Vacation rentals in Portugal
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Your guide to Portugal
All About Portugal
With historic cities, extravagant castles, idyllic beaches, and a renowned food and wine, Portugal offers visitors myriad memorable experiences. In the capital city of Lisbon, you’ll find incredible street art-covered buildings as well as historical landmarks like the 16th-century Tower of Belém — a UNESCO World Heritage site. St. George’s Castle towers over the city, while the spectacular neo-Gothic Santa Justa Lift rises above the rooftops for stunning views. Lisbon is famous for pastéis de nata, custard pastries created by Catholic monks in the 18th century, and people line up out the door of the local bakeries for the delicious treats.
Porto is Portugal’s second city, and its old town — which is a designated UNESCO Heritage site — is lined with cobbled streets, ornate churches, and beautifully tiled buildings decorated with distinct blue and white tiles called azulejos. It’s also the place to sample the country’s most famous wine, port.
On the west coast, you’ll find the narrow streets and opulent palaces of Sintra, while in the north, you can explore picturesque waterways from inside a gondola in Aveiro. The island of Madeira boasts incredible landscapes and charming villages, as well as fresh seafood and delicious Madeira wine. And you’ll find some of Europe’s finest beaches in the Algarve in southern Portugal, with stunning limestone rock formations that tower over the sand.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Portugal?
Portugal experiences year-round sunshine, so anytime is a great time to secure a vacation rental in a city or along the coast. Depending on the region, though, the weather each season can vary. In the south, the Algarve enjoys long, hot summers and short, mild winters. Lisbon experiences hot summers and rainy winters, while in Porto and the north, summers are hot and winters can get chilly. Spring and fall are pleasant throughout the country, with warm days and mild evenings.
Portugal hosts festivals and events all year round. Carnivale takes over Lisbon in February with street acts, costumes, and parades. In May, the streets of Madeira are covered in flowers for the Flower Festival. Towns and cities come alive for the Santos Festivities (Celebration of the Popular Saints) in June with parades, traditional street dances, and fresh sardines. And in September, Porto celebrates Port Wine Day, with plenty of festivities spotlighting the famous drink.
What are the top things to do in Portugal?
Less than an hour from Lisbon, the town of Sintra features picturesque villas, palaces, and castles. Visit the ancient ruins of the Castle of the Moors, dating back to the eighth century. See the stunning architecture of the Regaleira Palace and Gardens and Monserrate Palace with its subtropical gardens. The highlight of the town, sitting high on a hill, is the spectacular pastel-painted Pena’s Palace — a former summer retreat for the royal family surrounded by lovely pine forests.
The Algarve town of Lagos sits at the southernmost tip of the country and features beautiful pristine beaches and the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Ancient Moorish walls circle the town center, which is home to lovely squares full of cafes and shops. A highlight is Ponta da Piedade headland south of the town — a series of dramatic cliffs featuring incredible naturally formed grottos and sea caves.
In the west, the town of Obidos is protected by an imposing eighth-century fortified wall. Walk through it into the town to find a magnificent medieval castle and ornate churches. The cobbled streets are full of vibrant squares with cafes, shops, and markets alongside whitewashed houses. The town is famous for its Medieval Festival in July, featuring jugglers, wandering minstrels, jousting knights, and a bounty of meat on offer.