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Golf, Tapas and Tanning in Portugal image

Golf, Tapas and Tanning in Portugal

Portugal has become well established as a tourist destination so expect your Portugal holidays to comprise sunny weather, great hospitality and fantastic facilities.

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Latest Portugal Offers

Holiday Image Albufeira, Portugal
2% Saving
  • Date:11 Oct 2014
  • For:7 Nights
  • Board:Self Catering
  • From:London Gatwick
From £137pp
Holiday Image Alvor, Portugal
2% Saving
  • Date:11 Oct 2014
  • For:7 Nights
  • Board:Self Catering
  • From:London Gatwick
From £162pp

Picture Postcard Perfection on Portugal Holidays

Facts about Portugal
  • Capital: Lisbon
  • Largest City / Resort: Lisbon
  • Population: 10.6 million
  • Currency: Euro
  • Main Language: Portuguese
  • Main Religion: Roman Catholic
  • International Dialling Code: 351

Portugal is often overlooked in favour of Spain for holidays on the Iberian Peninsula – but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great place to book a summer holiday. As the only country in Europe to share a time zone with Britain, it’s the perfect destination for people who prefer shorter flights (you can fly from London to Lisbon in two-and-a-half hours).

Portugal’s location on the Atlantic Sea also means its coastline is different from Spanish coastline, which is famous for its wild and golden coasts. Portugal receives Atlantic winds that are great for wind surfing, while its secluded beaches and gorgeous capes are wonderful places to soak up the sun. Beaches in the northern Minho region and those around Lisbon are popular among surfers and wind surfers, while the white and sandy beaches on Costa de Prata (silver coast) are great for sunbathing, and Praia da Rocha, Tavira and Salema in the well-known Algarve region are clean, sandy and lapped by turquoise waters – idyllic!

But the beaches aren’t the only reason to book holidays in Portugal. Other highlights include delicious tapas and paella, one of Europe’s oldest capital cities (Lisbon), golfing in the Algarve, casting a fishing rod off the beach, the lilting sounds of traditional Fado music and of course long Mediterranean days. Fill in your dates to compare flights to Portugal with Holiday Hypermarket and adjust the board and star rating to get the kind of getaway package you prefer.

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.

Portuguese Island Holidays

If you’re eager for an island adventure visit Madeira or Porto Santo, which are both part of a Portuguese archipelago in the north Atlantic off the coast of Africa (about 250 miles from Tenerife). In addition to being excellent year-round destinations, these islands are famous for their floral diversity and long, sandy beaches. You may have heard of Madeira wine, which is a fortified Portuguese wine produced on the island, and the New Year fireworks show, which is held in the bay of Funchal, great to watch from the water and also the largest fireworks display in the world.

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