Portugal is tucked between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, and is one of the warmest countries in Europe. Travellers fly to the land of peixe (or fish) to discover its many culinary delights, architectural treasures, hot beaches and delicious, traditional port wine.
The capital, Lisbon, is renowned for its historical monuments—like Belém Tower—and its breathtaking views. In Porto, tourists can take a cruise on the Duoro River to see the city’s many UNESCO heritage sites from a unique vantage point. Coimbra is home to one of the oldest universities in the world and Guimarães is where Portugal’s national identity was born. Fátima, of course, is the favourite destination of religious pilgrims.
To the south, the Algarve is known for its beautiful beaches and ideal surf conditions. Tourists—especially families with children— often start their beach holiday in Faro or Albufeira, as the water is warmer and the waves, gentler.
Visitors will absolutely want to see Portugal’s vineyards and try all the local specialities: porto, vinho verde and maybe even alentejo.
The cities of Lisbon, Porto and Albufeira are known for their trendy bars and discos, where tourists can dance the night away or discover Portugal’s melancholy fado music. There are also many musical festivals organized around the country, mostly in summer.
Portugal’s climate is perfect for playing golf. In fact, it was recently named one of the best golf destinations!
Portugal is known for its fish (peixe) and seafood dishes, but grilled chicken is also a specialty. A must-try is the pastéis de nata, creamy custard tarts that are light and heavenly. Foodies who fly there relish the country’s tasty fare!
The official currency of Portugal is the euro, which is accepted everywhere. Changing currencies is easily done anywhere in the country.
Although Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, it is possible to communicate in Spanish or English in most tourist locations.
For more information about passport and visa requirements, visit the Government of Canada’s travel website.
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