Portugal Destination Guide

By Jade Hindley

Bordering Spain and located on the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is a southern European country with a lot to offer. With stunning beaches in the Algarve, medieval castles, idyllic villages, charming cities such as Porto and Lisbon, and a rich, captivating culture, it is clear once you visit why a lot of people rank the country so high on their favourite place lists. 

Azenhas do Mar

Weather

Portugal is one of the warmest countries in Europe, which means it is an ideal break any time of the year. The coastal cities and towns are slightly cooler than inland due to the breeze blowing in from the Atlantic, however the majority of the country has a Mediterranean climate. Average rainfall is very low during the summer months and the temperatures are quite steady throughout.

Low Season: December – March

Shoulder Season: April – June, September – November

High Season: July-August

Ribeira, Porto Old Town

Budgeting

The currency in Portugal is Euros. You can arrange a currency exchange before you travel, purchase a currency card, or exchange money once you have arrived.

We have included below some average costs to help you budget for your trip.

 

Accommodation

1 Night in a Dorm: £15 - £20

1 Night in a Budget Double Room: £30 - £60

1 Night in a Double Room: £60 - £100

1 Night in a Luxury Double Room - £100+

Hotel, Lisbon

Food

Budget Meal or Family Run Restaurant : £5 - £15

Restaurant Meal: £20 - £40

Luxury Restaurant Meal: £50 - £150

Restaurant, Madeira

Extras

Museums: £1 - £10

Train Ticket: £2+

Shot of Ginjinha: £1

Three Day Surf Course: £130+

Me at A Ginjinha, Lisbon

Tipping

Taxis: Round up to nearest Euro

Restaurants: 10% - 15%

Bars: A 10% tip for table service

Benagil Cave, Algarve

Food

Portuguese cuisine is so varied that is should have something to please every palate. Their specialities often involve seafood due to its proximity to the coast, which is referred to as the best fish in the world by many renowned chefs. The meals are based on quality products and traditional simple recipes, as well as unusual trends and innovations. You will find fresh produce markets all over Portugal, so even cooking for yourself on a self-catered trip is a treat in itself.   

Rossio Square, Lisbon

Ginjinha – This is a beautiful Portuguese cherry liqueur made by infusing ginja berries with alcohol and other ingredients, served as a shot. Try this at A Ginjinha in Lisbon, a fantastic little hole-in-the-wall bar just off Rossio Square!

A Ginjinja, Lisbon

Pasteis De Nata – These delicious egg custard tart pastries are native to Portugal and very popular among locals and tourists alike. Pasteis de Belém in Belém is a famous bakery and cafe perfect for sampling the delicacy, but be prepared to queue at peak times!

Belem Tower, Lisbon

Francesinha – This is the signature dish of Porto which translates to “little Frenchie” is adopted from the French croque monsieur. Steak, ham, sausage and chorizo covered in lashings of melted cheese and an optional fried egg, encompassed in two slices of bread or served bare with a mountain of chips. Enjoy this classic dish at Francesinha Café, A Cantarinha Café or Bufete Fase, all in Porto, and all voted as top spots!

Top Tip! If you're visiting Lisbon our Product Manager, Chris, has recommended visiting El Rei D'frango and ordering the octopus shown below!

Why not try a cooking lesson on your next trip? Call 0161 440 6735 for more information!

Portuguese Cooking Experience in Lisbon – From £70pp

Let your tastebuds do the exploring during this 4-hour cooking experience in Lisbon. Working with a Portuguese chef, you’ll prepare a 3-course menu of fish, meat, and dessert, and then sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Learn basic cooking techniques as well as how to prepare ingredients, and taste wine and olive oil as you go along. Enjoy feasting on a meal you’ve made yourself and mingle with your classmates as you discuss your newfound cooking skills. The meals prepared in this class are not vegetarian-friendly.

Market, Funchal

Phrases

Bom dia / Boa tarde / Boa noite

(Bom dee-ah / Boh-ah tard / Boh-ah noj-te)

Good morning / Good afternoon / Good night

 

Está tudo fixe!

(Esta tu-doh feesh)

Everything is good!

 

Obrigado

(ob-ree-gah-doe)

Thank You

Monsanto

Interesting Facts

1.       Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries! Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Principe, Sao Tome, and Equatorial Guinea.

2.       Portugal is one of the world's best surf spots with 497 miles of coastline and up to 364 days of surf. The biggest wave ever surfed and recorded was in February 2011 on the coast of Nazaré at 78ft!

3.       The traditional Portuguese form of folk music called Fado (meaning fate) has been given UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage status. You can hear this beautiful, soulful music in bars, cafes and restaurants across Portugal, but particularly in the Alfama District of Lisbon where the genre was born.

Arrifana Beach, Algarve

Call 0161 440 6730 to book your next adventure to Portugal!