Portugal is a small country. For the visitors, it’s an entire continent of Europe compressed into a small part of a peninsula. With comparable old historic cities, architecturally beautiful buildings, bewitching countryside and 17 cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it is Europe in a capsule.
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Located in the south-western part of Europe in the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is flanked by Spain in the north and east and by the Atlantic Ocean in the south and west.
Portugal has everything the entire of Europe has to offer in one small place. Old lively cities and extremely pretty countryside, chaste beaches and inviting vineyards, rocky-mountains and un-ending coastline. Gentle slopes give in to sudden falls, desert-like landscape makes way for the bays and coves.
Historical churches and museums, castles and ramparts, monasteries and museums are all just so quintessential Europe. All in a budget-friendly, easy-on- travel holidays.
And, to top it all, its wines are a bargain.
There are hikes and trails for the outdoorsy, massive rolling waves for the surf-inclined and the best golf courses in Europe too.
Among the warmer countries of Europe, Portugal is a pleasant place to be in most parts of the year depending on which part of the country you are visiting. Generally, between March and early June and between mid-September to late November are the best time to visit Portugal. If carnival is what interests you, then around February is the best.
Cities and Countryside.
The cities of Lisbon, Sintra, and up north Porto are enchanting cities that let you into what all European cities are in a short distance of travel. The countryside plains are nowhere prettier than that in the Alentejo region of Portugal dotted with historic churches, enchanting villages and alluring vineyards.
Beaches and Coastlines.
For beaches, you don’t have to look anywhere else than the Azores region in the south of Portugal, off the mainland. If you are looking for a good beach in the mainland itself, then the ones like that at Porto is the place to go. The country’s mainland has over 900 kms of coastline. Cascais is just one of the many that are just dramatic to look at.
Vineyards and Vineries.
The Minho region and the Douro Valley are just a couple of the many vine regions of the country; and though very popular, the Portuguese wine scene is much more than just Port wine.
Rocky-Mountains and Steep Cliffs.
The topography of the country is generally mountainous, especially in its northern area which again is very rugged in its coastal parts. Separated from the north by the Tagus river, the south is more of plains and rolling hills. But in the southern parts too, there are crags in the Algarve region that are the great allure for steep cliff climbing.
Churches and Monasteries.
Faith or not, churches are a must-go part of any European tour as they not only give the historical context of the period they were built in, but also let you in to a variety of architectural style adopted at different times in different places. Many of them are part of picturesque locations too.
The eccentric architectural style in Porto of a single tower church in the Clerigos Church or the combination of Gothic and Baroque style in St. Francis; each tell their own stories. The monasteries too are architectural wonders. Mosteiro dos Jeronimos in Lisbon adopted the Manueline style of architecture.
Museums and Galleries.
Most European cities have magnificent structures housing wonderful museums in them. They are iconic to the cities. Museums in Portugal too are in the same league. Done in different architectural styles and located in picturesque places with breathtaking collections, museums in Portugal are a must-visit for any traveller to the country. Museu Calouste Gulbenkian has collections dating back 4000 years from different parts of the world.
Castles and Rampart.
Some of the best-preserved historical towns with their castles, forts and ramparts are in Portugal. The castle at Guimaraes is a sight to cherish.
Surfing at Barcos or golfing in over 90 immaculately maintained golf courses, there is something for everyone in Portugal. Hiking or trailing at the Sera do Geres mountain range too is a great draw to the region.
Set yourself to fly to these amazing places with Portugal Package Holidays from Flying Squirrel Holidays.
The northern mountainous region boasts of a beautiful city Porto and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The city of Porto has invaluable monuments in every other alley. The city of Guimaraes, through its architecture, stands witness to the evolution of the Portuguese identity through the ages.
The Historic Centre of Porto, and The Historic Centre of Guimaraes, The Alto Douro Vineyards with its terraced vineyards, and The Coa Valley of rock art museum are places that are never to be missed heritage sites.
