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Opodo Travel Blog
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If you’re looking for a year-round travel destination that combines culture, fun activities, beautiful landscapes and gastronomic experiences, Portugal is the ideal choice. The appeal of this gorgeous country continues through all seasons, offering travellers a multitude of opportunities to explore, enjoy and create new memories. 

From its warm climate to its rich cultural heritage, Portugal’s charm knows no bounds. Whether you’re looking for winter sun, culture, adventure or simply a relaxing getaway, Portugal should be on your travel bucket list all year long.

If you’re not convinced yet, read our list of 7 things to visit in Portugal that are enjoyable and accessible in any season of the year.



1. Great weather all year round

Portugal’s pleasant climate throughout the year allows for a wide range of activities all year round. In winter, mild temperatures and abundant sunshine make it a top choice for escaping the cold. Coastal regions like the Algarve offer tranquil beaches, coastal walks, and the chance to taste local cuisine in bustling taverns.

© AT Algarve
© AT Algarve

In the summer, Portugal’s regions of The Algarve and Lisbon are absolute paradise, with sunny beaches perfect for swimming, windsurfing, and scuba diving. For nature lovers, Alentejo offers green landscapes for hiking and scenic boat trips along its picturesque coast.

Portugal is also rich in cultural treasures. Lisbon, Porto, and Évora offer a wealth of history and architecture, as well as year-round local festivals, flea markets, and open-air concerts. For wine enthusiasts, a visit to the Douro and Alentejo wine regions is a must. Enjoy tastings in local wineries and discover the art of Portuguese winemaking.

Whether you want to relax on the beach, play sports, explore historic cities, taste local cuisine, or unwind in nature, Portugal provides a range of experiences thanks to its mild and sunny climate.


2. Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Portugal takes pride in being home to a variety of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with 29 in total scattered across the country, bearing testimony to its rich history and natural beauty. Here’s our round up of ten of Portugal’s top UNESCO sites that you can explore all year long:

  • Tower of Belém (Lisbon) – This elegant watchtower stands proudly on the banks of the Tagus River in Lisbon. Built in the 16th century, it is an exceptional example of Manueline architecture, marking Portugal’s golden age as a maritime power.
© Turismo Lisboa
© Turismo Lisboa
  • Historic Centre of Oporto – The historic center of Porto is a labyrinth of cobblestone streets, picturesque squares, ancient churches, and colorful facades. It reflects the city’s rich history and is famous for its welcoming atmosphere. Get lost in its winding alleys to truly feel the city’s vibrancy.
  • Monastery of Batalha – The Monastery of Batalha is a masterpiece of late Gothic and Manueline architecture. Its construction spanned over two centuries, and it’s easy to see why—the sculptural details are unique and breathtaking.
  • Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture – On Pico Island in the Azores, vines grow in a lunar-like landscape, enclosed by stone walls to protect them from the wind. It’s a unique example of how humans have adapted agriculture to a challenging environment – why not combine it with a wine tasting from one of the fantastic local cellars!
  • University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia – Coimbra’s old university is one of the oldest in Europe. Its historic buildings and gardens offer a fascinating glimpse into higher education in Portugal spanning centuries.
  • Cultural Landscape of Sintra – The town of Sintra is a true fairy tale with its romantic palaces, castles, exotic gardens, and lush forests. It’s a place of beauty and inspiration. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a movie!
  • Alto Douro Wine Region – The Douro Valley is the birthplace of the famous Port wine. The terraced vineyards offer a spectacular panorama and are an exceptional example of traditional agriculture. Many wineries allow you to taste their wines, which also make great souvenirs to bring back and share with loved ones.
  • Historic Centre of Évora – Évora is a perfectly preserved medieval city with ancient city walls, Gothic churches, and a Roman temple. It’s a captivating journey back in time.


© RR-TdP
© RR-TdP
  • Monastery of Alcobaça – The Alcobaça Monastery is a jewel of Portuguese Gothic style,  famous for its sculptures and romantic history.
  • Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications – The town of Elvas is an impressive fortress with walls, bastions, and military fortifications. It is a testament to the city’s strategic importance in Portugal’s history.


3. Play sports in any season

Portugal offers sports enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy their favorite activities all year round. During the winter, the country is a perfect destination for both surfing and skiing. The rugged coastline on the west, encompassing Peniche, Nazaré, and Ericeira, is renowned for its world-class waves, attracting surfers from around the globe. Meanwhile, snow lovers can head to the Serra da Estrela mountains for skiing, snowboarding, and mountain hiking. Covilhã, located nearby, serves as a perfect starting point for winter sports enthusiasts, with a wide variety of trails and slopes suitable for all skill levels.


© ATAlgarve
© ATAlgarve

In the summer, Portugal truly comes alive as a sports paradise. The long, sun-drenched coastline is perfect for scuba diving, with crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life to explore. Cyclists and hikers can take to the scenic trails and winding roads that crisscross the country, offering breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature. Two possibilities: 

  • The Algarve region offers a scenic coastal route with smooth roads and breathtaking sea views, enjoying the Mediterranean climate.
  • The Douro Valley, a real cyclist and hikings paradise. You can pedal or walk through terraced vineyards and along the winding Douro River, taking in the vineyard-covered hillsides.


