4 Reasons Why You Should Visit Portugal For a Winter Break
If you’re feeling a winter holiday this year, then you’ll likely have many different destinations in mind. Depending on the type of getaway you’re after, whether it be a relaxing beach holiday or city escape, then Portugal is one of the best places to consider for a winter break. Not only does the country have an outstanding reputation for great weather, with almost year-round sunshine, but it is extremely budget-friendly.
Portugal has boomed in terms of popularity over the past few years, but winter is one of the best times to visit as you avoid the majority of tourists and can still rest assured that you’ll get good weather. With historic towns, beautiful scenery and great food and drink, Portugal truly excels when it comes to a winter break holiday destination.
Guaranteed Winter Sunshine
When winter comes around, many of us long for the warm, long days of summer. Unlike most of Europe, Portugal doesn’t tend to get many dips in temperature or grey skies in the middle of the winter months. Whilst there are some places in Portugal that see snow, the Atlantic coastline sees plenty of sunshine and blue skies all year round.
The Algarve is perhaps one of the best areas of Portugal to visit during the winter, thanks to its location. In November, the average temperature in the Algarve varies between 16 and 20º, which is still warm enough to sit by the sea and enjoy a glass of wine or two!
Low Tourist Numbers
The Algarve has long been a favourite destination for European holidaymakers, but it has been a bit of a hidden secret until recent years. Now, Porto and Lisbon are must-visit destinations for many travellers, with many visitors year-round but, during the summer months, these places are extremely busy.
If you visit during the winter, then you can expect queues for many of the top visitor attractions to be extremely small and it is easier to get into many of the top bars and restaurants thanks to fewer visitors. Whilst the weather might not be exactly what it is in the summer, you will likely have a much less stressful and crowded getaway.
As there are fewer visitors in the winter, you’ll find that the everyday expenses that you expect when you go away will be slightly less than they are in the height of summer. Flights are often much cheaper, train fares are reduced meaning you can go exploring the inner cities or coastal areas and you’ll find that accommodation is easier to find between the months of November and March.
Whilst hotel and accommodation prices skyrocket in the summer season, it isn’t unusual to see prices decrease by anything up to 50% in the winter months. This is a perfect time to splash out on something a little more luxurious, especially if you want a couple’s break or are travelling with a group, as often luxury villas Vale do Labo, Vilamoura, and Loule based are much more worthwhile when it comes to pricing in these months.
Enjoy Traditional Dishes
Portuguese isn’t all that well-known outside of Europe, which considering the magnitude of fresh ingredients included in many of the dishes, is surprising. With a penchant to create simple and delicious seafood dishes and great local wine, the cuisine in Portugal matches the culture – relaxed and enjoyable. Whilst lighter dishes are more common in the summer months, winter sees more hearty dishes come out for the slightly cooler months.
Cozido, which is a type of meat stew, regularly makes an appearance and is served alongside boiled potatoes and vegetables. Each and every region has one or two different traditional versions, so it is unlikely that you get the same once twice – Cozido is a local dish and is unlikely to be found in tourist hotspots. You can still get all of the same great dishes, such as fresh fish, caldo verde and pastel de natas, but be sure to give some of the seasonal choices a try too!