Lisbon is a lively and zesty place, which offers a vibrant nightlife and plenty of shopping.
Whether you stay in traditional guesthouses, luxury hotels or B&B's, you will enjoy your stay. With great views, plenty of history and lots of beaches nearby, the city of Lisbon is a traveller’s delight. Sitting above the city of Lisbon the Castel de Sao Jorge is the best place to come for spectacular views out over the old city. From this vantage point 16th century explorers would have looked out to sea wandering what lay ahead. Here the River Tagus carves its way past the Belem fort and out into the Atlantic.
Once a port from which explorers set sail, people now flock here in order to explore the cities history. With many different cultures and people settling in the city over the years there is a mix of styles and buildings. With Roman churches, a cathedral, an Ottoman castle and various other buildings of interest, Lisbon has a lot to offer. Wander around the old streets of the Alfama and Bairro Alto districts which are full of vibrant colours, narrow streets and mediaeval walls. More information on Lisbon
As a modern European city, Lisbon has a great nightlife, from modern bars and clubs to local bars and restaurants. At night the Bairro Alto district is alive with the sound of Fado music which drifts out of the cafes and bars which line the streets. With converted warehouses now housing bars and clubs the dock area of the city has become popular with locals and visitors. Santa Apolonia is fast becoming the cities trendiest area, here the music is varied and the pubs and clubs are full of locals.
The Baixa district in Lisbon is a must for those who have come to shop. Here the little shops sell copper utensils, wicker baskets, woven lace and many other things. The Campo de Santa Clara has a market most days of the week, which is a good place to start looking for souvenirs. For those after designer goods there are plenty of up market boutiques offering goods from fashion houses such as Gucci and Armani. With so much to do a trip to Lisbon will always excite!
The island of Madeira is a walkers paradise, here miles of trails criss cross the islands varied landscape.
Madeira is the perfect holiday destination, choose a selection of hotels or quiet resorts catering to couples and families. Madeira is an island of serene natural beauty located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco. This was one of the first islands to be discovered by the Portuguese under the helm of Henry the Navigator. Madeira is a lush and verdant island with steep cliffs which rise straight out of the sea. Here the atmosphere is laid back and the serenity of island life comes into its own.
Funchal, the capital of Madeira, has enough to keep sightseers busy for a few days. Here there are several gothic churches, a cathedral, a museum and an art gallery, which houses priceless Flemish paintings. Take a stroll around the botanical gardens with its orchids and geraniums and the magenta of the ever present bougainvillea. Just north lies the town of Monte whose church is a site of pilgrimage. Take the cable car up and come down in a giant straw basket pushed by a driver wearing a straw boater as tradition dictates. More information on Madeira
Take the time to visit picturesque fishing villages for a bite to eat and for photographic opportunities. The village of Câmara de Lobos was once popular with Winston Churchill who used to paint the surrounding beauty. Sit in a small restaurant or café on the waterfront and enjoy the swordfish, the tuna or the espetadas, beef or pork on laurel skewers. Madeira is also famous for its wine so while here why not enjoy a glass of the excellent verdelho from a local vineyard.
For the best way to explore the island, put on your walking boots and head to one of the numerous trails that cross the island. With over 1000 miles of paths there is plenty to explore, from gentle walks right up to challenging treks. One of the most scenic spots on the island is the Risco waterfall, which is perfect for cooling off. With all of this to offer, come to Madeira for tranquility!
Come to Porto for varied architecture, fine wines and great food!
Porto lies at the mouth of the river Douro in Portugal and is set in the granite cliffs that line the river. Stay in a range of hotels on the river, guesthouses or B&B's and enjoy the regions wine. With a varied architecture including Roman, Baroque, Neoclassic and Renaissance there is plenty on display. Porto is of course famous for producing the fortified wine called port. It is this that makes Porto world famous.
With its many bridges, cathedrals, churches and of course port wine, Porto is a gracious city. The Gaia district of Porto is where the Port lodges are located. Here the wine is processed, blended and then aged before being bottled. The four main types of port to look out for are Vintage, Late-Bottled Vintage, Tawny and Ruby. Ruby is the youngest and cheapest, while Vintage is the most expensive with key years fetching high prices. More information on Porto
The hilly Vila Nova de Gaia district is a good place to sit down and enjoy a meal of local delicacies. Tuck into tripe stew, served with spicy sausages and broad beans, grilled monkfish with a thick creamy sauce or fresh lobster. Once you have eaten, sit out on the terrace with a glass of port and look out over the vineyards that sprawl across the hillside.
For great scenery, narrow streets and great little bars and pubs head to the Ribeira district of the city. Find a bar and settle there for the night or move into the centre of town for the big clubs and busy bars. With the clubs staying open till 7.30 in the morning there is plenty of time to find somewhere that you like. For the best nightlife, port and food in Portugal come to Porto!
Hotels in PORTUGAL 2012 & 2013
Come and stay in a range of hotels on golf courses or in the many resorts Portugal has on offer. In the Algarve you will find self catering apartments and villas, to all inclusive hotels at great prices.
Whether you choose Portugal as a last minute holiday option, a well planned family event, or a short break by the beach or in the city, you have a country, climate and variety of destinations that will meet all tastes.More information on Portugal
Every form of accommodation is available to you from Hotels with every star rating imaginable, to Villas, Apartments and Hostels meeting the criteria for every visitor or group. Whether the accommodation is in a popular resort, by the beach, golf course or in a city centre there is no shortage of choice in Portugal.
With approximately 600 miles of coastline and a number of Blue Flag beaches Portugal is understandably popular with families, but unlike many countries in Southern Europe it is not on the Mediterranean but the Atlantic making it a haven for water based wind sports like surfing and windsurfing.
The Algarve is frequently the destination of beach lovers with its sandy beaches and hidden coves. A number of favoured tourist destinations in the region include the former Roman fortified town of Albufeira, Lagos, Portimao or Vilamoura with its extensive marina.
Central Portugal brings the history and heritage of the country to life with the architectural beauty of the university town of Coimbra, the UNESCO World Heritage status of Sintra, Fatima, famous as the home of three young cousins experiencing a significant religious vision in 1917, and perhaps the beaches and character of the famous fishing village of Nazare amongst some of those favoured.
In the north of Portugal the magnificent city of Porto, Portugals second city and the home of Port Wine, the buildings, monuments and gardens of Braga or the unspoilt hill top town of Bragnanca, and then of course to the south the magnificence of the capital Lisbon.
Lisbon offers plenty of Cathedrals and Museums, magnificent shops and cafes, bars and restaurants tucked away in its winding streets but perhaps the easiest way to get to know this understated city is to use the tourist bus allowing you to hop on and off at will.
Throughout Portugal you have choice, some dictated by regional differences and history, some by slight variations of climate, and this also is reflected in the culinary differences you may experience, although wherever you go in Portugal fish and shellfish are likely to appear on the menu especially the national dish Bacalhau, salted cod and its many different ways of preparation.
Other regions are famous for their own dishes Roast Pork and Suckling Pig from the mountainous regions, stews of smoked meats and root vegetables, lamb stews and unusual combinations of pork and shellfish. The larger towns, cities and coastal resorts also offer cuisine from around the world satisfying everybody’s tastes and preferences.
Portugal is served by three major international airports in Lisbon, Porto and Faro. A fast and efficient nationally owned rail service is available as are long distance coach services. Each town is serviced by bus and taxis with larger towns having their own metro system and car and motorcycle hire so access to and around the country is easily achieved.