Things To Do in Portugal
Portugal is famous for the quality and variety of its golf courses. Three-time British Open champion Sir Henry Cotton lived in the Algarve and designed a number of courses. Most courses are in the Algarve – where golf can be enjoyed year round - or in the Lisbon area, but good facilities do exist elsewhere, with coaching for golfers of all levels.
Surfing, windsurfing and sailing are extremely popular along Portugal’s 500-mile coastline and around its Atlantic islands. The Lisbon coast holds challenges for the more experienced surfer, while for everyone else the Algarve offers good conditions and plenty of equipment hire centres. Canoeing and kayaking are also popular on Portugal’s rivers.
Wildlife and natural beauty
With most visitors heading for the Algarve, vast areas of Portugal remain almost unexplored. In the Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal’s only national park, and the Park Natural de Montesinho, one of the wildest areas in Europe, visitors can see spectacular scenery, protected species such as the wolf and royal eagle, and villages that have hardly changed since medieval times.
Portugal has a proud equestrian tradition and the Lusitano horse is world famous. Facilities range from famous riding schools where experts can hone their dressage skills to stables where less experienced riders can take a horse out to enjoy the scenery.
Fishing is vital to the Portuguese, who eat ten times as much fish as they do meat. Visitors can find equipment, guides and charter boats along much of the west coast and the Algarve. Fish include swordfish, marlin, tuna, ray, salmon bass and mackerel. There is also superb fishing to be had in Portugal’s rivers and lakes. This also means that the restaurants are filled with fresh fish – a perfect meal to have whilst looking over a white sandy beach.
The Portuguese have a deep respect for their heritage and traditions and this is reflected in the festivals that are held in almost every city, town and village in Portugal. Festas are held throughout the year and offer the visitor an opportunity to experience local culture and cuisine.