Short days got you down? You’re not the only one – as winter closes in, we’ve got our sights set to the south. Leave the dour weather of the north behind for sunny Portugal. Once you get a taste of its fabulous beaches, fertile vineyards, and rich culture, you’ll find it hard to board your return flight.
In this article, we’ll cover the top things to do in one of Europe’s finest countries.
Soak Up Lisbon’s History
You’ll likely fly into Portugal via Lisbon, its capital. Unlike other ports of entry, Lisbon is a place worth lingering. It has a history dating back to the days of the Phoenicians. During the peak of the Roman Empire, it served as the capital of Lusitania.
It retained its importance for millennia, right through to the present day. Despite suffering a devastating earthquake in 1755, Lisbon has retained many historic buildings that date back centuries. Spend your first 2-3 days exploring sights like the Castle of São Jorge, Jeronimos Monastery, and the Torre de Belém.
But, also make time for random wandering. As you do, you’ll find things like the exquisite tilework Portugal is famous for, and fantastic hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
Check Out Casino Estoril
After a long day exploring the streets of Lisbon, you may want to kick back and relax. However, if you still got the energy for evening activities, get in a spot of gaming at Casino Estoril. This gambling palace has been entertaining patrons since 1916, and is currently one of the largest casinos in Europe.
Haven’t played live in a while? Shake off the rust by getting in a few rounds at an online casino. Sites like 20bet even have betting bonuses that could make you some extra cash beforehand. This way, you’ll have a fatter bankroll, as well as some practice before hitting the tables.
Be a Beach Bum in The Algarve
Before long, though, you’ll want to leave the city behind. If you need a bit of Vitamin Sea, make for The Algarve. This region is world-famous for the quality and beauty of its beaches. Backed by picturesque sandstone cliffs, its appearance will set you at ease at first sight.
The water, while not tropical, isn’t icy either. In November, the sea boasts an average temperature of 19 degrees Celsius, with warmer readings in shallower waters. Combine that with air temperatures that hang around 20 degrees in late Autumn, and it’s still a viable getaway.
Go Wine Touring Along the Douro
If you’d rather get in touch with Portugal’s rich wine farming history, head north. Along the Douro River, which extends inland from Porto, you’ll find numerous vineyards. Don’t miss Quinta da Roêda – as the oldest vineyard in the Douro Valley, they’ve produced vintages since 1588.
Quinta das Carvalhas is another property that’s worth the trip. Sitting high above the Douro, its terraced vineyard offers a view that’s become symbolic of the entire region. At every stop, you’ll have an opportunity to sample their wares. As such, ensure you have a designated driver – wine tours serve this purpose well.