Does a place with plenty of sunshine, amazing beaches and heritage monuments appeal to you? Then, you will do well to visit Portugal on your next trip
Asian News International
A mild climate with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, 850 km of fabulous beaches and a valuable heritage; these are just some of the things that make Portugal a perfect destination for your next holiday. And if you are a food lover, this southern European country offers a unique Mediterranean-influenced cuisine, rich in flavours and aroma. Here are some of the country’s best regions to visit:
* Porto E Norte: It was in the Porto and in the North regions that Portugal was founded in the 12th century. The region is crossed by the River Douro which enters Portugal between the ravines and mountains of the interior to flow through the entire world heritage landscape where the Port and Douro wines are produced. In this area of mountains and natural parks, the region’s heritage is seen in its castles shrines and churches.
* Centro de Portugal: In the interior of the country, there are mountains and villages of granite and schist. Serra da Estrela, the highest peak in mainland Portugal, is the star of the mountains, with its endless landscapes and glacial lagoons. But there are also the Lousa, Açor and Caramulo ranges, where you can discover nature by hiking or by bike.
* Lisboa region: The capital of Portugal is an old city, full of history and vestiges of the past and at the same time cosmopolitan, multicultural, full of culture and life. There are historical and heritage areas, from the Baixa Pombalina to Belem. The newest part of the city — Parque das Naçoes — boasts of the fabulous Vasco da Gama bridge, and the neighbourhoods of Alfama, Mouraria, Se and Bairro Alto, with their winding streets, centuries-old houses and traditional shops.
* Alentejo: A land of Great Plains, cork oaks, vineyards, and excellent wines, of immaculately whitewashed houses, the Alentejo is also a land of outstanding beaches. The largest continuous stretch of beaches in Europe, for about 60 kilometres long, is perfect for a few days’ rest and relaxation, but also for lovers of surfing and other water sports.
* Algarve: With a coastline stretching 230 kilometres and including more than 130 beaches, Algarve has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Apart from the sea, which is always inviting for a dip or a wide range of water sports, the mild temperatures, and award-winning golf courses, the Algarve also offers gastronomical experiences.
* Azores: In the middle of the Atlantic, nine small islands surprise with their absolutely stunning landscapes. The Azores are an archipelago of rare beauty, full of tradition and history, with plenty of leisure activities for the whole family, both at land and sea. In Sao Miguel, the largest island and home to the capital Ponta Delgada, you must visit the incredible volcanic lakes of Sete Cidades, Fogo and Furnas.
* Madeira: Madeira is a green oasis, with incredible natural beauty, right in the Atlantic Ocean. With two-thirds of its landmass, a protected area and the largest Laurissilva Forest in the world — a world heritage site — flowers and exotic fruits abound here all year round, thanks to the almost tropical climate. Those who enjoy outdoor activities and different degrees of challenge in walks along the levadas (old irrigation canals) or mountain trails that open out into lush landscapes and unique biodiversity will find the perfect destination here. The capital, Funchal, has an interesting history linked to the days of the discoveries and holds various events throughout the year, such as the Madeira Flower Festival, Carnival and the always spectacular fireworks that mark the beginning of the New Year.