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Lagos in der Algarve, Bild: DaLiu / shutterstock

Portugal – a small country with terrific diversity

The extremely hospitable coastal nation in southwestern Europe leaves nothing to be desired – even though Portugal covers just a quarter of Germany’s area. An ideal destination for relaxed round trips, provided you can resist the urge to stay in place. Because it’s beautiful basically everywhere here.

Portugal, Porto
Porto, Image: artem evdokimov / shutterstock

It is not without reason that Portugal’s multifaceted nature earned the country the World Travel Award as “Europe’s most beautiful destination” in 2018. One of the most famous holiday regions is certainly the Algarve, which attracts visitors to the south coast with its beautiful beaches, enchanting bays and spectacular rock formations. With more than 850 km of Atlantic coastline, there are plenty of other ways to spend a great holiday by the sea. Up and down the country, turquoise lagoons, bizarre cliffs and long golden sandy beaches can be discovered. In the large estuaries of the Tagus and Sado rivers, countless flamingos and spoonbills adorn the panorama.

In addition to species-rich snorkeling bays and diving areas , first-class surf spots line the Portuguese coast. In Figueira da Foz, the longest waves in Europe promise endless surfing fun, giant waves provide ultimate adrenaline rushes off Nazaré. The “perfect setting” for surfers is the tube waves of Peniche.

Lisbon, Image: TTstudio / shutterstock

In addition, kitesurfing, parasailing and all conceivable other saltwater sports are also on the program. Climbing routes in the cliffs, coastal hiking trails and various golf courses with a sea backdrop offer dry sports experiences on the Atlantic. Or you can seek out one of the many quiet fishing beaches far away from all the action, where you can simply relax while building sandcastles, swimming or walking.

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However, if you want to be active, you don’t have to do without it domestically. The diverse landscapes allow you to do everything that outdoor sports demand. Torrents in the mountains challenge you to canyoning and rafting, while canoeing on the crystal-clear rivers is more leisurely. Climbing or paragliding is a special way to pay respect to Portugal’s mountain ranges.

Those who prefer to travel on two legs will find plenty of attractive trekking routes.

In winter, skiing is possible in the up to 2,000-metre-high mountain ranges of the rugged Serra da Estrela, but this should not keep summer lovers away from Portugal. In the south, there is veranda weather all year round, so you can always enjoy the country’s culinary delights outdoors.

The country produces fruits, vegetables, wine, cheese and olive oil in top quality. After freshly caught fish or a Mediterranean stew, a traditional custard cake always goes well with the espresso. A glass of port wine rounds off the evening.

Speaking of port wine: culture is not only on offer with the city of Porto and its picturesque alleys and historic buildings. Everywhere in the country, the most diverse eras and architectures have been immortalized, so it is not only in Lisbon and Porto that you can walk excellently in the footsteps of the past.

A trip to Portugal is no problem even with island fever. On the one hand, there is the flower island of Madeira, which, with its proximity to Africa , has mild winters, pleasantly warm summers and an incredible sea of flowers in spring to offer.
The Azores are really in the middle of the Atlantic. For a little more changeable weather, the sensational volcanic panoramas and a bath in the hot springs make up for it.

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Travel information Portugal

Capital Lisbon
Form of government Unitary republic
semi-presidential democracy
Currency Euro (EUR)
Area 92,212 km²
Population approx. 10,310,000 (2016 est.)
Languages Portuguese
Electricity grid 230 volts, 50 Hz
Area code +351
Time zone UTC±0
UTC+1 (March to October)Azores:
UTC±0 (March to October)