Stretched along the westernmost part of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is the oldest country in Europe and has played an important part in world history. In Portugal adventure travel reveals a patchwork culture reflecting the influence of many different people, regions and historical eras. Outdoor activities in Portugal are as varies as the country’s history. To visit Portugal is to t... +Stretched along the westernmost part of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is the oldest country in Europe and has played an important part in world history. In Portugal adventure travel reveals a patchwork culture reflecting the influence of many different people, regions and historical eras. Outdoor activities in Portugal are as varies as the country’s history. To visit Portugal is to travel backward in time and around the world within a single country.
Bound by the Atlantic Ocean in the south and west, PortugalÍs coastline offers excellent opportunity to explore and indulge in various water activities, from diving and sailing, to more racy pleasures such as kite-surfing and wake boarding.
The country is divided into various provinces, including the Atlantic islands of Madeira and Azores. The Portuguese landscape offers stunning scenery; from the steep mountains and lush valleys of the centre and north - the highest part being the Serra de Estrela, a popular area for skiing - to the arid plains of the Alentejo region and cove speckled coastline of the south, it’s a fantastic place.
A range of mountains divides the Alentejo from the Algarve, which runs along the south coast, and is one of the most popular resort areas thanks to its wide sandy beaches and attractive bays.
Planning Portugal adventure travel journeys it’s worth knowing that climatically, the country is divided. Southern Portugal, including the Algarve, has a Mediterranean climate. There are hot, dry summers and mild winters, and sea breezes that help moderate high summer temperatures. These allow the more adventurous traveler to enjoy outdoor activities in Portugal without breaking too much of a sweat!
In the north, the weather is wetter, especially in winter. It's also cooler, as temperatures are influenced by Atlantic currents and the Spanish Meseta. The best time to travel is during spring and autumn, when itÍs sunny and warm, and when the tourist areas are relatively quiet.
For anyone wanting to get off the beaten track, there are limitless opportunities here on the exposed Atlantic beaches, which can be found up the entire west coast - ideal for an experienced surfer. There are also the more traditional Costa de Prata (Silver Coast) resorts in the Beira Literal, which gets its name from the effect of the sun on the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. It is still a largely undiscovered area. Here you can observe the real Portuguese way of life, among stunning coastal scenery, and can almost guarantee a beach to yourself, even in the height of season.
Starting your Portugal adventure travel journey on the west coast you should check out Lagoa de Obidos (Obidos Lagoon). There’s a calm lagoon is an exceptional place for activities such as rowing, windsailing and windsurfing.
Lisbon (Lisboa) is the capital of Portugal. The city lies on the north bank of River Tagus, more or less in the centre of the country. It is a beautiful and colourful city. In Lisbon history and old-world charm exist together, while at the same time the city embraces progress and modernity.
The capital helps as a springboard to whichever final adventure you seek. Most tour operators are happy to organise transfers; however there are also direct flights available from London to Faro, Funchal (Madeira), Porto and other main destinations.
There are certain things in life that you need to do: in Portugal you need to tour Lisbon, a legendary city with over 20 centuries worth of history. Perhaps start with Jeranimos Monastery?
You should combine any Portugal adventure travel holiday with time spent on cultural excursions, so perhaps next on your list should be the oldest university in Portugal, built in the 16th century and Obidos, a beautiful town with a beautiful story. Surrounded by a 14th century wall, it gained its fame during the reign of King Denis and his bride Isabel, to whom he gave the town as a wedding present. Sintra is another enchanting town boasting stunning scenery and two amazing castles, Palacio National de Sintra and Palacio da Pena.
Alcobaia monastery in Alcobaia is an important monument in Portuguese history. Built to celebrate victory over the moors, it is also the setting for the most dramatic love story in Portuguese history when a prince fell in love with a Galician woman. Needless to say, the marriage was opposed and so the pair eloped. However, when they started to live openly together, the King sent men to assassinate his son’s wife. Only when the old King died, did the Prince recovered the remains of his beautiful wife, had them crowned and forced all Portuguese royalty to kiss her hand. Today, the bodies of Pedro and Ines lie in very impressive coffins in a church in Alcobaia.
When you hear about people holidaying in Portugal, you rarely imagine them having an adrenaline-filled experience. However, the country’s varied landscape makes for outdoor activities in Portugal and adventures that equal more popular European options. From impressive mountain ranges to wild Atlantic waves and calm Mediterranean beaches, it has few other European rivals. Fantastic nightlife and a fascinating heritage help deliver anything but your predictable break in the sun. So pack your things, and let Portugal take you for the ride of your life.
There are hiking, biking and wildlife spotting opportunities along the border hills and reservoirs of the Serra da Malcata. In the far north, Portugal provides climbers a paradise of granite peaks within Parque Nacional da Peneda-Geres and the schist hills in the east of Porto. There's also the 500m tall granite outcropping of Cantaro Magro in the Serra da Estrela to enjoy.
You could end a Portugal adventure travel journey with more traditional transport: Horse riding is a lovely way to help your mind and body rejuvenate, so saddle up and take in the beautiful beaches and forests of Obibos. For further relaxation, try out a yoga camp, the serene and tranquil surroundings are sure to help you relax from the pressures of work.
There are many more outdoor activities in Portugal on offer, including trekking opportunities along the Douro valley and overland tours in the Levadas of nearby island Madeira. Azores Island hopping is really also a must, as it lets you explore unique wonders, such as the hot thermal springs and mud pools of Sao Miguel. Observe wildlife on the island of Sao Jorge and go whale watching on island of Pico. Even if you don't spot a single whale, the scenery is so stunning you will not be disappointed! -