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The largest sand beach close to beautiful Porto


Bordered in the south by the city of Porto

It never takes long before tourists realize that Porto is a special city. Lying at the mouth of Rio Douro, this beautiful hilly city presents an abundance of tourist’s attractions: Baroque style churches, narrow streets, antic stores and wild night entertainment.

The center of the city, also known as a historical heart is one of the most popular destinations in the city. It is called Ribeira district, it is UNESCO Word Heritage territory of high and narrow streets, ancient cathedrals and winding lanes. Here, everything reminds of ancient times: rural squares and combined with Roman ruins of a trade markets, cozy cafes make “bakalay” according to ancient recipes and museums are open throughout the week. While in Ribeira one should definitely visit Avenida-dos-Aliados with impressive buildings of XVIIII-XX century, visit world famous wine cellars and noisy markets with fresh sea food.

If you take Porto tram, which was the first in Iberian Peninsula you will get to Igreja de Clerigos – the highest church tower in the country. The tower can be seen from every point of the city and is one of the main symbols of Porto. Magnificent and stunning Igreja de Clerigos is one of the must see sites in the city.

There is also the oldest garden in Portugal, which is a great example of late Baroque masterpiece. Walking through extravagant architecture and charming Portugal nature you might run into a small café that is situated in the garden, there you can take refill your energy with a cup of coffee or a glass of world famous Porto wine. As for famous wine cellars you can cross one of the numerous Douro bridges like Maria Ponta Bridge that was one of the Eiffel’s most famous works. When crossed the bridge you will get to the place that has been the best wine cellar for 300 years - Vila Nova de Gaia. Don’t forget to visit the only museum of port wine in the world, which is also situated on the territory.

On the other hand, Portugal’s second largest city is a modern center where each can find everything starting with luxurious restaurants and ending with wild nightclubs. It is interesting how these beautiful hills combine everything together as the city is totally calm and peaceful in a daytime and at night it turns into an energetic party with lots of participants from all over the world.

In Porto, one might experience real Portuguese spirit. Here, people still put their laundry outside so the river winds will dry them, practice “siesta” as a must thing every day, teenagers make graffiti on the abandon walls, old men play domino, macho-looking guys play guitars and people dance on the banks.

One of the factors, which make Portugal a solid travel destination, is its Mediterranean climate. It is much influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the relief of the territory. First and foremost, a close proximity to the ocean preconditions low temperatures in summer and high temperatures in winter than in other countries at the same latitude. Canaries current is of high priority in this context, which makes summer months 5-7°C cooler and winter 1-2°C warmer. Second, due to the variable land altitudes, certain areas experience temperature shifts, where snow is possible. Speaking of climate in Portugal, it is important to consider the seasonal changes and places with the most favorable weather conditions.

Summer is sunny and relatively dry, but is not very hot. Average temperatures vary from +18°C in the mountainous areas to +20°C on the plains (+25°C on the south). However, late summer is the best option to visit Portugal, especially its southern resorts. Therefore, most of Portuguese resort cities are located in the southern Algarve region. The weather is less windy and hot. Bathing suit season lasts nearly three months on the western coasts, where water temperature reaches 18°C (21°C on the south).

Winter is a season of precipitations and moderate temperatures. In particular, northern and southern parts differ a lot. If southern Portugal experiences dry weather, north, on the contrary, never suffers from lack of rains and snow. The east of Portugal rarely receives much precipitation, as far as most of them fall in mountains. Therefore, there is some geographical distribution observed: 600 mm on the east, 2500 mm on the hills of Serra da Estrela, 1000 mm in the mountains, 400-800 mm on the south and central regions, 300 mm on the coasts. Valleys stay dry. All in all, winter season can boast of mild temperatures, 8-11°C mainly (3-5°C in the mountains). Winter season is less appreciated by tourists, but still it is a nice time for wind-surfers and those ones, who are eager to explore Portuguese wineries.

Madeira and Azores Islands are the most favorable areas for tourism, where water temperatures rarely drop below 10°C and air temperature below 17°C. The Azores appear to be an attractive resort all-year-round. In summer temperatures rise up to 25 - 30°C and in spring they are 15-17°C, which make these islands attractive for walking and hiking tours. In particular, summer season benefits those tourists, who want to spend some time on the sunny beaches, while winter is good for whale and dolphin watching and exploration of bird migrations. Moreover, many ornithologists come on the Azores to conduct their researches. Santa Maria Island is an interesting one within the archipelago: it has nominal division into two parts: the first has only sunny and dry weather and the second, in contrast, is very rainy.

Madeira is also an all-year-round resort. Because of its location the climate is influenced by hot air masses coming from Africa and currents in the Atlantic Ocean. November is the rainiest month here, while July and August often remain without precipitation; the temperatures vary from 21-23°C in summer and 15-17°C in winter season.

Around Beautidul Portugal

Lisbon Riviera

Views of the so-called Lisbon Riviera (Costa De Lisboa) is one of the most cherished issues of Portuguese travel attraction. It embraces the coast line from Cabo da Roca, the most western point of European continent, to the mouth of Tagus (Tejo) River. Indeed, this place is full of numerous resorts and facilities, which alert an attention of both experienced travelers and visitors, looking for luxury recreation. By the way, Lisbon Riviera is the best spot to unite active and beach tourism with sightseeing momentous and historic places of interest. During the period of May-September hotels of five main local resorts open their doors for foreigners.


Estoril is the most fashionable and expensive resort, established within Lisbon Riviera. Every amusement one can imagine is at tourist’s disposal: golden beaches and exquisite restaurants, shopping malls and gambling facilities, aquaparks and golf clubs contribute a lot to Estoril’s popularity. In addition, fans of car runs can watch racing competitions of European level on the local motordrome. The history of Estoril as a major travel destination dates back to the 19th century despite city’s emergence in the Age of Discoveries’ period. At that time it was the biggest linkage between navigators and the rest of Europe.


Cascais is mainly recommended to young people, eager to visit the best nightlife spot in Portugal. Regardless allurement of local beaches and numerous hotels and night clubs, the city also maintains the old part, abundant in architect wonders and incredible sites. Palacio de Conde de Castro Guimaraes looks as a momentous spot on the city landscape; its beauty cannot be compared to its cultural significance as a big library museum, storage of nearly 25 thousand books. Many sites of Cascais are associated with close proximity to the ocean: the Citadel built to protect citizens from sea invaders, local marine museum with a huge exhibition of oceanic creatures and animals and historic artifacts of Cascais. The peculiar place is taken by Grutus do Poço Velho grots, in the center of Cascais.


Costa-da-Caparica is the closest resort to Lisbon. Only 15,5 km away from Portuguese capital visitors might enjoy the rest on remarkable beaches of Lisbon Riviera. White sands of Morena and Sereia beaches alert an attention of active tourism fans, while Lagoa de Albufeira is the best option for family vacation and wind-surfers. In fact, most of Lisbon golf clubs are located in Costa-da-Caparica, among which the biggest appreciation receives Aroeira.


Carcavelos is a set of beautiful beaches, sport facilities and marvelous architecture. In contrast, this city is famous for its local dry wines, made of nine sorts of grape. Surfing is a prime sport here, known since 1960s. Carcavelos is recognized as a pioneer in distribution of surfing in Portugal. Those ones, who interested in local history, can pay a visit to Fort of São Julião da Barra, a prison for politicians (18th century) or Marquês de Pombal Palace, which astonishes with its mightiness and incredible interior.

The Lisbon Riviera ends in Sintra, one of Portuguese ancient cities. Its historic glory cannot be overestimated, which was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage in Portugal.