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Malerischer Blick auf den Atlantik, Bild: ver0nicka / shutterstock

Portugal -A journey between culture and beach fun

Portugal: The country between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 92,212 square kilometers and its population is 10,295,909. The capital of Portugal is called Lisbon. These, the region around the capital and the Algarve are the most popular destinations for tourists. Portugal’s pleasant climate contributes to successful tourism. In addition to viticulture and the production of raw cork, tourism is the country’s most important source of income. After all, Portugal has a visitor count of 17 million per year.

The road to Portugal

If you want to go to Portugal, you can find different ways. People who like to fly can find flights at all major German departure airports. Without a stopover, on a direct route, the traveller is on the road for three hours through the air. With stopovers, the journey takes longer. Depending on the destination you are aiming for, the ideal landing airports in Portugal are Porto or Lisbon Airport, for Madeira Funchal and for a holiday in the Algarve the airport in Faro.

Bus travellers travel to the capital Lisbon for two days with the Europabus, and for travellers with a penchant for trains, Portugal can be reached in about one day and 17 hours.

Of course, the future Portugal tourist has the opportunity to travel about 25 hours with his own car or camper.

Off through the cities

In Portugal, a city trip is recommended for tourists. This is the best way to experience the country, its people and culture. Tourists should take a closer look at these cities and their sights:

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1. The capital of Portugal, Lisbon

Lisbon, Image: Paulo Zimmermann / shutterstock

Alleys, sea and seven hills: this together makes up the capital of Portugal, which is shaped by seafaring. In Lisbon, tourists will find one of the liveliest cities in Europe, which knows how to harmoniously combine modernity with its cultural heritage. For a tour of Lisbon, a stay of three to seven days is ideal. During this time, those who want to travel not only get to know the charm of the old town, but also Lisbon’s sights.

In the capital, you can marvel at its most famous landmark, the Torre de Belém. Holidaymakers can find it in the Belém district of the same name. The Torre de Belém is a small 16th-century fort built in the architectural style of Manuelink. The fort is lined with two Arab watchtowers and the battlements are decorated with Christian crosses.

Also in Belém is the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos with its church. In the Mosteiro, tourists have the opportunity to take a look at the sarcophagi of Vasco da Gama, Luís de Camões and Fernando Pessoa, among others.

If you like the Rococo style, you should visit the Palácio Nacional de Queluz. This national park is located in the Queluz district and is not far from the capital. The most important rococo palace in Europe was built in the 18th century and its design is strongly reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles in France .

2. Porto, the second largest

Porto, Duero
The Douro River flows through Porto, Image: Sean Pavone / shutterstock

A city break in Porto, the secret capital of Portugal, is perfect for tourists: the old town is breathtaking, the sea is nearby and port wine is Porto’s specialty. After all, thanks to port wine, the city is the most important business location in Portugal. Porto’s sights should also not be missing from the travel list.

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A nice place in Porto, for example, is the Jardins do Palacio de Cristal. Visitors walk here in the stunning rose garden, whose roses bloom almost all year round. The view from the walking slope allows visitors to enjoy the river and the city. The café in the park provides relaxation and the museum and library provide variety.

The wine cellars in Porto should also be given attention! Most of them are located on the waterfront of Gaia. A connoisseur is in good hands at the wine tasting. After all, port wine is Porto’s figurehead.
Another beautiful sight is certainly the Porto City Hall. The impressive building is located at the end of Avenida dos Aliados. Its architecture is reminiscent of the former municipal palaces. Its distinguishing feature: the 70-metre-high fortress tower with carillon!

From city to beach

Beach holiday in Portugal, Lagos, Algarve
Lagos in the Algarve, Image: DaLiu / shutterstock

Holidaymakers in Portugal not only experience culture, but also the true holiday feeling on the country’s beaches. If you are a guest in Lisbon, you will find the Praia de Carcavelos about 30 minutes away by train. The beach, with its golden and soft sand, is a real invitation to spread out the beach towel and relax in the sun. Clear sea water as well as cafés and restaurants offer a refreshing cooling. Bathing fun is guaranteed here for young and old.

North of the city of Ericeira, an hour’s drive from Lisbon, fun and sports enthusiasts will find Praia Ribeira d’Ilhas. Surfing and bodyboarding are practiced here. The necessary knowledge can be learned there in the surf school.