17 Apr 5 Essential Travel Tips You Need to Know Before Visiting Portugal
Portugal is a serene country found in Europe, ranked as one of the safest travel destinations across the globe. This is a place adorned with amazing beaches, wonderful countryside, friendly local communities and quite delicious indigenous food. It is one of the top picks for people looking for a vacation in the most natural countryside travel destination. It is a good place to escape the hustle and bustle of the noisy and glittery city and experience the integral deeper connection every man has with nature. However, to have the best experience in Portugal there are some facts every seasoned traveler appreciates about this country.
Here are five essential travel tips you need to know before visiting Portugal.
- Plan your visit out of season
It is highly advisable to visit the coast lands of Alentejo located in the Centro district or advance towards the west coast on the sandy beaches of Algarve. Plan your vacation preferably out of seasons to enjoy the quiet serene nature of these famous Portugal landmarks. This is not possible in high summer season as the shorelines are much busy and overcrowded. A good time to travel to these beaches would be autumn during October, while the water temperature is about 70 Fahrenheit and there are average seven hours of sunlight.
2.. Explore off the tourist trail
There are lots of incredible places to explore in Portugal by daring to venture off the tour guide track. Travel inland to sight-see the famous Estremoz and Marvao. These are fortified castle towns located near the border region. If you happen to be visiting Portugal during autumn you should head north to Douro vineyards and behold the beauty of vines bursting with grapes. Some wine estates also allow travelers to participate in the grape harvesting and stamping if you are confident enough to ask.
- Restaurant starters are not necessarily free
It is customary for most Portuguese to welcome any guests in their hotel by presenting them an assortment of starters to stimulate the appetite as they browse through the menu. This ranges from simple appetizers like olives, assorted cheeses, bread with butter, sardine and tuna paste. Moreover, high-end restaurants are known to serve smarter starters such as seafood, crab pate, prawns and different kind of sausages. Always inquire with the service crew of any food deliveries on your table, especially ones that you did not order and ask if they will be charged on the bill or free to consume.
- Try out the indigenous cuisine
Portuguese local delicacies are high in nutritional value and excellent in taste. Their local cuisine mostly consists of fresh fish and seafood and you will find healthy food almost everywhere. However, their indigenous cheese and Portuguese pork are not very popular with most foreigners. Most local restaurants are known to offer superior quality local house wine which is excellent to try with their indigenous delicacies.
- Choose your ride carefully
Portugal still holds the worst road safety record in Europe as many of its roads are in deplorable conditions. Apparently, they have also fast toll paying auto-routes that are properly maintained and nearly empty. If you are driving you should be alert of toll roads that have adopted number plate recognition systems. Before hiring a vehicle in Portugal while on vacation, it is recommended you check with the car rental to be advised on the best way to pay for them.
Ellie is a freelance travel writer, originally from the UK. Publishing for some of the top travel websites around the world, writing about everything from hidden gems to luxury hangouts all over the world, Ellie is currently writing for Travel Department.