5 Reasons to Visit Portugal This Winter

October 31, 2014 Updated: February 24, 2015

Thousands of people flock to Portugal every summer to spend a warm holiday by the beach. But do you know when the real magic of Portugal can be seen? In winter.

Surprised, right?

Even though Portugal sees thousands of visits each year, a majority never travel there in winter, making it the best time to visit. Tourists will be far and few between, and prices of food and hotel will be cheaper, not to mention the different travel agencies. I recommend First Choice—they can help you to find a good deal during this time. So if you’re still looking for the perfect winter getaway this year, why not make it a Portugal holiday for the holidays?

Let’s take a look at five reasons to visit Portugal this winter:

Spend New Year’s Eve in Exciting Lisbon

 

Lisbon (Beth Williams, BesuDesu Abroad)
Lisbon (Beth Williams, BesuDesu Abroad)

 

New Year’s Eve is always fun, especially when you’re in Portugal. Ring in the New Year by spending it in the country’s capital, Lisbon. Celebrate with others at the Praça do Comércio (also known as Terreiro do Paço), near the Tagus River. However, if you are looking for a less crowded location, elsewhere near the river also provides a good view of the fireworks. Afterward, swing by the Bairro Alto district to visit bars that are open through the night.

Sip Delicious Wines

Wine is all over Portugal. Whether it is white, red, or rosé, Portugal has it all. Try their Vinho Verde, a class of young and slightly sparkling wine that comes in white, red, or rosé, meant to be consumed within a year of bottling. If you are looking for a particular region, wineries along the Douro River in northern Portugal produce famous Port and dry wines.

Hike the Algarve Region

 

Portugal coast (Beth Williams, BesuDesu Abroad)
Portugal coast (Beth Williams, BesuDesu Abroad)

 

Located in the southern part of Portugal, the Algarve region is separated from the Alentejo region to the north by mountains. With that being said, winter is a great time to visit this traditionally touristy region and explore this area. For the committed walker, challenge yourself by walking the Algarve Way, which runs across the region. Start from the Spanish border to the east and reward yourself with the wonderful views of Cape St. Vincent in the southwest coast of the country. You can get to the Algarve region via the Faro Airport or through the inexpensive rail links that run through this region. The rail links provide a great way to get around and allows you to see what the area has to offer. The climate here is great for walking even in winter, with average highs ranging from 60–70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Go Skiing in Serra da Estrela

At almost 6,600 feet tall, the Serra da Estrela the highest mountain range in Portugal. It is a wonderful place to enjoy various winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, or tubing. Known as the “Star Mountain Range” you can find a small ski resort with four ski lifts and nine runs. With courses for beginners to experts, it is a great place for everyone to enjoy the snow and have fun.

Enjoy Beaches in the Winter

 

Portugal beach (Beth Williams, BesuDesu Abroad)
Portugal beach (Beth Williams, BesuDesu Abroad)

 

Who said you can only enjoy beaches only in the summer? You can find beautiful beaches in Portugal. While the Algarve region in southern Portugal is famous for its beaches, you can also enjoy stretches of beach in Costa Verde located in northern Portugal. If walks on sandy beaches are not your thing, Guincho Beach at Costa da Prata offers surfers amazing waves up to 80 feet.

Copyright © 2014 by BesuDesu Abroad. This article was written by Beth Williams and originally published on www.besudesuabroad.com.