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Portugal Destination Guide

Exclusively Elegant Travel Since 1988

For more information, please call our Travel Consultants on:01244 897 771

Your guide from the Luxury Travel Experts


Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for Portugal, created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Travel Consultants.

Overview+

Capital Lisbon
Language Portugese
Time Difference 1 hours
Currency Euro
Voltage 230V

In the lively capital of Lisbon, the oldest district, Alfama is a wonderful mazelike network of winding lanes and steep staircases, leading to hidden churches and traditional taverns, with an old-fashioned trams still rattling through the streets. The city also has an eclectic array of restaurants, colourful boutiques, Bohemian cafes and stylish nightclubs that make good use of their waterside settings. Along with its northern sibling, Porto, the two cities offer picturesque neighbourhoods and broad plazas. Across the river from Porto, the picturesque port houses of Vila Nova de Gaia offer a taste of the country's best port wines. Meanwhile, small towns offer their own enchantment, with well-preserved medieval quarters that invite exploring in towns such as Évora, Coimbra, Guimarães and Braga.

Beyond the cities and towns, enjoy Portugal's warm sunny weather while exploring centuries-old vineyards, visiting stone villages in the mountains or soaking up rays on the magnificent southern shoreline. Here, dramatic scenery lies all along the coast, from windswept cliffs with dramatic views to wild dune-covered beaches. The Algarve is a popular beach destination and is renowned for its concentration of award-winning golf courses that can be played most of the year.

Highlights+
Festivals

Traditional festivals with dancing, drinking and feasting occur throughout the year, including Lisbon's festival of St Anthony in June and the Madeira Flower Festival at Easter.

Beaches

With an enviably mild year-round climate, The Algarve is the perfect place for a family holiday. For tranquil seas perfect for all ages, head for the Sotavento region. And if celebrity spotting and stylish sunbathing is your thing then the beach of Ancão, between Quinto do Lago and Vale de Lobo is the place to visit. The beaches of the Ria Formosa are also supremely popular, dotted with islands and lagoons, this picturesque nature park is home to miles and miles of sandy beaches. Choose Armona beach for the awe-inspiring sunsets.

Culture

Portugal's heritage is fascinating, its history and culture can be seen everywhere, still influencing its landscapes, cities and people. Moorish legends, traditional houses, castles and roman ruins all vie for your attention whilst local handicrafts, artworks and cuisine still retain much of their historical significance.

Golf

As well as being a superb holiday destination for all the family, Portugal is also renowned for being a golfer's paradise and the Algarve stands out as a highlight due to its thirty or so high-class courses. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice to the great game, there’s a course that’s just right for you, many of them designed by legends such as Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore and Arnold Palmer. Many are also home to International competitions, so if practicing your swing where the professional’s play is your thing, then head to courses such as San Lorenzo or the Old Course at Vilamoura.

Cuisine & Fine Wine

Excellent cuisine is at the heart of any Portuguese holiday. Plentiful delights caught fresh from the sea will grace many a table, whether it be simple grilled fish, succulent and mouth watering, or a more elaborate seafood dish awash with juicy shellfish. While port is naturally associated with the country, it also boasts some very fine wine such as Douro and Alentejo reds.

Islands

Madeira has to be one of the most beautiful islands in the whole of Europe, noted for its stunning gardens filled with dazzlingly beautiful and exotic flowers, it’s a must for all nature lovers. It also boasts a spectacular New Years Eve firework display ranked as the biggest in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. Be sure to sample some of the delicious Madeira wine – the perfect end to any meal. And the best place to stay while on the island has to be the classic Belmond Reid's Palace.

Travel Gems+

Travel Planning
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about

Sir Cliff Richard's Vineyard
For a very special treat, why not arrange a tour of the vineyard Adega do Cantor in the Quinta do Miradouro region? This is home to the wines created by Sir Cliff Richard. Sir Cliff has been visiting The Algarve for over 40 years and when there, can often be seen getting his hands dirty in the vineyard helping cultivate the precious vines. Our Travel Concierge would be delighted to arrange everything for you so click here to speak to them in more details.

Climate+

The Algarve in southern Portugal boasts long, sunny days year-round with little rainfall, while Sintra near Lisbon in central Portugal enjoys a similar climate with hot summer days and little rainfall. April to October enjoys the warmest weather, while winter can also be mild and extremely pleasant throughout Portugal , but this is when most rain falls.                         

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Portugal.

  Temp °C Rain mm
January1597
February1668
March1854
April1941
May2230
June2517
July292
August293
September2716
October2354
November1983
December16100

Getting There+

Flight Information
British Airways from London Gatwick and London Heathrow to Faro and from London Heathrow to Lisbon. easyjet from London Gatwick to Faro. UK departures and charter flights are also available.

Flight Time
From London Heathrow to Faro: 2 hours, 30 minutes. London Heathrow to Lisbon: 2 hours, 40 minutes.

Travel Documentation+

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.

For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk

Health+

Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/

In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.

Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net, www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

Talk to our Europe & North Africa Experts

Our dedicated Europe & North Africa Experts are ready to help you design your luxury holiday to Portugal. Furthermore, we have 14 Travel Consultants who have personally visited Portugal and can offer you their first-hand knowledge and experience.

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