For many, choosing the perfect summer holiday destination is no easy feat. Often torn between having the perfect mix of escaping the bustle of the city to enjoy the scenic relaxation and exploring the vibrancy and culture that the urban hotspots has to offer, the criteria often falls to where can offer the best of both worlds.
Combining this with the need for spectacular beaches harbouring clear, bright blue waters, gorgeous sunshine, adventurous activity and nature sees this criteria become increasingly refined.
But fear not, we have the shortlist whittled down for you in the shape of a historic nation located in the north of Atlantic Ocean.
Here are the five reasons you simply can’t skip Portugal, the perfect summer destination for 2019.
Take a piece of Portugal Cuisine
The Portuguese are famed for their love of traditional homemade cuisine and even more famous for their love of sharing it with everyone who visits the country. Perfectly complimenting the warmth of its people is the warmth of unique selection of dishes.
Portuguese cuisine is up-and-coming on the world scene, with an abundance of dishes in every shape and flavour. Behind every Portuguese dish, there’s the recipe of a mother, of an aunt or an uncle, of a grandmother or a grandfather. This is one of the reasons Portuguese food is so special. Whether it’s at the table of a top restaurant or a traditional tavern, the food offers up the unforgettable taste of the Iberian Peninsula. Mediterranean cuisine is embedded deep within the hearts of the Portuguese people.
Fish, crustaceans and mollusks are daily delights for their palates and the cuisine is rich in olive oil, seafood, olives and fresh herbs. Olive oil is a largely present in 80% of the dishes and the seafood is often grilled to give a unique freshness. In 2013, Mediterranean cuisine was approved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Of course the food inspiration may well come from one of the many good Portuguese wines on offer.
It is recommended to try the popular Sardinhas grelhadas, which means “grilled sardines”. During the summer, especially during the month of June, you will find this dish all over the city’s, traditionally served with a side of boiled potatoes and vegetables or salad.
Take the Sun back with you
The summer weather is a huge bonus to Portugal, with over 2500 hours of gorgeous sunshine each year. Stepping outdoors to see anything but the beautiful glow of the sun is something of a rarity, meaning you needn’t battle with the indecisiveness of the climate in certain other European destinations. Holiday goers can bring back the sun-kissed tans by enjoying the beautiful Marinha beach in the beach capital, Algarve, or discovering Lisbon’s famous Light on the city’s many slopes. There’s certainly no lack of inspiration to enjoy a drink in the sun on a café terrace with a glass in hand too!
Take a dive into a diamond blue bliss
Portugal is famous for its deep blue, and the summer not only offers up the opportunity to enjoy a range of sea based activity like surfing, but it also allows you to explore the sea world that resides beneath the waves. Surrounded by cliffs and in close proximity to a small fishing village and harbour, Arrifana beach is a popular destination among surfers.
Why not head out to the Santa Cruz Ocean Spirit on the 19th -28th July? This is an International Wave Sport Festival that has been held at Santa Cruz beach in the municipality of Torres Vedras. The Festival is noted for its national and international events held in sports such as surfing, skim boarding, surf kayaking, wave skiing, and bodysurfing.
Madeira is also brilliant in the summer for families who want to witness the majestic sight of whales and dolphins gracing the Atlantic as well as sea kayaking, scuba diving, and more. In the Azores canyoning, scuba diving, diving with sharks are amongst the most popular water activities.
Take a trip to the beating heart of Portuguese nature
Caves and beaches to discover, forests and mountains to be travelled, lakes and waterfalls to explore. If inspiration is what you want, Portugal has plenty on offer. Places of breathtaking natural beauty and landscapes that make you want to grab your camera and make sure you never forget that moment.
If you want the very best of nature in Portugal this summer – look no further than Alentejo and the beautiful walking trails such as The Way of Saint James.
The Centro Region offers up some great cave tours including Gruta da Moeda which with a length of 1,200ft and a depth of 147ft, goes through the various natural galleries.
Take the Portuguese sound
Some say that music is one of the world’s biggest sources of inspiration. In Portugal, music is celebrated across the country with some of the best festivals in Europe and in the World. Festivals for every taste, scattered from north to south of the country, that make you travel and explore every corner of a country with plenty of music and inspiration on offer.
This summer will see Portugal come alive as an abundance of international entertainment, cultural and historical festivals make their way to the cities, beaches, rivers and rural environments. As the entire country gets ready for months of festivities, now is the time to get ready and explore the unique atmosphere of Portugal, a country renowned for its love for a party!
For those looking for a summer of music, sun, sea, partying and 850km of beaches, Portugal offers the best combination of unmissable concerts and street festivals.
From the party goer looking for a once in a lifetime music festival on the beach, to the explorer seeking to delve into the history of one of Europe’s most historic religious street festivals, here is what the Portuguese summer has to offer between June and August.
Nominated as one of the 10 best European festivals, NOS Alive will return for its 13th edition at the Passeio Marítimo de Algés in July 2019. The concert takes place just off the beach and is perfect for the adrenaline seeking music fans who wish to listen to superb music and bask in the Portuguese sunset with a drink in hand. There is also the opportunity for those visiting the festival to enjoy the very best of Portuguese surfing as the adrenaline inducing waves provide the perfect chance to burn off some of that energy from the NOS Alive partying. The Ribeira d`Ilhas Beach, where one of the world surfing championship event is held every year is one of the most exhilarating surfing experiences in the country, whilst Carcavelos is the largest beach on the Lisbon/Cascais coastline and is the birthplace of Portuguese surfing.
Check these videos that show the essences of the Portuguese Summer.