Top reasons to pick Portugal for your next Short-Haul Escape

One of Europe’s oldest extant nations, Portugal is a hidden gem of dramatic walled towns, enchanting hilltop castles and meandering cobbled streets.  Dive right in to the birthplace of adventurers as you play at royalty in magical castles, or perch on the edge of jaw-dropping cliffs at Cabo de Sáo Vicente to catch the perfect sunset. Bursting with friendly faces and picturesque sights, Portugal is a hidden playground of captivating coastline and hidden coves made for two. Read on for our top reasons why you should make Portugal your next escape.

The Coastline

The land of ethereal arches reaching out to the sea, Portugal is home to some of the world’s most stunning coastline and many of it can be found in the Algarve. From the rugged cliffs of Faro to the captivating coves of Lagos, enchantingly secret caves and breath-taking views can be found all along Portugal’s rugged coast. Wander the craggy heights as you soak in the spectacular views or dip your toes into the sands of a hidden cove, your own sandy spot for endless days of bathing in the liquid sun.

The Food

From sweet pastries to home cooked cuisine, Portugal is a hidden gem of tantalising flavours with its homely restaurants and hidden cafés offering sumptuous tastes of time-honoured recipes that will always leave you wanting more. For those staying in the southern regions such as Faro or anywhere along the Algarve coast, fresh fish is truly something not to be missed with local eateries dishing up mouth-watering varieties based on the day’s catch. Indulge in Belém as you sample one of the world famous Pastéis de Belém from a shop bearing their name and grab a box to go, sitting on the steps overlooking the sea-based Belém Tower as you soak in the cultural ambience of the waterside.

The people

The Portuguese are among some of the most friendly in the world and will always have a word of welcome for those visiting their shores. If you can learn a phrase or two of Portuguese before you travel you will be rewarded with a world of smiles and the locals will go out of their way to help you out.

The Instagram-worthy sights

From tumbling cliffs to murals fit to line the walls of an art gallery, Portugal is overflowing with picturesque sights ready and waiting to make your friends back home jealous. Visit the gasp-inducing chasms of the Algarve for one of the world’s best sunsets over the rocky cliffs or capture the magic of Lisbon’s ancient walkways, wherever you turn, you will find hundreds of photo worthy opportunities for every taste. For a truly Instagram-worthy shot, head to Praia do Camillo and its iconic shoreline or head to Cabo de Sáo Vicente, for a shot of film-like crumbling cliffs at Portugal’s most south-westerly point.

Lisbon, and its surrounding enchantments

Imagine your own fairy-tale as you wander the enchantments of the Sintra and its secret castles or head down to Belem for a taste of the world famous Pastéis de Belém by the waterside. Tour the walls of Lisbon’s dramatic castle or trawl through endless cork inspired shops for a unique gift. Be it cork handbags or cork postcards, the colourful shops are lined with variety of trinkets from the weird to the wonderful, all with a completely unique feel. Lisbon is a world apart from any of Europe’s run-of-the-mill resorts and offers a unique cultural insight into one of the ancient world’s superpowers. From intricate tiles to the iconic trams of the centre, Lisbon and the surrounding Sintra and Belém areas are a whirlwind of picture-perfect sights and cultural experiences just waiting to be uncovered.

The luxurious Algarve

Packed to the brim with some of the best golf courses in Portugal and boasting an impressive 300 days of sunshine a year, the Algarve is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered. Wander secluded bays or paddle out to sea under arches crafted in dreams, discover secret caves as you swim the tranquil waters or laze upon heavenly beaches, supping on mouth-wateringly-fresh delights. The Algarve is your oyster and with an abundance of luxurious resorts shimmering along the coastline, your stylish retreat is just a plane ride away.

The beaches

This may be part of the coastline, but, Portugal offers so much more than just rugged cliffs and breath-taking drops. The beaches are a major highlight of Portugal’s attractions and offer sandy havens of tranquillity among some rather unusual sights. Head to Praia do Barill in the eastern Algarve for the unusual vantage of what has been nicknamed ‘Anchor Graveyard’ or find your own sandy haven along the coast’s magnificent shoreline.

The joy of discovering something few people have witnessed for themselves

From paddling through hidden caves to exploring a secluded cove just for two, Portugal is packed full of first-time everything’s and, due to its under-the-radar position, now is the perfect time to find your own secret spot or hidden gem as you uncover some of the enthralling hidden beauties Portugal has to offer.

From hilltop perches to secluded sandy coves, our personal travel advisers are experts in finding the perfect escape for every type of traveller, why not let them find your next dream getaway.

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