PORTUGAL - TOP TIPS WHETHER IT'S YOUR FIRST OR FOURTH VISIT.
Whether you've never been there before or it's your annual trek back for your Winter Long Stay, Portugal has so much to explore and enjoy!
This southern European country certainly doesn't lack in natural or architectural beauty. It's no wonder you've got a hankering to visit Portugal. There's never-ending things to do and see.
SO, WHERE SHOULD YOU EVEN BEGIN?
Here are some top recommendations for visiting this magnificent nation, first or repeat.
Photo: Types of Architecture you might see in Portugal
WHAT PLACES SHOULD I CHECK OUT?
As the capital of Portugal, Lisbon is full of vibrant culture, historical sights, and friendly natives. It's an ideal place in the nation to take delight in authentic Portuguese cuisine and to enjoy live entertainment.
Known for it's traditional Fado performances, don't miss an opportunity to listen to some of the best Portuguese folk music!
Photo: The historic trams of Portugal
One of the most phenomenal Gothic churches in all of Europe, the Batalha Monastery is protected as a World Heritage Monument, due to it's significance.
Entering the grand doors of the church, you'll immediatley take notice of all it's architectural details and picturesque 16th Century stained glass windows.
King Joao commissioned this Gothic monastery in gratitude for the decisive vicotry in the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385, and the grand designs took over a hundred years to construct.
Photo: Batalha Monastery
THE ABBEY OF SANTA MARIA
As Europe's most significant building of the Cisterian order, you'll easily wander through this historical site for hours. There's plenty to see including a monastery, seven dormitories, the library, kitchen and of course, the church.
THE BEACHES (you were waiting for this part, right?!)
The coastline of Portugal provides some of the most stunning beaches you'll ever see.
Photo: Alveiro Region - beach
Don't shy away, take a break from your explorations to relax on the shorelines of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Stream.
Some of the most popular beaches are in the Algarve region, Sagres, Aveiro, and the Praia da Adraga.
Photo: Benagil Caves in the Algarve
Don't forget about the wild and scarcely populated beaches of the east coast of the Alentejo region.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR DISHES?
ARROZ DE CABIDELA
It might seem daunting once you know what this dish derives from, but this chicken blood rice is a native favourite in Portugal. It's available made with rabbit and rabbit blood too.
This delightful lunch includes sausage, typically prepared with french fries and fried eggs.
BACALHAU A BRAS
Cod is shredded and sauteed to perfection, served with onions, straw fried potatoes, eggs, parlsey, and garlic. YUM!
As an authentic Portuguese dessert, this dish is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. Creamy rice pudding topped with cinnamon and caramel custard to add to the burst of flavour. YUM YUM!
On a chilly night, treat yourself with this fantastic soup. Merely potato, onions and shredded kale, cooked in garlic and olive oil, there's no lack of flavour!
PASTEL DE NATA
Originating in Lisbon, this custard tart is an indigenous staple, and you CAN'T leave the country without giving it a try.
Photo: Portugal's World Famous Tarts