Portugal Vacations

Prolific Portugal is a soulful song, an azure ocean, a terraced vineyard.

The rocky coastline of Portugal’s Iberian Peninsula skirts the Atlantic Ocean and provides the backdrop for this diverse land where 10 million people reside.  The deep blue waters have floated the famed ships of Portuguese explorers centuries ago and have then and now provided the Portuguese people with their main staples: cod and sardines. An independent country since the 11th century, Portugal has its own traditions, cuisine and culture which has remained relatively unchanged.   With Spain flanking one side, the two countries may border each other but are very different, from language to cuisine to culture.

The Douro River in the north nourishes the terraced vineyards of one of the oldest wine appellations in the world, while the Tagus River waters the flat and fertile Ribatejo plain in the northwest.  The Algarve is a paradise of wide, sandy beaches and surfers, while the orange roof tiles of Lisbon and Porto house people of cosmopolitan cities. A country dripping in history and tradition fused with modern fun; the Portuguese are an emotive people, passionate about festas and watching football, their Catholic faith and their love of their country. Maybe this pride comes from the country’s foundation in 1143 or from the fact that Portugal was a world power during its “Age of Discovery” in the 15th and 16th centuries.  Ancient monasteries, Roman temples, Moorish influences and medieval castles, Portugal’s history adds a golden hue to any adventure here. Sip on crisp vinho verde beachside, boat the black-blue Douro, hike the surreal peaks of Serra da Estrela, and swoon over haunting Fado music at a Lisbon tavern; Portugal is full of distinctive experiences.

At a Glance
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Places To Go

Handcrafted Journeys to our Most Popular Places in Portugal.

Portugal skyline at Sao Jorge Castle at sunset
Panorama of beautiful Porto with traditional boats on the river
03The Algarve
Beautiful beach, rock formations and blue waters on the atlantic
The beautiful fishing village, boats in the water and steep cliff in the background
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Traditions transcend time in pastoral Portugal.

Cliffs to castles, port wine to pastries, Portugal is rife with pleasures.  The Atlantic Ocean cups the one side of the country where rocky outcrops and slips of sand offer themselves up to visitors.  The interior, a historic fantasy, complete with an undulating countryside full of stories and intrigue, Portugal is as picturesque as it is interesting. The winding Douro flanked by ancient vineyards, the magical islands of Madeira and The Azores, finding your happy place is a piece of pão-de-ló (cake).

Scenic aerial view of Camara de Lobos village, Madeira, Portugal

The Culture

Portugal is a country steeped in well-established traditions. With Spain hugging the west of the land, Portugal has made a point to create and uphold their own distinctive culture which is embedded into the daily life of people.  Portuguese is a Latin language and is the 5th most spoken language in the world. Practise your best boa tarde! (good afternoon) and join in the fun of a feira or festa, a wonderful way to dive into the heart of Portuguese culture.  Celebrations of love (Festa de São Gonçalo, beginning of June) and summer (São João, end of June), the harvest (Festa das Vindimas, early September), and the Catholic religion (Carnaval, Easter) and even sweets (International Chocolate Festival, March) reveal the Portuguese psyche like nothing else. 

Catching a soccer game while you are visiting is another way to connect yourself to the heart of the Portuguese. Soccer is a national passion and watching a game at a neighbourhood bar while snacking on creamy lupini beans and sipping a cool Sagres is a classic way to spend an afternoon like you live there.

Roman Catholicism is the most followed religion in the country (85% of the population are Catholic) and parades, processions, and pilgrimages happen monthly throughout the country. Churches are ornate and worth visiting to take in the inspiring Portuguese Colonial, Baroque or Gothic architecture. Dress like a local with covered arms and longer shorts or skirts when you enter; light a candle for someone you love, or for Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travellers.

Soulful Fado music is quintessentially Portuguese and can serve as the soundtrack for your travel experience. Hauntingly beautiful and classified by UNESCO World Heritage, Fado is another quintessential expression of what it is to be Portuguese. You can hear it at night in a fado house, a traditional neighbourhood, or at lively bars and nightclubs. Enjoy a captivating array of sounds and environments, from reggae to African music, new wave, indie or electronic. All are good excuses to share a drink and dance the night away!

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