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Portugal is an ever-popular destination with the retired, families and couples alike. This diverse country has a lot to offer people of all ages, making it a consistent choice for holiday's year in, year out.
Things to do
If you want a sunny holiday destination, Portugal is certainly the place to go. Enjoying plenty of hot weather, the summer months are the best time to visit the country. Although it isn't necessarily cold in the winter, there is a significant drop in temperature, particularly in the northern regions so stick to the south and go in high season for the best weather conditions.
The Algarve is one of the most popular places to head for a nice holiday as it has something to please everyone. The wide range of eateries, great beaches and lively bars will put a smile on the face of anyone who pays a visit.
If you fancy getting active on your holiday, be sure to check out the wide range of water sports on offer in Portugal. The seas are rougher in the north so if you fancy doing a bit of surfing or body boarding, this is the place to head. However, if you have more of an interest in diving or sailing, the south coast is more likely to give you what you want. Fishing is another popular activity you can get involved in all around Portugal as well.
If you want to get in touch with Mother Nature, hire a car and drive to the natural parks. The Peneda-Gerï¿½s is home to wild ponies and golden eagles and will give you the chance to take some spectacular photographs. Visit the tiny villages nearby to take in the local cultures and customs of the Portuguese people and take part in some activities like canoeing and horse riding if the mood takes you.
There are various shopping centres you can visit if you want to indulge in a bit of retail therapy. Naturally the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is going to give you a huge amount of choice when it comes to big name shops. As well as the usual stores, you'll also find smaller, boutique places that sell everything from ceramics to textiles. Visit the Ribeira market to pick up some fresh produce; this is ideal for trying some of the local specialities or creating your own dishes.
There are a number of festivals that take place across the year in Portugal so, if one matches your taste, it's well worth trying to incorporate it into your holiday. There is a rock festival in July, along with a world music festival taking place as well. If sports are more your thing, there is the Extreme Sailing Series global tour, known as the Formula 1 of sailing. Head to Oporto if you want to get involved in the sailing circuit, while the rock festival takes place near Meco Beach at Sesimbra.
Of course, if you just want to enjoy the sun and relax, there are plenty of nice hotels to choose from, some even featuring their own health spa so you can happily book in for a massage to ease away your aches and pains after a long day of chilling out by the pool.