This Is Why You Need To Visit Portugal In 2017

This Is Why You Need To Visit Portugal In 2017

I close my eyes and I can perfectly hear the ocean hitting the dramatic cliffs. The sound of the historical tram on narrow alleys. The warm sun on my face as I sip a glass of port wine. This is Portugal, a destination so dear to my heart that I try to go back every time I can. It’s also a destination that you’ll want to visit this year, as more people are finding about it. Its capital was named the 7th best destination in Europe, but as you can see, the first six are well known cities which draw in millions of tourists each year, so if that’s not your cup of tea, then Portugal is your best bet. Here’s why I think you need to visit Portugal in 2017.

1. It’s affordable and quiet

Every time I’ve visited Portugal, I didn’t have the same suffocating feeling I get when I’m in a crowded Louvre or a noisy La Rambla. While Portugal gets their fair share of tourists as well, you can still find places that are all to yourself. It’s also the most affordable country in Western Europe, although I have noticed a significant increase in accommodation prices since I visited the first time, almost six years ago, so you should visit before more people find out about it. With low cost airlines connecting Lisbon, Porto and Faro to the rest of Europe, getting in has never been easier.

2. The cities are nice, but the small towns are super charming

Even though some of my friends don’t share the same opinion, Lisbon is one of my favorite cities. I don’t always have the best memory, but I can picture perfectly my first day in the Portuguese capital. From admiring the city in the morning at the Sao Jorge Castle and taking pictures of all the peacocks, to watching the sunset by the Tagus river. With plenty to see and do, it’s impossible to get bored in Lisbon.

However, Portugal’s true charm lies in the smaller towns, that don’t get as many visitors. You can take a moliceiro ride (Portuguese gondola) in Aveiro, see the oldest university in the country in Coimbra, or eat delicious fish in Alcacer do Sal. Whichever city you choose, you’re guaranteed to find picturesque alleys where you can stroll at your own pace.

3. The beaches in Portugal are the most beautiful in Europe

As president Trump might say, Portugal has the best beaches, tremendous beaches, they’re unbelievable, everyone agrees! The sun is so lovely, it won’t turn you orange. And the waves are yuge! All jokes aside, I don’t know anyone who has been to the stunning Algarve coastal region and didn’t come back completely in love with what they saw. But don’t take my word for it, read about five of the best beaches in Algarve. Admittedly that’s still my word, but…. at least there are more nice pictures?

4. You’ll love the food and wine

An interview with a Portuguese foodie
Photo by Zara from Backpack ME

Portuguese food is so delicious that we’ve even had a whole interview with a Portuguese blogger about her favorite dishes. It’s impossible not to love pasteis de nata, their famous custard tarts, I’m always excited when I find them in bakeries from other countries. If there’s one Portuguese dish I look for whenever I visit it has to be carne de porco a alentejana (pork with clams), which is funny because at home, I’m not a big pork fan. This should tell you just how good the dish is 😉

I remember the first time I tried port wine in Porto at a port cellar tour, the flavor lingered long after the tour was over and that’s all I drank for the rest of the trip (besides water, duh). I totally considered going on the tour again, just for the free wine tasting. Other than that, I loved the Portuguese vinho verde (green wine), it’s perfect for a hot summer day.

5. They have cool festivals

This Is Why You Need To Visit Portugal In 2017: They have cool festivals
Photo by NOS Alive

If you’re like me and you enjoy combining your love of travel with your love of concerts, you’ll be happy to hear that Portugal has some cool festivals in summer. Starting with Nos Primavera Sound in Porto and Super Bock, Super Rock in Lisbon and ending with Nos Alive, which I actually attended some years ago (by accident, to be honest), it was a lot of fun. Year after year they bring a lot of great bands and I’m always jealous I can’t go every time.

Whichever path you choose, Portugal will not disappoint you and you’ll come home with nothing but happy memories and hundreds of photos. So….what are you waiting for?

Are you planning on visiting Portugal in 2017?

PS: Both Paul and I will be traveling to Portugal this year, separately though. He will visit Lisbon and Sintra on a short trip, while I’ll visit the Sao Miguel island in the Azores (after stopping a bit to see my dear Lisbon, of course!). Can’t wait! 😀

Travel Notes & Beyond

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  • World Journeys

    not this year but hopefully in a couple of years it looks lovely!

    • I’m sure you’ll love it 😀

  • Hra

    i love Portugal!! i would love to visit it one day 🙂 Great guide!

