Buzzing with culture and beautiful beaches, Portugal should be near the top of any list of places to visit. The lively square of Rossio is a must-visit in the capital city of Lisbon and the volcanic islands of The Azores offer spectacular views and the opportunity to really get away from it all. Hikers should be sure to visit Madeira Island for its gorgeous nature reserve Ponta de São Lourenço. If you're looking for relaxation during your Portugal holiday head to the Algarve, home to excellent golf courses and white-sand beaches.
With so many airlines offering direct flights to Portugal it's pretty easy to pick up a cheap deal. Flights from the UK land at one of three airports on the mainland: Faro Airport, Porto Airport and Lisbon Airport. You can also fly direct to the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and Ponta Delgada.
Portugal offers a fairly efficient and cheap bus service connecting most major cities and towns - Rede Expresso is one of the larger inter-city bus companies. Keep in mind that you can encounter traffic during rush hour - particularly in Lisbon and Porto - so it can take a while to get around!
One of the best ways to explore the beautiful scenery of Portugal is by hiring a car - allowing you to have all the freedom you want. You can enquire about car hire in Portugal at all major airports when you land in the country, but the cheapest option is to book in advance online.
Like many European countries Portugal can be quite expensive but it's possible to find cheap hotels in Portugal as long as you book well in advance. If possible avoid visiting Portugal during the school holidays as prices are at their most expensive. You'll get the best bargains between March and April and October and November and the weather will still be very pleasant.
Eating out in Portugal doesn't have to break the bank – just make sure you source out the small traditional eateries instead of the touristy places. The country is famous for its grilled chicken which is delicious marinated in olive oil, chilli and garlic. Alternatively if fish is more your thing try bacalhau (salt cod) – you'll be able to get it everywhere and it's very cheap!
If you plan to do a lot of sightseeing during your holiday to Portugal it can be worth purchasing a tourist card. The Lisboa Card, for example, offers discounts on over 80 attractions and free travel on public transport and could help you save a fair bit. Have a look at the various different offers to see what best suits your plans and your budget.
Updated 23rd July 2014
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