The Jeronimos Monastery, a maritime-inspired monastery of Gothic style and the Manueline styled Belem Tower on the Tagus river are the indispensable part of Portugal tour. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Coimbra, the third-largest city of Portugal, is the capital city of the Central Region. It too boasts of UNESCO World Heritage Site in the historic University of Coimbra. The Bucaco National Forest in the region is among the most scenic places in entire Europe.
The Historic Centre of Evora, a museum city and the Town of Elvas, a fortified town are both UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are among the definite visit-worthy places also for the large tracts of expanded plains of the region.
Located in the western extreme of the southern part of the country, Algarve is part mountainous, part craggy and part beaches. There are broad beaches lined with pine trees and there are narrow beaches intruded by coloured cliffs.
Madeira, made up of two volcanic islands, with 2/3 of it a forest declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Azores is a collection of nine forested volcanic islands rimmed by beaches. Tourists flock to Azores for its beaches and its mountain and its lush sceneries.
Make your Portugal holidays a memorable experience with the right choice of places to visit. Let us help you plan your holidays. You might even be able to broaden your horizon with only a little addition to your budget. Our Spain and Portugal tour packages from India might just be the right choice. Give it a look.
Visit the Heritage Sites. UNESCO has listed 17 World Heritage Sites, 16 of them cultural and one natural in Portugal. Adorning the lists are a university, a castle, a palace, few monasteries, a fortified town, a couple of historic town centres, a rock-art site and a vine region. You will never be short of places to visit.
Take city tour. Take city tours at Lisbon and Porto and stopover at as many towns as possible. The cobble-stoned lanes of the capital city, the colourful buildings amidst baroque manors of Porto, the white-washed charm of Aveiro buildings and the well-conserved medieval monuments of Guimaraes are just a few of the reasons why taking city tours in Portugal is an absolute must.
Soak in the scenic hinterland. Curving roads through the enchanting vineyards in the Douro valley, stunning views of the Alentejo plains from the medieval village of Monsaraz and the view from the hill-top castle of the village of Monsanto below with its curious cottages having ancient boulders for walls; just mesmerizing to get soaked in.
Wander and Wonder at Castles, fortresses and Towers. The colourful castle of Pena, the Belem Tower of Lisbon, the Moorish castle amidst thick forest, the medieval fortress of Guimaraes and the Obidos castles are places you will find yourself wandering and just wondering of the times and people that were. Let yourself to another world.
Appreciate the museums and galleries. Appreciating displays while ambling in the labyrinth of museums is the best way to know a country. It is soothing too. There are a wide variety of museums with awe-inspiring structures and amazing collections.
In Lisbon alone, there are over thirty of them including on arts, science, technology, history, culture, ancient art and archaeology. Costume and fashion, music and astronomy too have museums dedicated to the subject. The Museum of Gulbenkian is an absolute mandatory.
Pay homage or do pilgrimage. The parish and catholic shrine at Fatima and the Se de Lisboa are an irresistible part of a visit to Lisbon. Do pilgrimage or just appreciate the ambience.
There is so much to do in this small and enchanting country; the list is endless.
Marvel at the sea and landscapes of four different oceans recreated at the Oceanario de Lisboa and fall in love with the cuddly penguins too.
Get romantic at the Sintra Vila town while climbing the stairs to the castle. Go kayaking, beach bathing, bird watching and exploring coves between Lisbon and the resort town of Cascais.
Ride a funicular at the Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga or go hiking and trailing at Sera do Geres mountains in the Minho region, Or, just take a zipline and cross over to Spain in all of one minute.
There are a plethora of things to do in Portugal and the choices are mind-boggling.Brace yourself for all these exciting activities with our holiday packages that we will customise for you.
A symbol of Portuguese seafaring conquests the building is a must-sea. The monastery and the church are the finest examples of Manueline architecture.
Popular among the family travellers, the oceanarium displays life habitat of diverse oceans.
A UNESCO Heritage Site, the town with narrow streets and cobbled lanes meets a beautiful square with imposing pastel-coloured houses.
It is an amazing piece of military architecture using the Manueline style. A UNESCO Heritage Site.
