Portugal

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The Algarve is a top destination with miles of beaches, quiet sandy bays, majestic cliffs and plenty of sunshine.

Climate

The weather in Portugal is perfect for holidays, this is because Portugal is one of Europe's driest and warmest countries. The summers are hot and dry with some areas reaching 45 degrees C and winters are cooler but still very mild.

Max Temp C Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Portugal 19 22 25 28 28 27 22
London 13 16 20 22 21 19 13
               
Sunshine Hours Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Portugal 13 14 15 15 14 12 11
London 5 6 7 6 6 5 3

Description

The Algarve is a top destination with miles of beaches, quiet sandy bays, majestic cliffs and plenty of sunshine.

Olympic Holidays offers all-inclusive hotel packages at seaside resorts where families will find gently sloping beaches and beautiful natural lagoons for safe swimming - and happy days with buckets and spades for memories to cherish for a lifetime.

There are world-famous golf courses across the region and Olympic Holidays offers a selection of first-class hotel and golf resort packages so keen golfers can make the most of the year-round sunshine.

Sports enthusiasts will also find pools, tennis courts, gyms and spas to offer the best in health and fitness options.

Luxury villas with a pool and sea views also make for an extra special holiday where couples and friends can completely relax or perhaps hire a car to visit traditional towns and pretty harbours. Here they will find friendly restaurants where fish and seafood are a speciality and all the nicer for being washed down by crisp Portuguese wine.

Eating

Food and drink is one of the great pleasures to be enjoyed whilst on holiday in Portugal. The country is popular for its cafes serving traditional Portuguese cuisine. Many assume Spanish and Portuguese cuisine to be very similar but in fact the food and style of cooking is very different. Portugal is well known for its fine wines and ports so for those of you who enjoy a tipple, Portugal holidays are a must. Areas such as Lisbon are very popular for seafood, whilst the Algarve's widespread popularity for holidays ensures the cuisine is more international.

Shopping

Holidays to Portugal offer the perfect opportunity to pick up a bargain, whether it be wine, liqueurs, spirits, cigarettes or tobacco.

Locally produced arts and crafts make wonderful gifts with items such as pottery, crystal, copperware, embroidery and jewellery widely available.

Leather goods are particularly cheap in Portugal and bags, belts and shoes are available at a fraction of the price at home.

Things To Do

There's no doubt that Portugal is perfect for long lazy days in the sun and relaxing strolls into town and along the coast. But what if you prefer to break up your days with a bit more action?

Golf: Golf is becoming increasingly popular in Portugal and particularly in the Algarve, which is is home to many of the world's top courses and has played host to many international tournaments and competitons. Whether you are a skilled-amateur looking for new challenges, or just a beginner looking for a relaxing break from the stresses of everyday life, the golf courses of the the Algarve are the place for you.

Bowls: There can be few things more relaxing on holiday than a spot of outdoor bowls... and there are few more relaxing settings for the sport than the Algarve. The beautiful climate, glorious sunshine, calm sea views and cooling sea breezes make the Algarve the ideal surroundings for your game.

Watersports: With the beautiful coastline and beaches that the Algarve has to offer tourists... it's no wonder that some of the most popular and enjoyable pursuits in Portugal are water sports.

Hiking: Whether you like mountains, valleys or coastal scenery, Portugal offers perfect hiking opportunities for you. From the Douro Valley whose grandeur is striking to the beautiful paths along the wild and unspoiled Costa Vicentina National Park to the many coastal walks throughout the Algarve Portugal has it all.

Things To See

Holidays to Portugal are filled with opportunities to explore some fantastic countryside, towns and villages as well as places of historical interest. Here are just a handful of possibilities:

Conimbriga: Situated 10 miles from Coimbra, the ruined Roman town of Conimbriga is one of Portugal's largest and best preserved Roman sites. The complex is vast and impressive and contains some wonderful mosaics and an excellent museum.

Cape St Vincent: Europe's most South Westerly point is still an important shipping landmark with a lighthouse that is visible from 50 miles away. Some of the old town is still surrounded by the old Roman walls that date back to the 9th Century. Away from the town some wonderful secluded beaches with that 'edge of the world' feel are to be found.

Costa Vincentina National Park: On the way to Cape St Vincent the Costa Vincentina National Park is the place to witness some spectacular sunsets. The rocky windswept headland rising 60m above the sea really gives a feeling of being at the edge of the continent.

Parque Natural Da Serra Da Estrela: Filled with rocky, barren mountains and emerald green rivers cutting the glacial valleys, this park offers perfect hiking trails that take in peaceful plateaus, green pastures and craggy, rugged mountain ranges.

Lagos: A major port and formerly the home of Prince Henry the Navigator. It still retains many architectural pointers to its ancient past.

Loule: The walls of this historic town's 12th Century castle still stand, and now surround the town's museum, displaying yet more treasures of this beautiful town's past.

Ponta de Sagres: The fortress of Henry the Navigator. It is here that he once brought together the greatest minds of his day to aid him with his voyages.

Tavira: Escape the more 'modern' resorts of the Algarve and surround yourself in the history and architecture of probably the region's most elegant town.

Transport

Travelling to and around Portugal and the Algarve in particular is a very simple process. Flights into the region arrive at Faro airport and are available from most major airports around the world, making it the quickest and easiest way to travel.

Once in the Algarve, getting around is just as simple. There is a wide range of public transport which is reasonably priced and very efficient. There is a train service from Vila Real de Santo to Lagos that stops off at all the major towns along the way. There is also a comprehensive network of buses that cover the entire region, including the smaller villages.

If that's not enough, the mini-cabs also tend to be well priced and easily found in all major town centres and resorts. But for those who prefer to travel around without the hustle and bustle of public transport, car hire is a viable option.

Our favourites in Portugal

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