Popular Holiday Regions in Portugal
The Lisbon Coast or Costa de Lisboa extends along the western coastline of Portugal, beginning north of the capital city of Lisbon then stretching inland to the town of Abrantes and along the banks of the River Tagus. The river’s estuary is a beautiful, protected spot that has sandy beaches and safe swimming conditions for families who book holidays in the nearby towns of Cascais and Estoril.
Lisbon is a must-see city, filled with narrow winding streets, fascinating architecture (Belém Tower in particular is an example of Portugal's unique Manueline architecture) and excellent restaurants, bars and clubs. The Oceanario de Lisboa (oceanarium) in the Parque das Nações has many activities for children, and tourists can take Tram 28 on a scenic trip from the city centre through Lisbon’s maze of streets up to the landmark St George Castle.
At the southern tip of the country, the Algarve is one of Portugal’s (and Europe’s) most popular seaside destinations, where millions of visitors from all over the world choose to go in the summer. In particular, the district of Faro (reached by the international airport that services the region) and the city of the same name, is a favourite for locals and international visitors alike.
There are numerous villages and resorts across the region that suit different types of holidaymakers, from quiet historical hamlets and fishing villages to golfing resorts (Vilamoura has some of the best courses in Europe) to modern and stylish destinations like Albufeira and Quinta da Lago. A distinctive feature of the Algarve is the landscape, which shifts easily from flat scrubland to hills covered with almond trees to the breathtaking lagoons and dunes of the Ria Formosa Nature Park. But certainly the biggest attraction is the beaches, which are vast, dune-backed vistas filled with white or gold sand and frame by steep, panoramic cliffs.