It seems that 2018 is already a record year for Portugal. Visitor numbers are up 12%. What is it that is attracting more and more people to this country on the southwestern edge of Europe? Could it be its location? Bordered on one side by the glorious blue Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean to the south? Maybe it’s the close proximity and ties to its neighboring country Spain, which has long been a favorite with tourists. This country joined the EEC in 1990, following which many improvements were made to the transport systems. There are also four international airports which allows visitors to come from all around the world to experience its beauty. Aside from these factors, there are a number of other reasons why Portugal is enjoying record popularity.
Along the Atlantic coast, Portugal boasts some of the most beautiful beaches. One of the best is located in Albufeira. Stay in one of the many stunning villas in the Algarve for which the area is famous and you’ll be close enough to enjoy many of them as well as the local culture. Other stunning beaches includes The Golden Beach at Praia de Marinha.
The weather in Portugal is sun, sun and more sun. it is rumored that there is 3,000 hours of sunshine every year. That works out at 300 out of 365 days, a pretty good average. The good thing about the area is that the sunshine is not too overpowering, thanks to the breeze from both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Even if you visit in the winter or the fall you won’t be disappointed by the weather.
Stunning and Varied Countryside
Portugal is not just the place to be found lazing on the beach, it also has some stunning countryside, particularly in the Algarve region. A short distance from Faro is The Ria Formosa Natural Park. This area is a wetland made up of lagoons and sand dunes and of course plenty of wildlife.
Lisbon and Faro
These two cities are worth paying a visit to if you can drag yourself away from the beaches and scenery. Witness old world charm and modern sophistication all wrapped up in these sun-kissed cities.
Food and Drink
What drink is Portugal famous for? Port, or porto, of course. Pay a visit to any of the countries bars or restaurants and you should be able to sample a selection of this fortified wine. Custard tarts is another delight you shouldn’t miss when you visit. You’ll need to ask for a pastel de natas. You might find yourself waiting in a queue that stretches along the pavement if you try and buy one at the Pasteis de Belem in Lisbon. Other Portuguese culinary delights include various seafood dishes, especially sardines at the “Sardine Festival”.
Portugal is a country of many faces. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you enjoy doing, there is something for everyone. It’s got to be the amazing weather that first attracts people, but once they’ve spent a few weeks there it seems they want to come back for more.