Every year Christmas approaches and we start thinking about the family members that are about to return home from abroad, eating the so awaited cod and roasted turkey, cosy nights by the fireplace and Christmas decorations. And outside the house there’s some kind of a “competition” going on...
From north to south there are several spots on the run for “Sparkly Destination” or “Santa’s Paradise” and other Christmassy titles. Picture everything from trains, to ice skating rinks, massive Christmas trees and even real reindeers!
There are many places worth visiting during this time of the year and here are some of the very best.
Portugal is an absolute paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Although it has a fairly small area it offers very diverse landscapes and plenty of reasons to visit: spectacular sea views, quiet river banks, daunting mountains, long stretches of sand, stunning caves, never-ending plains, and the most spectacular sunsets…
There are many natural parks in Portugal mainland that are worth a visit and May is a great time to explore them. Unlike peak season, spring time is never crowded, temperatures are mild and nature is at its best! The ideal way to explore the parks is to combine road trips with walking trails or outdoor activities as some of the most beautiful places are not accessible by car.
Here we selected some of the best ones, from north to south.
Spring is a great season to visit Portugal. The weather is usually mild, the landscapes are stunning and there are no crowds so you can wander freely and really experience our culture. From north to south, there are many places worth a visit, but we have selected these three as our top picks and you’ll easily understand why.
The origin of this festivity dates back to ancient times, when people celebrated pagan gods and the mother nature. Many centuries later, the church recognised the Carnaval as a religious celebration, and it is now seen all around the world.
Carnaval, or entrudo, are the three days before Ash Wednesday. The main celebration is the “Fat Tuesday”, the last day for people to party and eat and drink too much. The word Carnaval has latin roots and means “farewell to meat”, as during Lent (the 40 days until Easter Sunday) devoted catholics give up their main pleasures, including meat.
In Portugal there is a big tradition when it comes to Carnaval festivities, since the Middle Age. Not only from north to south, but also in the islands of Azores and Madeira, Carnaval is celebrated with a bang! Portuguese people tend to believe “No Carnaval ninguém leva a mal”, a saying that means no one takes personally what is said and happens during this time of the year, being a time of excess and revelry.
If you are around in the pre-Len, do not miss the Carnaval celebrations we have picked, as they’ll probably be the highlight of your trip!
Changing temperatures have blurred the seasonal boundary and nowadays Portugal can be explored from north to south almost all year round. The weather plays an important role, but it is not the only reason why people have started venturing off the beaten path and looking for less known locations. Travellers want to discover and truly get to know the most authentic regions, to find well preserved locations and have real local experiences.
That's why we have tried to come up with the best places to visit in each month. With that said, some of them can and should be visited more than once, ideally in different times of the year, as the landscapes change abruptly and the feeling you get is very different.
Portugal is known for its outstanding beaches from North to South.
With more than 850 km of coast and bathed by Atlantic Ocean, the diversity is endless! From white sand to rocky beaches, some with warm “like soup” (as Portuguese say) calm waters and others with super waves in freezing cold water, some with great conditions for surfing or kite-surfing pending on the wind and most of them optimum for relaxing and tanning. Good for a book or a lovely walk, full of people or hidden, almost unreachable, Portugal has beaches suiting all personalities and preferences. There’s however one thing that all of us, Portuguese, love doing after a day at the beach – going for a snack!
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