Portugal is a country situated in Southwestern Europe, on the Iberia Peninsula at the western tip of Europe with Spain. Lisbon or Lisboa, is a capital and historic largest city in portugal. Portugal has a rich, unique culture, an old-fashioned charm, beautiful countryside, with medieval castles and villages scattered over meandering coastlines and flower-covered hillsides.
Portuguese is the official language of portugal.The country o
ffers outstanding landscape diversity, due to its North-South disposition along the western shore of the Iberian peninsula. You can travel in a single day from green mountains in the North, covered with vines and all varieties of trees to rocky mountains, with spectacular slopes and falls in the Centre, to a near-desert landscape in the Alentejo region and finally to the glamorous beach holidays destination Algarve.
If you want a condensed view of European landscapes, culture and way of life, Portugal might very well fit the bill.
Portugal is a nation rich in history, yet itâ€™s also popular with holidaymakers simply seeking some sun, sea and sand. Whatever your reasons for wanting to visit, weâ€™ve put together a shortlist of just some of the fantastic things you can see and do when youâ€™re there.
For starters, the Douro River is a must. Itâ€™s one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flow
ing across Spain and Portugal to its final destination at Porto, and the natural environment has really been left to flourish. Youâ€™ll find olives, almonds and grapes growing along the banks, which of course resulted in Port wine â€“ made in this region. With some beautiful views, itâ€™s the perfect setting for a sunny stroll whilst learning about the riverâ€™s history along the way.
BelÃ©m Tower, based in Lisbon, is a popular destination for lovers of architecture and history. The Medieval tower dates back to the 16th century and played a significant part in Portuguese maritime history. Commissioned by King John II, it has an interesting design which sees it expand out over the sea, resembling a pier. The Tower is open for public viewing Tuesday-Sundays and is closed on bank holidays.
Just outside of Braga in the north is Bom Jesus do Monte - a Catholic sanctuary and popular tourism spot thanks to its unusual and intriguing stairway up to the church. The zig-zagging stairs span 381 feet, and with their bright white sides and statues create an intimidatingly beautiful path.
Then thereâ€™s the Dom LuÃs I Bridge; a massive structure joining Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia over the Douro River. At the time of its construction in 1880 it was the longest bridge of its kind in the world, spanning across 172m. The bridgeâ€™s arch is around 44m high and provides some breathtaking views from both the upper and lower decks; the lower being used for general traffic and pedestrians, and the upper by pedestrians and a light rail line.
You may also like to visit the AlcobaÃ§a Monastery - a beautiful medieval monastery founded by the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques. Based in Oeste, the architecture at the Monastery is a work of art both inside and out. It boasts royal tombs and chapels, and its heritage is something the whole family can enjoy learning about.
Last but certainly not least are those gorgeous beaches. The Algarve and Lisbon are both incredibly popular with holidaymakers young and old, with the former boasting some of cleanest and most scenic in Southern Europe, and Lisbon the only capital on the continent to be located so close to beautiful shoreline.
Weâ€™ve barely even scratched the surface of what Portugal has to offer â€“ go and see for yourself!
Finding something to do in Portugal is as easy as 1-2-3; thereâ€™s a wealth of attractions just a short drive from the main cities and airports, so renting a vehicle ensures you are in control of your day trips.
Just 40 minutes from Faro Airport is Zoomarine in the Algarve -
home to many water-based animals such as seals and dolphins. The dolphin enclosure allows visitors to swim with the dolphins as well as view their shows. With so much to see and do here, the Zoomarine is a great day out for all ages.
Not far away is the Aquashow - a great combination of theme park and water park, making it perfect for both kids and thrill-seeking adults alike. Itâ€™s around 40 minutes from central Faro and just 20 minutes from Faro airport, so all in all itâ€™s a quick and easy day out. The park also has a hotel, so if youâ€™re planning an action-packed day it doubles up as a fun place to stay as well as visit.
The Lisbon Oceanarium is a large aquarium home to some of the most exotic fish youâ€™ll come across, as well as penguins, otters, sharks, jellyfish, seahorses, and more. They have some conservation projects that you can get involved in during your visit, and dozens of activities on offer such as an hour-long meeting with a biologist. A 15-minute drive from Lisbonâ€™s centre makes it highly accessible for those staying in the city, but if you happen to be staying near the beautiful stretch of Comporta the drive is a little longer at just over an hour.
Golf is a popular sport in Portugal and youâ€™ll find many golf courses available for you to play on. The hotspot for this is Vilamoura - a classy high end area where many celebrities and professional hang out. Itâ€™s just a 45-minute drive from central Faro, making it easily accessible for a day on the greens.
Regardless of what area of Portugal youâ€™re visiting, you wonâ€™t have to go far to find many different companies offering activities such as sky-diving, scuba-diving, go-karting, boat trips, and off-road safaris. You can book these in advance, find an excursions outlet, or your hotel may be able to set these up for you.
If youâ€™re looking for car hire in Portugal, youâ€™ve come to the right place! AtlasChoice has everything you need: An array of car hire stations across the country, and pick up/drop off options from any city, holiday resort, airport or major r
Weâ€™ve also got a wide range of manufacturers and models on offer, so you can rest assured that there will be a vehicle perfectly suited for your car hire experience. To help you figure out what that might be, here are a few suggestions.
Firstly, youâ€˜ve made an excellent decision by heading to Portugal. With so much stunning scenery ranging from valleys to rivers, mountains to monasteries, itâ€™s a beautiful country to take a driving tour.
Need a refreshing break? Portugal boasts some of the worldâ€™s best vineyards open to the public, most of which are set amongst beautiful landscapes with miles of lush, green foliage. Wine tasting is a great activity to participate in, although remember â€“ one of you has to be the designated driver!
The country is also known for its jaw-dropping views. Portugalâ€™s mountains allow you to see for miles around, and make the perfect setting for a sunny drive or a romantic sunset tour. A trip from Cascais to Cabo da Roca, for example, will provide you with fantastic sights of the sea, winding forest roads, and traditional villages bursting with culture â€“ all in just half an hour.
When booking your car hire for Portugal, ensure that you choose the vehicle that meets all of your car hire requirements in terms of size, room for luggage, and air conditioning. There are extras available too, such as adding one or more additional drivers, a child safety seat, and a navigation system.
Before you leave home make sure you have the details for your car hire reservation, a valid driving license, your credit card, and identification for your car hire in Portugal. After that, youâ€™re all set to have an amazing time.