4. Ready to party at Portugal’s festivals and celebrations

Portugal’s vibrant festival scene offers a delightful array of cultural celebrations. Every festival is very unique and shows a big part of the identity of the country. Take part in one of them to discover more about the country’s traditional culture, and the warm welcome of the people : 

  • Carnival in Madeira (February) – The Carnival in Madeira in February is a colorful celebration with parades, costumes, and street parties.
  • Essência do Vinho Wine Festival in Porto (February) – This wine festival in Porto in February showcases an impressive selection of Portuguese wines.
  • Santo António de Pádua and São João Festivals (June) – These religious festivals in Lisbon and Porto in June offer processions, feasts, and dancing in the streets.
  • Madeira Flower Festival (April) – The Flower Festival in Madeira in April decorates the streets of Funchal with vibrant flowers and parades.
  • Christmas & New Year Celebrations in Lisbon (December) – The Christmas and New Year celebrations in Lisbon in December are marked by famous festive markets and dazzling fireworks.
© Francisco Correira-AP Madeira
© Francisco Correira-AP Madeira


5. Taste the gastronomic delights of Portugal

Portugal’s culinary scene is delight, inviting you to taste its delicious dishes and partake in wine tastings regardless of the season. In the colder months, indulge in heartwarming stews like Cozido à Portuguesa, a Portuguese-style stew and Caldo Verde, a green soup with cabbage. The festive period brings Bolo Rei, a traditional Christmas cake, and Rabanadas, Portuguese-style French toast. A Porto speciality to try: Francesinha. A comforting dish, perfect for cold weather that’s anything but light! It’s a dish of ham, sausage and beer sauce, topped with eggs and melted cheese.

Spring sees the emergence of tender asparagus and fresh peas, elevating salads and seafood plates. Summertime is perfect for seafood delights. Bacalhau and sardines, for example, are real local specialities: you won’t find flavours like this anywhere else.

© Pedro Reis-Algarve Promotion Bureau
© Pedro Reis-Algarve Promotion Bureau

As autumn arrives, chestnuts and wild mushrooms make their appearance, enhancing traditional dishes like Migas, a bread stuffing flavoured with local herbs or Açorda, a soup made from thin slices of bread with garlic and finely chopped coriander. And of course, don’t miss the Pasteis de Nata, a typical pastry to be enjoyed without moderation all year round

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Portugal’s wine culture through tastings in the renowned wine regions like the Douro Valley and Alentejo, making your gastronomic journey complete with exquisite pairings.


6. Urban escapades for those short stays

Portugal’s cities provide short-stay possibilities with the convenience of proximity. Cities are well-connected, making it easy to combine visits to multiple destinations, in a short time.


The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, offers a dynamic urban experience. Its vibrant life is defined by historic districts like Alfama and Bairro Alto, where you can get lost in narrow cobblestone streets, taste delectable pastries in local cafés, and enjoy breathtaking views from São Jorge Castle. Lisbon combines its rich history with contemporary attractions, including world-class museums, lively markets, and a thriving arts scene. No matter when you visit, Lisbon’s charm is ever-present.

© Turismo Lisboa
© Turismo Lisboa


Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto, is a bustling metropolis nestled along the Douro River. Known for its historic and architectural beauty, Porto boasts a UNESCO-listed historic center where you can wander through narrow alleys, explore ancient churches, and visit renowned port wine cellars. The city’s vibrant riverside, bustling markets, and lively café culture make it an attractive destination.

© Porto Convention & Visitors Bureau
© Porto Convention & Visitors Bureau


A short trip from Lisbon, Sintra offers a unique urban escape. This fairytale-like town is famous for its enchanting palaces and lush gardens, most notably the colorful Pena Palace. Sintra’s rich history, combined with its natural beauty, makes it a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a captivating destination for a short stay. From exploring royal retreats to strolling through romantic gardens, Sintra provides a whimsical experience that’s enjoyable all year long.

© Turismo Cascais
© Turismo Cascais


7. Enjoy the variety and diversity of Portugal

Portugal’s charm lies in its incredible variety and diversity, making it a welcoming destination. From the picturesque coastline with its rugged cliffs and golden beaches to the serene and enchanting countryside dotted with vineyards and olive groves, Portugal offers a wide range of landscapes to explore. The country’s vibrant festivals and celebrations, such as Lisbon’s Santo António or Porto’s São João, provide an opportunity to immerse in its rich culture. And in the tranquil southern regions, like the Algarve, visitors can unwind and enjoy the Mediterranean way of life. Whether you’re seeking adventure, culture, or relaxation, Portugal’s multifaceted allure ensures there’s something for every traveler.


Whether you are planning your next escape in the middle of winter or the peak of summer, Portugal promises an unforgettable experience ready to be explored all year long!


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