    • Thank you, Portugal is one of my favorite countries 🙂

  • Gokul

    Is it quiet? Then I am going there for sure. I am an introvert and this place is perfect for me.

    • There are some small towns that are super quiet and nice, you can even find streets in Lisbon where you are all alone. 🙂

  • I hope we can make it this year! We were supposed to go for NYE but ended up in Kentucky. I know I’m just going to LOVE it! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • I’m sure you will and I can’t wait to see your photos 😀

  • Stacey Sandlin Veikalas

    Portugal is so on my destination list! Thank you for reminding me that I need to go… I just showed my husband and said next vacation PORTUGAL! Beautiful photos as well.

    • Thank you, I hope you and your husband will love it 😀

  • David Johnston

    I loved my time in Portugal and have been considering returning this year so your article is perfectly timed. I can’t argue with any of your points, totally spot on. Mmm pasteis de nata. #WeeklyPostcard

    • I’ve been dying to eat pasteis de nata, the ones I find in my hometown are nowhere near as good. Luckily I’ll eat the original later this year 😉

  • I have been wanting to visit Portugal for ages! The thing is that the flights from Los Angeles (or from the entire US West Coast) are super expensive. Maybe it is because it is still considered a not so popular location on this side of the world. Hope that changes soon! A lot of budget airlines are starting to offer really good deals. Wow! You are going to the Azores! That is wonderful! That place is truly paradise! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Maybe you can fly into London and then hop on a low cost airline? That could be cheaper. Yes, I can’t wait to visit the Azores, they’re supposed to be the Hawaii of Europe.

  • Anisa Alhilali

    Portugal is on my list, so I hope to make it there soon. There really is a lot to do and it looks beautiful. I am going to have to look into some of the smaller cities that you suggest, they sound so nice and relaxing. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • The smaller cities are one of my favorite parts, especially Alcacer do Sal, or Evora (which I haven’t written about….yet)

  • You gave me enough reasons to visit Portugal, Vlad. Just those beaches and the food would make the trip worth it. It’s good to know that Portugal is still an affordable country. Lately, Western Europe became so expensive!

    • I was under the impression you’ve already been, Anda. It’s still affordable, but accommodation prices have increased a lot from the last time I visited in 2014.

  • We have been to Portugal in 2016 and 2016. Its an amazing country with some amazing places to visit. I totally agree with all your points and more Portugal is a must in 2017

    • It’s a truly beautiful country, I love returning whenever I have the chance.

  • megan_claire

    Bahaha I loved your President Trump reference re the beaches … I could actually hear him saying it too 😛 I’m so gutted, we had the chance to take in Lisbon on a recent round the world trip but it didn’t happen – hopefully though we have the chance to take in Portugal soon because I’m starting to hear a lot of hype meaning it’s quite the hot destination!!

    • I was wondering if/when would someone comment on that, haha. I’ve been hearing a lot of hype on Portugal lately, which makes me both happy and sad (that my favorite destination isn’t going to be only mine anymore, haha)

  • Jim Vail

    Having been to Portugal a few times in the past, I wasn’t really planning a trip this year. However, your reasoning is indisputable. Maybe I can find a free weekend…

    • I’ve been looking for a free weekend the whole 2016. Found a free week this year, haha.

  • Kenny T.K. Chow

    Thanks for sharing and Portugal is one of my favourite! I had quite an adventure there @ Lisboa Encounters https://knycxjourneying.com/category/portugal/ and I totally agree with the food as they were very special! @ knycx.journeying

    • I remember reading your posts last year, you’ve sparked my intention to go back to Portugal, haha

  • Johana

    Portugal is definitely one of the must see destination in 2017. I’ve been studying in Lisbon for 5 months and fell in love with the city and whole country immediately. Very nice pictures, by the way.

    • Lucky, I would love to live in Lisbon if only for a month. What was living there like?

  • I read your article and now I know that this year I have to go to Portugal 🙂 Great text and beautiful pictures!

    • Thank you, I hope you’ll love Portugal!

  • I was at Nos Alive in 2011, back then it was called Optimus Alive and it was a lot of fun! Great bands, great food, great atmosphere. Definitely one of the best festivals in Europe 🙂

  • I agree with every single point you mentioned in this post! Our beaches, food, wine, architecture, etc. are among the coolest in Europe and world. In addition, it is extremely affordable. And people are really nice in Portugal.