8 Reasons To Travel To Portugal
Europe is on your bucket list and wondering where to go? Of course, Paris and the Eiffel Tower is a must visit and so are world famous cities like London and Barcelona - but how about Portugal?
From the eclectic nightlife to the pristine beaches, the ancient castles, and the glamorous cafes - Portugal will make you crave for more!
This country is often overlooked as part of many European trips but you will fall in love with the country, and here's why you should travel there soon.
1. Explore Lisbon & Porto
Sounds clichéd enough? Well, no one can deny the fact that Lisbon and Porto aren't just the most popular destinations in the country, but they are indeed breathtakingly beautiful.
Lisbon, the capital city, can be aptly described as an enchanting destination of warm weather surrounded by seven steep hills, alluring alleys, quaint shops, Gothic cathedrals, impressive bridges and colorful neighborhoods, reverberating in traditional fado music. There are also lots of amazing day trips from Lisbon including Sintra and Cascais.
Porto, on the other hand, sprawls along the hills overlooking the Douro River in northern Portugal.
While downtown Porto portrays faded sophistication, the seaside suburbs are witnessing something of a renaissance in recent years, home as they are to a burgeoning collection of bars, restaurants, and cafes, which offer an authentic slice of local life. You will never run out of things to see and do in Porto.
2. It’s More Affordable Than Other West European Countries
In spite of the fact that the country accepts Euro, Portugal will definitely be considerate and never make a hole in your pocket! "Portugal still remains one of the most affordable destinations on the Continent, offering visitors the elegance of Western Europe for Eastern European prices", according to The Telegraph.
Lisbon might still appear to be a little expensive, but the more your distance increases from the big cities, the less you'll have to pay (essentially for lodging and food!). In fact, you'll be glad to know that Portugal is the second most affordable European destination, according to travelers, after Bulgaria!
3. So Many Activities & The Chance to Volunteer & Make A Difference
Portugal has so many exciting and adventure opportunities, from scuba diving, hiking, surfing and exploring. Group tours of Portugal are run all year round and are good way to see the highlights of the country.
You might be thinking that there wouldn't be enough scope to volunteer in Portugal, but it isn't like that! In fact, there are a lot of volunteering opportunities for gap year travelers and backpackers in Portugal, who wish to do something meaningful rather than just exploring the country.
You can give a hand for the construction & renovation of the houses of poor families or join the food waste management drives in big cities. Other than that, you can also be a part of marine conservation programs, and save lives underwater. Your volunteering experience in Portugal will just add more value to your international holiday!
4. Savor the taste of wine & desserts!
You must be knowing by now that port wine originated in Porto, and Portugal is renowned for its abundant supply of liquor. Whether it is vinho Verde, the young "green wine" created from grapes grown on the cooler slopes of northwest Portugal, or the 100-year-old vintage bottles - Portugal is a paradise for wine connoisseurs. And also for dessert lovers! Try a bite of the pastel de nata, an authentic Portuguese custard tart with a rich egg custard nestled in shatteringly crisp pastry, and I can bet you'll forget everything else in the world!
5. Find The Harry Potter Connection! A Bookstore That Inspired J.K.Rowling
Excited much to explore the bookstore that inspired J.K.Rowling to depict the Hogwarts library? Well, it's the Livraria Lello, in Porto, which is often featured as one of the world’s most stunning bookshops. Established in the year 1906, this is one of the longest-running bookstores in the world. The neo-Gothic building with the stained-glass skylights illuminating the shop, the wood-carved handrails, the enchanting Art Deco detailing on the walls, a detailed plaster ceiling, and a glass door guarding the shop's oldest books of rare first and collectors editions can anytime tickle a booklover's soul. Whether you are an avid reader or not, your trip to Porto will be incomplete without visiting this age-old bookstore!
6. Capture Some Of The Most Stunning & Instagram-worthy Shots!
Hello Social Butterflies! If you are wondering 'why Portugal?' then let me tell you something - it's gonna get you more followers on Instagram! In today's date, no one wants to lag behind in showing off their travel tales on Instagram, so why should you? From the gorgeous beaches to the colorful Portuguese buildings, the cobbled streets and the trams, the castles and the palaces - almost everything in this picturesque country deserves to be captured! And who knows, you might just inspire someone to travel through your journey and experiences!
7. The Nightlife Continues Till The Morning!
The clubbing scene in Portugal will just get into your nerves and you'll fall in love with the musical vibes of the country's nightlife! No matter whether you're in the tiny island of Azores, or in the city of Algarve, or maybe at a casino in Lisbon - the country’s nightlife offers dance, drinks, and music with a more relaxed and laid-back vibe. For a very different night out in Portugal, head somewhere where you can enjoy the country’s signature music genre, fado (literally ‘fate’). Be patient, 'coz the fun never begins before midnight and gather all your stamina, as the night's gonna be really long!
8. Get Tanned at Some of the Most Stunning Beaches on the Planet!
If you thought that all the fun is there in Ibiza, then you're absolutely wrong! Edwina Pitcher, author of 'Wild Guide Portugal' says that - "From the Algarve to the Azores, Portugal keeps its loveliest beaches well hidden". Surely, beach lovers would want to stay back in the country, to have some more time to spend on the golden sands.
Head towards the Peniche Coast in the North of Lisbon, and spend a day at the shores of Berlenga Grande - where pink rocks and green grass slope down to the water's edge, while hundreds of seagulls wheel and caw overhead. If you are in the Azores, then you can't miss the black sand beaches of Ribeira das Tainhas, São Miguel.
From cliffs to caves, to lagoons and lush greenery - you'll find it all around the Portuguese coastline.
Have you ever been to Portugal? What were your highlights? Let me know in the comments section below.
BIO - Author Bio: Riyanka Roy is an ordinary girl with some extraordinary dreams. She loves to believe in the miracles of destiny and wants to travel all over the world, spend time with the natives, binge on local food, and absorb their culture. She feels that she’s born with vagabond blood, and stagnation makes her feel claustrophobic. Life, for her, is like a book, and she loves writing about everything interesting she comes across. She believes that her stories make the chapters of her book more colorful. Read more about her adventures on Backpacking Romance and follow her journeys on Instagram.