
We suggest staying in Albufeira or Praia da Rocha, two lovely seaside towns on your Algarve getaway. Stretching across the southernmost tip of mainland Portugal, the Algarve is famous for its superb year-round climate and fantastic beaches. There are about 100 attractive sandy beaches on the Algarve’s Atlantic coastline, with russet cliffs and rock formations forming an impressive backdrop. Silves, the former capital of the Algarve, is a well-preserved historic town today having been the most important city in southern Portugal in Moorish times. Take in the impressive Roman bridge and massive defensive walls and wander through the historic centre to the Town Hall Square and the Gothic Cathedral. One of the best excursions in the Algarve to see is the ‘End of the World’ or Cape St. Vincent, the most south-westerly point of Europe’s mainland.
As the ‘city of the seven hills’, Lisbon has a unique look and personality, making it one of Europe’s most attractive capitals. The iconic Baixa and Alfama Districts make up most of the city centre. The Baixa district was built after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, and its elegant architecture remains one of the first examples of earthquake-resistant construction. The Alfama district is the oldest and most colourful quarter of Lisbon, where you can get a feel for authentic Portuguese culture in the bustling restaurants and cafes. One of the country’s most striking UNESCO sites is the Jeronimos Monastery, designed by Portuguese architect Diogo de Boitaca. Belem Tower is the city’s most photographed landmark, which along with the marvellous ‘Monument to the Discoveries’ should top your list of must-see places in Lisbon. If you’re looking to try Pastel de Nata, Portugal’s most famous sweet treats, we recommend Pastéis de Belém as they have followed the original recipe from the Jeronimos Monastery since 1837.
Roughly 30km outside Lisbon you will find the town of Estoril, renowned for its stunning beaches and also known as the Portuguese Riviera. With its proximity to Lisbon and other towns like the historic fishing port of Cascais, Estoril is a great holiday destination that has all of the charms of Portugal with a slower pace of life. If you’re staying in Estoril, it is also worth taking a day trip to see Sintra National Palace, a beautiful 16th century palace that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Portugal’s second-largest city is filled with undiscovered beauty, culinary delights and world-famous wines. Located on the Douro River in Northern Portugal, Porto is also one of Europe’s oldest cities, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. A city break to Porto is perfect for those looking for a quick cultural Portuguese escape; or if you have more time, you can take an easy-going Douro River Cruise from Porto.
Portugal is a Go!
Now’s the time to discover Portugal and experience the joy of travel again. Travel Department, Ireland’s leading escorted tour operator, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and you can receive £50pp off any 2021 or 2022 7 night holiday using code VP-50STA when you book by 31 August 2021.
Book with Confidence – Flexibility Guaranteed
In addition, up until 11 June 2021 any new Travel Department bookings made can be changed for free, or you can swap your deposit for a voucher that has no expiry date. This flexibility is valid right up to when your balance is due. Please note that there may be a price change on the holiday if you choose to change to a new date.
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Travel Department.