"Summer? But it's still Winter! There's plenty of time to sort the holidays... Plus we're in a pandemic..." Yep, that's true. But the truth is COVID seems to be here to stay and it's possible to travel in a safe way provided all the healthcare and safety measures are followed. Also the current offer won't be similar to the one you'll find later on.
Despite being cautious or carefree, planning ahead is always a good call. It gives you something positive to look forward to, it's great news for those relying on the tourism industry (which has been hibernating for a good while), there are more and better offers, loads of great deals and, on top of it all, flexible cancellation policies. As we see it, it's actually the perfect timing to plan the so anticipated summer holidays. After all, when the weather is grey and gloomy, we crave for warmth and long sunny days...
Exploring Portugal's main cities
Big cities are often the gateway of the country and they are great summer destinations, even though they're not usually at the top of the chart. On one hand, they're quieter because locals tend to escape the city during summer and there aren't as many tourists. On the other hand, they are bursting with cool events, open air markets and the overall atmosphere is great. Plus, if it's too hot for sightseeing, you can always go for a dip in the ocean or a swim in a riverside beach as most of them have water nearby.
Cities allow you to really get immersed in a country's culture and history so we feel it's always interesting to include them in any itinerary throughout Portugal. There are many cities worth exploring, but if you haven't had the chance to get to know Lisboa or Porto, now is a great time to pay them a visit. They both have an interesting blend of old and new and they're a lot more peaceful, which ensures slow travelling at its best.
Click here to download Lisboa's Free City Tips.
Click here to download Porto's Free City Tips.
Relaxing in the countryside of Portugal
Summer is also about disconnecting and resting. So after a city escape, what's better than recharging batteries in the countryside? The natural landscapes are jaw dropping, specially inside the protected reserves and natural parks. As you travel along the country the scenery changes abruptly and includes rolling hills, wide open plains, mountain ranges, glacial valleys, riverbank beaches and hidden lagoons. The countryside really has a lot going on. To add to its charm there are incredible hiking trails, delicious local gastronomy, small towns and adorable historical villages.
Stocking on vitamin D by the coast
There's no arguing Portugal's coastline is one of the best summer destinations in Europe (even though we dare saying it's one of the most beautiful in the whole world). There are options for surfers, seafood lovers, hikers or all of them at once. With amazing beaches from the Northwest tip to the Southeast corner of the country, it's no wonder Portuguese people have a close connection to the ocean. That's probably also why we automatically think of the beach when someone says "summer".
If you're a sun seeker and your ideal holidays require sand and salty hair, Portugal won't disappoint.
Discovering the archipelagos of Açores and Madeira
Açores and Madeira are always strong contenders in any trip to Portugal because they're both inspiring and complete destinations. The natural scenery is pure, the history and culture are interesting, the traditional festivities are fun and colourful, the food and the wine are great, the beaches and natural swimming pools are a relief from the lush green and people are friendly and welcoming. They literally tick all the boxes even during peak season. To understand why we feel these archipelagos must be on your 2021 bucket list read this journal post.
Portugal is a fantastic summer destination for all sorts of travellers, particularly for those who want to have a mix of everything. The fact that it is a small country can actually be perceived as an asset: distances are shorter and there are good highway connections linking the country's different regions, making it a fantastic destination for a summer road trip. Travelling with a personalised guidebook is the cherry on top!
The cautious travellers have their holidays sorted without having to stress or to spend too much time planning and the carefree bunch can remain carefree while we hand pick tips and suggestions.
Get in touch and we'll help you plan an itinerary that matches your interests.