Discover alongside dramatic geographic landscapes, turquoise beaches, a rich gastronomy scene, and all the Port and bacalhau (salted cod fish) you can ask for. Its superb cuisine, fine wines and hospitable people make this a tourist paradise.
Admire idyllic scenery from the dramatic rock formations of the Algarve to the enchanting vineyards of the Douro Valley. You will soon understand the allure of Portugal, with its sensational blend of captivating cities and sandy beaches. Encounter history in the castles, palaces and cobblestones villages typical around the country. Visit Lisbon, the lively and charismatic capital and Porto in Northern Portugal with its extraordinary cityscape in the steep cleft of the Douro river having UNESCO World Heritage status is breathtaking. In the Alentejo region, explore Evora one of the best tourist destinations of central Portugal, it is a delightful city that exudes Portuguese charm and boasts a vast array of fascinating historical monuments.
If that’s enough to entice you, the Island of Madeira or nine islands of the Azores await you with a tropical climate and a collection of contrasting landscapes and adventurous activities. Come and discover the charms of the Iberian Peninsula!
When to visit
In general, the best times to visit and experience as much as possible in Portugal are between March and early June or mid-September and mid-to-late November.
High Season (Jul–Aug)
- Accommodation prices increase.
- Expect big crowds in the Algarve and coastal resort areas.
- Sweltering temperatures are commonplace.
- Warmer ocean temperatures.
Shoulder (Apr–Jun & Sep–Nov)
- Wildflowers and mild days are ideal for hikes and outdoor activities.
- Lively festivals take place in June.
- Crowds and prices are average.
- Colder ocean temperatures.
Low Season (Dec–Mar)
- Shorter, rainier days with freezing temperatures at higher elevations.
- Lower prices, fewer crowds.
- Attractions keep shorter hours, and many beach lodgings close for winter.
Main International Airports of Portugal are
Aeroporto de Lisboa (Lisbon) Metro trains head downtown 20 minutes, frequent departures 6.30am to 1am. AeroBus departs every 20 minutes from 7am to 11pm. Private transfers to the centre takes 15 minutes.
Aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro (Porto) Metro do Porto violet line E (direction Estádio do Dragão) links to downtown Porto, around 45 minutes. Private transfers to the centre and take an hour.
Aeroporto de Faro (Faro) Proximo city buses 14 and 16 run to the bus station every 30 minutes from June to August, slightly less frequently in low season. From the bus station, it's an easy stroll to the centre. Private transfers take around 10 minutes.
Portugal has an extensive railway network, making for scenic travel between destinations.
The One Country Portugal Pass from InterRail gives you unlimited travel on any three, four, five, six or eight days over a month (2nd class and 1st class).
Tram lovers shouldn’t miss the charming relics rattling through the narrow streets of Lisbon and Porto.
Other than river cruises along the Rio Douro from Porto and the Rio Tejo from Lisbon, Portugal’s only remaining waterborne transport is cross-river ferries. Commuter ferries include those across the Rio Tejo to/from Lisbon and across the mouth of the Rio Sado between Setúbal and Tróia.
Self drive holidays give you the freedom to explore your own way in your own time. No early starts, no crowds or being herded around. Portugal’s modest network of estradas (highways) is gradually spreading across the country. Main roads are sealed and generally in good condition. To rent a car in Portugal you should be at least 25 years old and have held your driving licence for more than a year. The widest choice of car-hire depot is at Lisbon, Porto and Faro airports.
- Planning to hire a car in Portugal? Be aware travellers from other countries than EU, USA and Brazil should obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP).
- Cover shoulders, torso and thighs when visiting churches and other religious monuments.