The museum has a collection of over 6000 pieces belonging to periods of up to 4000 years back and belonging to different parts of the world.
This hill-top monument overlooking the township of Baixa is the city’s most prominent historic landmark.
The grandiose palace and the monastery loom over the subdued exuberance of beautiful countryside.
The spindle-like tower is iconic to the old city of Porto and confidently emanates baroque style.
A complex near Braga with the church of Bom Jesus is the grandest religious sanctuary. Go to pray or just get into a trance climbing the 116 meters long ornated granite staircase.
A mountain range in the northern most Minho region, it is famous for its granite peaks, lush forests and glittering lakes. Loved by hikers and trailers.
Opulent interiors of the palace that stand witness to the wealth pouring in at the time is a big attraction.
The indomitable castle overlooking the bewitching river-side town of Tomar with Charola the Templar church in the centre.
It is the country’s oldest seat of learning and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A stupendously decorated library is a big draw.
An impressive cathedral unique in its combining of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque style in the enticing city of Evora.
Exploring the upcountry on horse-back is a fascination with tourists in this area. Rippling streams and flowery meadows are photo lovers’ favourite.
The museum is popular for its bizarre collection of ethnography and archaeology.
One of the top castles of Portugal, its immense wall of red colour sandstone is magical to look at.
Madeira and Azores islands.
Levada Walks and Madeira Botanical Garden in Madeira island are a popular tourist destination. Whale and dolphin watching, diving are wave-sports are popular attractions in the Azores islands.
The Coa Valley archaeology park, the Paiva Walkways of Arouca and the Zip-line border crossing are some other attractions.
There are so many attractions in Portugal, you are spoilt for choices. The fantastic part is that you are able to see all the best things of Europe in a small easy-to-commute area. If you are looking for a honeymoon, Portugal is the perfect destination.
Portugal honeymoon package takes care of all the hassles of a journey to make your holiday an experience to cherish for life.
Day 1Arrival at Porto. Escorted transfer to the hotel and then a guided city tour. Later in the afternoon, you are free to do your own things. Stay at Porto.
Day 2Early breakfast and a day trip to Viana do Castelo, old town and castle at the mouth of Rio Limia. Return and stay at Porto.
Day 3Breakfast and departure for Aveiro. Then leave Aveiro for Fatima, a pilgrim centre, free time in the afternoon to do your own things. You can visit the basilica. Later after lunch, the travel continues for Lisbon. Dinner and Fado musical show in the evening. Stay at Lisbon.
Day 4Breakfast and then city tour of Lisbon. Tour includes a visit to Tower of Belem and Jeronimos Monastery. Later the tour takes you to the hilltop village of Sintra and seaside town of Cascais. Stay at Lisbon.
Day 5Transfer to the airport. Return home with memories of a happy journey.You have an option to add a three-day tour of the Madeira and Azores islands
Please email me a copy of the sample itinerary
Your visit to Portugal will give you all the experiences that you would get travelling through the length of entire Europe. Or most of it. The exact cost depends on the time of travel and class of accommodation and travel.
You may travel to the mainland or may add the archipelagos for the thrill which will decide the cost. With years of experience, we know to work around the best accommodation and travel deals.
Leave it to us at Flying Squirrel Holidays to work out the best holiday package for you.
How can we go to Portugal?
Air India and many other major airlines fly to Portugal.
What is the cheapest month to fly to Portuguese?
January is generally the cheapest month to fly to Portugal.
Do I need a visa for Portugal?
Yes, you need a visa for visiting Portugal. Portugal tourist visa is issued for Portugal as well as Schengen countries which are 25 in total. However, Portugal issues Schengen visa only if the first port of entry is Portugal or if the maximum number of days of stay is in Portugal.
Also, make sure at the time of booking a holiday that you have a valid passport for the duration of the stay and at least 6 months thereafter.
For a compact European experience in an easy to commute periphery, Portugal is just the destination you were looking for. Let us help you plan your itinerary with our customisable Portugal Tour Packages from India.
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