Why Visit Portugal?

Sunset after another perfect day

There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of reviews out there on why you should visit Portugal. For me I can break it down to 5 reasons I would like to take you through these in no particular order:

1) The Weather
Portugal has fantastic weather. It is generally mild in the winter and warm in the summer. The countries top temperature averages a low of 14.5 in January and high of 27.9 in August. Obviously some regions are hotter or cooler than the average, in general however, the warm sun and sea breezes make the temperature perfect almost year round. It makes for a great get away from the cooler Northern European climates to visit the beach, play some golf, or just enjoy the scenery, food and wine Portugal has to offer.

2) The History
Portugal has a long and varied history. Phoenicians Carthaginians and Celts visited settled here and later was a part of the Roman Empire. It was also concurred by the Visigoths and Muslims. Each of these periods has left its mark on the country. Probably mostly visible with Roman ruins that scatter the country, as well introducing ther long wine making history. During the crusades Portugal held close ties with England and they continued for many years. These links can be see today in many of the Port labels have English or Irish names.

Portugal was the home of many great explorers of the sea. Henry the Navigator, Bartholomoeu Dias and most famous of all Vasco de Gama opened up prosperous trade routes for the country in Asia and later in South America. This provided Portugal with great wealth, but also many now common ingredients that go into Portuguese and many other Mediterranean dishes.

4) The Food
As Portugal has a long coastline. The Atlantic Ocean provides lots of fish and seafood to be tried made in tradition Portuguese style. There are also fantastic meat dishes that match up very well with the local wines. It is very difficult to have a bad meal in Portugal, especially away from the touristic areas.

So be adventurous and try a small local restaurant – I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised!

4) The Beaches
In the summer months many visitors come to Portugal for the warm weather. There is a great variety of beaches in Portugal. From small isolated coves surrounded by stunning rock formations, to wide sandy beaches filled with umbrellas and sun lounges, to great surf beaches for those who want some action in the waves. With the great climate, the beaches can be enjoyed for much of the year. Be warned though, the water can be cooler than many people expect, But it is very refreshing after a couple of hours relaxing in the sun.

5) The Wine
Portugal has long history of wine making, thanks to the Phoenicians and Romans. Today the wine in Portugal is very good quality and excellent value compared to many other European countries. When you think of wine in Portugal you probably think of Port. This luxurious wine is by far the most famous product, however there are many other varieties to choose from. The light and fragrant Vinho Verde (green wine) is great on a hot day at a beach side restaurant. The rich and heavy red wines of the Duoro are also great with an equally sumptuous local dish. Madeira and Moscatel are also other excellent fortified wines which are unique to Portugal. However, the complex and peppery wines of the Alentejo remain my favorite.

There are many other reasons to visit Portugal, I have not even mentioned the people, the culture, the comparatively low costs and the fantastic scenery. Have a look for yourself on line, or visit one of the tourist bureau sites for many more reason to come to this wonderful country.

To find places to stay you can look at our recommendations here.