The most popular beaches in Portugal are located in the south where the weather is warmer. The south coast is also more tourist-oriented, especially the area of Algarve. This is also a perfect surfing destination with the largest waves and great facilities. But there are also hundreds of beautiful beaches in the north. Weather one prefers popular and busy beaches or more secluded, Portugal will please everyone. Besides Algarve, the most popular beaches include Praia de Luz, Praia do Tonel, Praia Figueiras and Praia do Alvor. Sunbathing topless is rather common. There are also several official naturist beaches.


Sightseeing in Portugal requires time as there are thousands of places worth visiting. Lisbon will impress tourists with magnificent architecture and some unique places such as Alfama (the old section of the town), the Castle of St George and the Palace of Ricardo Espirito Santo. There are also numerous museums in the capital, including the Naval Museum, the Royal Coach Museum, the Museum of Ancient Art and the Museum of the Discoveries. Not only Lisbon offers excellent tourist attractions. Porto is famous for its three fabulous bridges and as the cradle of fine wine. Evora and its numerous sights are on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. In fact, every little town is dipped in history and culture.


Portugal has excellent conditions for hiking. However, only visitors appreciate it because the locals don’t understand hiking for pleasure. Unfortunately, for this reason those who plan hiking tours in Portugal should bring their equipment because finding such facilities may be difficult. But hiking in Portugal gives an opportunity to admire beautiful landscapes, unspoiled nature and wildlife. Besides numerous trails on the peninsula, there is a lot to explore on the Madeira Islands. The scenery on these islands is amazing, with fabulous valleys, waterfalls and mountains.


The only two ski resorts in Portugal are located in the Serra da Estrela Nature Reserve. During winter weekends the slopes are really crowded. One of them is situated on the top of the mountain – Torre. The second is an artificial slope in Manteigas. The season on the ‘regular’ slope starts in December or January (depending on the weather conditions) and lasts 3 to 4 months.

Water sports

There are numerous water sports centres along the Portuguese coast which offers perfect conditions for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. There are also many facilities that allow paddling, sailing, jet skiing and water skiing. Also, some ‘new’ water sports gain popularity in Portugal. These include parasailing and powerboat rides. Portuguese rivers and waterfalls are perfect for canyoning.


Sea fishing in Portugal requires a Sport Fishing License (12 euro for coast fishing, 60 euro for boat fishing per year). Fishing in harbours, piers and restricted beaches is not allowed. Fishing in rivers and lakes requires another license – license for Fishing in Internal Water. Tourists who intend to go fishing in Portugal need to obtain a licence at the local Direcção-Geral das Pescas e Aquicultura. Freshwater fishing season starts in April and lasts to November.

Rock climbing

Portugal is famous for its wine, pristine beaches and talented football players, but not for the mountains. But rock climbing is possible in some areas near the capital, in the north and in the south in the area of Algarve.


Nightlife in Portugal is very lively, especially in major towns. There are plenty of pubs, cafes, discos and clubs which are open till dawn. In many places parties last until dawn. But visitors can also choose one of the places which offers the Portuguese fold music, fado music and traditional cuisine. Live music is very popular and common in many restaurants and pubs.


The most popular activities, besides those mentioned above, include horse riding, playing golf by the coast, sampling traditional cuisine, dancing and relaxing.

Where to stay

Find out the best hotels in the Algarve at IloveAlgarve.net, where hundreds of hotels in the Algarve Holiday regions are hand-reviewed.

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