Many people overlook winter breaks in favour of the sun, sea and sand that a summer holiday brings. However, what they are missing is not just cheaper prices and less tourists in destinations that usually become overrun with tourists but also a number of unique opportunities to explore. Before you head off anywhere, don’t forget to pack your EHIC card to make sure you are covered for any medical treatment you may need while you’re away. Here’s why Portugal is one of the most amazing places to visit in winter.
Portuguese cities like Lisbon are famous for their extensive tram networks. You can jump on a tram from anywhere in the city and explore a new district. One of the best districts to visit in Lisbon in the winter is Bairro Alto, which has plenty of unique bars and cool street art. You can also pay €2.80 to get the elevator at the top of Santa Justa which will give you amazing views right across the city.
Visiting Portugal in the winter, when all the busy tourist season crowds have gone, gives you the opportunity to really live like a local. You can avoid typical tourist trap restaurants and find out where the locals eat to really get an insight into the typical cuisine. You’ll find that the people are friendly and take the time to get to know you.
Popular destinations like Algarve are so much quieter in the winter. This gives you the chance to get off the beaten track and explore. Some of the most stunning cliff paths with views out to the ocean are only accessible on foot, so take the time to explore and get to know the area.
It might seem like a summer activity but wine tasting in winter will give you a chance to explore the vineyards undisturbed. Porto is one of the most beautiful places to visit for winter wine tasting. You’ll be given a guided tour of the winery and given the chance to explore and admire the stunning scenery around you. The rolling hills of the vineyard look beautiful all year round. Porto also has a beautiful town, with traditional medieval cobblestone streets.
Let’s not forget that some of the best celebrations of the year happen in winter- Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Visiting Portugal at either of these times gives you a guaranteed chance to celebrate in style. Christmas in Portugal is defined by enormous decorations lining all of the city streets, huge Christmas trees and amazing Christmas markets.One of the most famous destinations to visit at Christmastime is the small village of Obidos, which transforms itself into a Christmas village like something straight out of your favourite festive films. There are huge fireworks displays for New Year’s Eve in Lisbon, right outside the famous Belém Tower. After the display, the streets will come to life with huge outdoor parties. There is no better way to celebrate.
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