With stunning natural landscapes, world-renowned cuisines, and historic cities – Portugal has it all. In addition, the country has a unique cultural and religious heritage where modernity and tradition combine in harmony, a mild climate with 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, and tons of great beaches. But with so many great things to see and do in Portugal, you’re probably not sure what to do on your next holiday in this beautiful country. To help you with this, here are some of the top things to do whilst visiting Portugal.
- Eat Seafood in Lisbon
Portugal has a long coastline, so it’s not surprising why the Portuguese knew the best ways to cook fish and other seafood dishes, especially in the capital city of Lisbon. While the country’s beloved cod arrives in Lisbon preserved in salt, it’s still as essential as the freshly caught tuna or clams.If you only need to taste one seafood dish in Lisbon, make it Polvo à lagareiro, a dish made of octopus boiled in a pressure cooker and cooked with roasted potatoes and olive oil-based sauce laden with garlic. One of the best places to eat this delectable dish is Marlene Vieira’s stall at Mercado da Ribeira.
Meanwhile, Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato is a beloved clam dish named after a Portuguese poet, Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato, who loved this seafood dish so much. It consists of clams cooked in white wine, olive oil, cilantro, lemon, and garlic. You’ll find this dish in O Palácio, a restaurant famous for serving the finest seafood delicacies in Lisbon.
- Play Golf in Cascais
Famous for its sunny and breathtaking scenery, Cascais is a picturesque coastal town along the Portuguese Riviera, home to some of the best golf resorts in the country. When you search for the best golf holidays in Portugal, you’ll most likely come across the golf resorts of Cascais.The Oitavos Dunes Natural Links Golf is one of the best golf courses in Cascais, designed by Arthur Hills. It is a links-style golf course with 18 holes and sits close to the sea. The resort has multiple swimming pools, decent sports facilities, a luxury spa, and a 5-star hotel called The Oitavos. When going for a golf holiday in Portugal, The Oitavos is the best place to stay.
Another golf resort worth checking out in the Cascais is Penha Longa. It’s ranked one of the best golf resorts in Europe and has 27 holes designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., a famous golf course designer. The resort’s 9-hole Monastery course is ideal for golfers of all levels. Surrounded by picturesque coastal views, including the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean and the coastal towns of Cascais and Estoril, Penha Longa is one of Portugal’s most stunning golf resorts.
- Bird Watching in Ría Formosa Nature Park
The Ria Formosa Natural Park is famous for its magnificent landscapes and is one of the best places for birdwatching in the country, hosting more than 20,000 birds during the wintering period.A true haven for birdwatchers, Ria Formosa is considered an important bird area (IBA). The area hosts thousands of birds regularly and serves as a stopover point for migrating birds as they make their way to Europe from Africa. Ria Formosa also provides shelter for rare bird species, including the Purple Swamphen, a chicken-sized bird with large feet, bright plumage and a red bill.
Ria Formosa sits in an area of about 18,000 hectares and is protected from the sea by five barrier islands and two peninsulas. Due to the park’s natural features and geographical location, it was considered one of the “wetlands of worldwide interest”. Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts will surely love visiting Ria Formosa.
- Wine Tasting in Madeira
Madeira has some of Portugal’s most breathtaking landscapes, but what it is famous for is its delectable wines. Thus, one of the best things to do while visiting Portugal is wine tasting in Madeira.During your wine tour, you’ll be taken to the magical world of Madeira wine and learn about the region’s wine history and the extraordinary process of producing this delectable wine. You will hear many stories about this famous wine that has conquered the world for more than five hundred years.
Although the tour is centred around Madeira’s wine, you’ll also have the opportunity to discover the best of the island, past the south coast and into the north coast. Of course, the highlight would be the tasting, where you sample delectable Madeira wines of different varieties, from red wines to white wines and rosé. The tour usually starts in Funchal, where you’ll visit a wine producer and witness the original production of the fortified wine.
- Go Hiking in the Algarve
Given its sunny weather all year round and compact geography, the Algarve is a great place to walk. Along the way, you’ll come across contrasting and varied landscapes, including a scenic coast enclosed by beautiful beaches and bordered by imposing cliffs.Serra de Monchique is a great place to go hiking in the Algarve. It’s a mountainous area with excellent plant diversity and home to crystalline streams that meander in the bottom of the valley – a true paradise for nature lovers. The Monchique Mountain Walk is a popular path for hikers who want to get away from the usual holiday hotspots. For this path, you’ll be hiking on centuries-old donkey paths and tracks that will lead you to an incredible hike in the tranquil and lush forest of Serra de Monchique.
If you prefer to hike by the coast, head to the coast between Albufeira and Cabo San Vicente. With its fascinating landscapes, it offers an ideal spot for hiking and plenty of comfortable Algrave holiday lettings to stay in along the way. The path will take you to majestic cliffs and beaches, including remote beaches and caves. The easiest path is from Quarteira to Olhos d’Água, which is only 10.4 km and could take up to three hours to tackle.