Known for its breathtaking beaches, incredible culture and delicious seafood, Portugal is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Throughout the decades, it has transformed into a diverse and urban country full of history. From knowing the weather to exploring the local landscapes of the region, Portugal also has many wonderful surprises along the way. And while visiting a new place can be exciting, it’s always good to do a little research before visiting a new country. Here are five tips for planning your next luxury vacation in Portugal.
Know When to Go
It’s hard to enjoy your vacation when the weather isn’t cooperating or there is just too many crowds. Similar to other destinations, we recommend planning your trip to Portugal during its off-season in the spring or early autumn. The weather and water temperatures are still warm, but without the bustling summer crowds. Resorts are at their busiest, and most expensive, throughout July and August. It’s also too hot to do much exploring or hiking during these months. If you don’t mind rain, the winter is a great time to visit for cooler temperatures and even some snow sightings.
Portugal is full of events throughout the year, from food and wine festivals to music festivals. For larger events, we recommend checking the Visit Portugal website ahead of time so you know what will be happening during your visit. You can also search by type of event, dates and location. For smaller events, it’s worth checking local posters around the cities or your local tourism office. However, these are not often announced until weeks before the event takes place. It’s also good to remember that many museums in Portugal offer free admission on Sunday mornings while most are closed on Mondays so be sure to check your local hours before venturing out.
Take a Tour
Whether you’re in the mood for a romantic evening or a tasty meal, Portugal is full of tours and activities. Discover the culture of Portugal with a tour through its history from Zicasso, where you’ll visit local markets and sandy beaches while learning about its exports and heritage. Or plan a food and wine tour where you’ll experience Portuguese vineyards and their impressive variety of wines. You can even visit old cellars and go wine tasting for the day. If you’re traveling with a spouse, we recommend a romantic getaway full of old castle tours, breathtaking views and taking in the magic of Portugal.
Brush Up on Portuguese
While English is a popular language in many of Portugal’s larger cities, it’s a good idea to brush up on some common words. Especially when you explore local villages or regions where English is not spoken at all. Phrases such as greetings, questions and directions are usually the most common. We recommend keeping a Portuguese dictionary on hand so you can quickly look up words when you’re in need.
Watch the Weather
Portugal is full of surf destinations such as Peniche and Nazaré. During the winter, waves can easily reach heights of fifteen or more feet. Remember to be cautious when walking along the beaches at these spots as the waves can knock you over even in knee-deep water. Portugal also experiences forest fires during the driest parts of the year that can often be dangerous. If you’ll be traveling in the summer months, keep an eye out for any fires should you be walking the countryside or local mountain areas.
From learning the local language to knowing when to visit, it’s easy to enjoy a luxury vacation in Portugal. Are you ready to plan your trip? Check out our three reasons why you need to visit Portugal in 2018.