Reasons to visit and love Portugal

Yes, you’re looking at a small European country that barely shows on the Map. Nonetheless, it was selected, three times in a row, as the World’s Leading Destination by the World Travel Awards!

If this small fact doesn’t give you the chills to travel, and if it doesn’t bring out the wanderlust impulses for you to travel and visit Portugal… maybe the rest of this article will.

Zorhan Mokoele | TDO local expert from South Africa


By Aris

Either bathing under the Caribbean sun, or digging in the soft snow on the Alpes… the world is too big for me to stay in just one place. My philosophy? No time to visit the same place time twice, so I intend to make the most of it every single time. Give me a few Dollars, a couple of Tonic Gin’s and a Passport… and you won’t see me for the next 10 years ☺

a Porto based traveler

Portugal was always known for its great potential when it comes to planning your holidays: it’s a cheap destination with amazing views, countless sunny days, and… superb food - I should put this in bold, really.

Portuguese people are often known for being one of the friendliest, funniest, and most helpful citizens on top of the world – and all of these makes them incredible hosts for all foreigners.

The average Portuguese is in love with the Portuguese guitar, the famous Portuguese Fadosinger Mariza, the Portuguese tiles in most houses… and yet, they listen to music from Angola, eat tons of Japanese and Spanish food, watch TV series from Brazil, and their direct cousins are probably French or German. The country is steeped into local culture, and yet it remains opened to everything new.

If you’re more interested in getting to know the views across the country you chose for your holidays… you also came to the right spot. You just need to decide which kind of holidays you’re planning on having, and Portugal will present you with countless choices - from beach to the mountains, from city to village… whether you prefer a calm stay, or a rush for adrenaline. Or… you can mix all the choices together and get the perfect combo.

If you are a sun chaser, you can find your paradise on the beaches in the South of Portugal, Algarve, where you can find breathtaking places such as the cave Caverna de Benagli. It’s the perfect “Instagrammable” spot for you to update your albums.

A few kilometers to the north, in Évora, there is one of the most scary historical Chapels on the face of the earth: Capela dos Ossos which contains around 5,000 real human bones and the not-so-inviting message in the front “we, bones, in here… we’re waiting for your bones to arrive”.

Another place with great historical power, closer to the capital Lisbon, is a small place called Sintra – here, you will come across incredible green gardens and the most colorful and inspiring Palace you’ll probably see your entire life (Palácio da Pena e Quinta da Regaleira).

If you are more of a nature person, then Azores is the perfect Portuguese archipelago for you. This is the dream destination for any Trail lover, who enjoys being mesmerized by the landscapes. One of the most incredible views in Portugal, sits here, in Azores, at a place called “Lagoa das Sete Cidades”.

Some promising city centers you may also fall in love with, are the capital (Lisbon), the biggest academic city (Coimbra), and the passionate city of Porto. This last one is a must-have on your travel list, especially if you are visiting during the month of June: there is a huge and amazing local party that fills the streets with joy – and food. It’s called “São João do Porto” and happens every year, on the 23rd June. Everyone goes out on the street, they eat sardines on top of bread, and they dance until their hips can’t take it anymore. There are fireworks at midnight, launched by small traditional boats on the river, and the local culture tells you to take a plastic hammer with you and hit other people with it – for good luck.

Portugal is a country that is rich in culture and landscapes when it comes to scheduling your vacations, but it is also known for the incredibly tasty gastronomy. During your trip to Portugal, you will find more dishes you want to taste, than days remaining on your vacation plan. The typical dish is codfish, Bacalhau, that Portuguese people cook in 1000 different ways (and all of them good, honestly). In the north, you’ll find Francesinha, which is a huge sandwich with all kind of meat you can think of, immersed in cheese, and has beer sauce on top. For desert, the famous Pastel de Nata is always a good choice.

Just bear in mind that if you scheduled dinner with a Portuguese seat 8:00pm, he/she is likely to arrive around 8:30pm.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how awesome this small country is, and its potential for offering some of the most amazing vacation days you’ve even had. Portugal is a small pearl hidden from the rest of the Europe, and it is ready for you to take it in your hand. So… book your flight and enjoy the ride!