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With vibrant cities, remote villages, award-winning beaches and a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Portugal makes a great holiday destination. The country also boasts magnificent castles, vineyards, ancient towns and a wide range of landscapes, cultures and locals. As such, Portugal holidays can be incredibly diverse, with options ranging from a week-long beach holiday, to a short city break or a twin centre holiday. With so much to choose from in this wonderful country, we thought it may be handy to put together a list of some of Portugal’s top holiday destinations, so you can get planning your next getaway with Citrus Holidays.
Lisbon city breaks have long been a popular choice with UK tourists, and it’s easy to see why. Portugal’s colourful capital has cobbled alleyways, white-domed cathedrals, pastel-coloured architecture, ancient ruins and a wonderful selection of nearby beaches. Other attractions include the old wooden trams, street art and food markets selling a mouth-watering array of cheeses and fresh seafood. The beautiful castle of Sao Jorge which sits above the city is also well-worth a visit, and the original fortress dates all the way back to the 5th century.
Trendy yet opulent, Porto has seen a huge surge in popularity due to its warm weather, fascinating history, varied food scene and vibrant nightlife. The city of Porto is also just 3 hours' drive from Lisbon, which means that Porto and Lisbon twin breaks are a fantastic option for holidaymakers. Smaller than Lisbon, charming Porto is home to wine cellars, a 19th century food market, fantastic local restaurants and historic landmarks all within walking distance of each other. The city’s historical square (Praça da Ribeira) sits beside the Douro River and was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
With a UNESCO World Heritage-listed centre and stunning mountain scenery, the fairytale town of Sintra is most commonly visited on a day trip from Lisbon. Nestled in the hills of the Serra de Sintra, the area boasts palaces, villas and even the ruins of a Moors castle - with plenty to keep tourists entertained for a few days.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001, the Douro Valley is one of the oldest wine regions in the world and due to its location, many visitors to the area opt to enjoy a Porto and Douro holiday. With steep terraced vineyards, lush mountain scenery, whitewashed 18th century architecture and scenic winding roads, the area is a beautiful place to spend a few nights. As well as its wine, the Douro Valley is renowned for its fantastic cuisine; offering both traditional eateries and experimental, modern restaurants.
Dubbed the ‘Garden Island’ due to its lush greenery or the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’, the island of Madeira is a must-see destination for nature lovers. As well as its green forest valleys, incredible flowers and cliff top settings, Madeira also boasts some of Portugal’s best beaches. The island is famous for its fortified wine and tastings are popular with visitors enjoying a Madeira holiday, often taking place near the vibrant capital city of Funchal, which is home to wine cellars, lush gardens, historic architecture and a pretty harbour.
Famed for its gorgeous beaches, traditional towns and pretty cobbled streets; the Algarve deservedly attracts over 4 million tourists every year. Wonderfully varied, this region in Portugal offers something for all different types of tourists, with high-class resorts and beach-focused activities in the south, plus rolling countryside, castle towns and whitewashed villages moving inland. All inclusive Algarve holidays are a popular choice with holidaymakers looking to relax beside the beach and offer enough nearby attractions (including historic sites, sports and villages) to keep visitors entertained. The Algarve’s capital, Faro, is also worth exploring and boasts a distinctly Portuguese feel with an attractive marina, a medieval old town and winding cobbled streets.