Portugal is one of the most fascinating and exciting countries in the world – and best of all it’s not impossible to escape the crowds. With so many of Europe’s most spectacular holiday destinations spoilt by tourist buses and party cruises, relaxing in one of the continent’s best kept secrets is a welcome prospect. From sun-kissed beaches to bustling cities, fascinating history to vibrant local culture – there are few boxes on the ideal holiday list that Portugal doesn’t tick.
There is a decent variety of accommodation options when travelling to Portugal – although it should be noted that a number of tourist facilities close during the winter months.
Fears over embarking on another clichéd holiday in British-based resorts should also be put to rest – there are plenty of alternative options for those who want to avoid this type of package deal. Private villas are a great way to escape the frustrating tourist crowds and experience your own snapshot of local Portugal. There are affordable, luxury villas in Albufeira near the Algarve, as well as a stunning range of Vilamoura villas in the Costa Blance.
These self catered properties are a great option for group holidays and are perfect for anyone on a budget wanting to avoid pricey local dining for every meal. Booking through reputable firms is always recommended when selecting this option and plenty of companies will offer a range of villas in Florida, Spain, Portugal and beyond.
Generally speaking there are two main factors that will guide your decision about when to travel to Portugal. The first is, of course, the weather. With a warm and sunny climate, blissful summers and mild winters – even the low season in Portugal can prove a comfortable experience. Summer temperatures usually top a balmy 30°C, though the country’s average is around 27°C.
The high season runs from mid-June to mid-September and this is usually the most crowded time for the country. If you would prefer to avoid the crowds, why not consider a trip in the autumn or perhaps the spring? Autumn months will still catch the summer warmth but a winter trip usually encounters heavy rainfall, particularly in the country’s north.
The other big consideration when choosing what time of year to book, is the array of local festivals and carnivals. It’s always worth factoring in time for the Portuguese festival, such as Carnaval in February and Holy Week before Easter. Always keep an eye on local tourist boards for ideas about which approaching festivals would suit you best and take a look at reputable holiday firms, such as James Villas, for inspiration on when and where to go.
There’s no shortage of things to see and do on a trip to Portugal. Lounge lizards looking to soak up some sun should head to Portugal’s stunning coastline. Popular sun-kissed beaches include Cascais and Sagres but the entire coastline boasts dramatic cliffs, secluded coves and stunning sandy islands.
A trip to the country’s bustling capital Lisbon is always a must, as is the larger northern city Porto. Less busy regions to include on your itinerary could include an exploration of Portugal’s incredible wine district.