When thinking about that summer vacation, the first places that spring to mind are Greece, Italy or even Spain. Portugal doesn’t usually come to mind at all. Firstly, it is much smaller than any of those countries and secondly it isn’t on the Mediterranean but, instead by the North Atlantic.
Until fairly recently, most folks in the US wouldn’t have considered Portugal as a ‘sun’ and ‘fun’ destination. But things are changing and especially since the end of the pandemic. Today we are seeing large numbers of Americans interested in visiting Portugal.
So, what is the attraction – besides the fact that you can travel and vacation and still enjoy your relax-time with your fav Everygame Poker on your phone?
Why are tourists attracted to Portugal?
Portugal has many hidden gems, fabulous beaches and is really very affordable. It is located in the most western portion of the Iberian Peninsula, meaning Europe’s westernmost state. It has always been a chosen destination for Europeans looking sunny break but only recently has become popular with American travelers.
Now that the pandemic is truly behind us Americans are excited to start travelling again. And even more so, to travel to new destinations and fits the bill. Crossing over the pond for Americans usually means heading to London or Ireland or even, these being the most searched destinations. This could be due to the US and Britain have strong historical connections.
But a change is taking place. More Americans visited Portugal this year than ever before. Great beaches, nice weather, lots of cultural happenings and lower prices are just some of the main reasons.
The Capital, Lisbon
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is an ancient city full of cobblestone streets and beautiful ancient looking buildings, literally a feast for the eyes and quintessentially European. Lisbon is also a wonderful destination for foodies. Strolling around the different districts you’ll find many eateries offering the well- known Portuguese delicacy “pasteis de nata” and more.
Exploring Beyond the Capital
Travelling around outside of the capital you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic coast together with beautiful golden beaches. For those who like to swim, the water may not be as warm as that of the Mediterranean, but it comes as a heavenly respite from the hot summer temperatures that are usual in the summer months in Portugal.
The Algarve, located in Southern Portugal is where you will find many of the most swim friendly beaches or you can make your way to Lagos, a small welcoming seaside city. If you enjoy surfing, Nazare is the best place to visit where “towering waves seem to rise up in the skies and crash against the shoreline.”
Heading north, you will reach Porto. This is Portugal’s second most important metropolitan area and a very popular place for a “city break”. Here there are lots of quaint cobbled streets with cafes and bars at every corner, with tramways crossing over.
The ancient hidden gems to visit
Two places definitely not to be missed are Aveiro and Evora. Aveiro is a city of canals often referred to as the Portuguese Venice. Evora is an ancient Roman pagan temple built in the 6th century BC called the Temple of Diana.
Portugal is an affordable option
In comparison with all other European destinations, Portugal is very inexpensive. Western Europe is usually more expensive than the East so this is an interesting fact because Portugal is Europe’s most westernmost state.
According to the Savvy Backpacker between $43 and $81 should be budgeted per day for a trip to Lisbon. You could even manage on less if you don’t eat in some of the more expensive restaurants.
A single person can live on about $756 a month, excluding housing, according to Numbeo. It is also reported that Lisbon is around 31.7% cheaper than it is to live in Paris. The average price of a meal in a less pricy restaurant in Lisbon being $13.
If you are planning to spend some time in central Lisbon, BudgetYourTrip says you will likely need to spend $109 for a single room. This price is based on information gathered from approximately 1691 different lodging places. However, it is definitely possible to pay far less, say $23 if you stay in a hostel or a little more in a privately owned guesthouse.
Visiting Portugal in the Off-Season
Owing to the low cost of living in Portugal, the perfect weather – 300 sunny days per year – good quality of life and services, people are flocking there more than any other place in Europe.
It is possible to travel non-stop from the US New York, Newark, Miami and Boston to Portugal, directly to Lisbon and Porto. And tickets are affordable at around $533 one way.