Having seen all the seasons pass in Portugal, I thought I’d give an overview of what to see and expect in the country as the calendar ticks over.
While the ideal timing of your visit will depend on personal preferences and schedules, as someone who travels a lot, I’ve come to realise it can be nice to travel at any time of the year, even if it’s not considered ‘the’ time to go. Places can change so much month-to-month, and what you experience in June can be completely different to November. You could visit the same city in each season and have a completely different holiday.
Summer is a good time to visit Portugal if you want to enjoy long, sunny days and the reassurance that attractions will be open. Of course this is also the busiest time so you’ll have to contend with larger crowds and higher prices. If throngs of people make you squirm or you’re the type who fancies breaking away from the pack, there are some lovely sights to be seen throughout the year, as you’ll soon discover.
I briefly touched on Pombaline architecture in my post Who are they? Famous names on the streets of Portugal. Here I mention the style is named after a chap by the name of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, who became known as the Marquês de Pombal.
The Marquês de Pombal is credited for his leadership role during the rebuilding of Lisbon following the 1755 earthquake (and ensuing fire and tsunami). At the time he was the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, but quickly took the leading reigns after the king at the time José I, essentially curled up in a ball and prayed for it all to be over (or so the story goes). Pombal subsequently became the prime minister of Portugal.
Portugal's Manueline architectural style is named after its key influencer, King Manuel I, who served as Portugal’s head honcho from 1495-1521. This wasn’t a bad time to hold the reigns, as it was during this period that Portugal held the power of the pepper.
As you might remember from my post A brief history of Portugal, the Portuguese were incredibly influential during the Age of Discovery. Portugal’s brave seafaring souls proved it was possible to sail across the world without dropping off the end, and in a fortuitous twist, discovered you could become rather wealthy if you collected and traded spices from lands you stumbled upon along the way.
Want to know where to eat, what to do and where to stay in Lisbon? Then read my post for the Peregrine Adventures blog (part of the Intrepid Group), which outlines five of Lisbon's coolest neighbourhoods.
I recently wrote articles for the inflight magazines of Australia's national carrier, Qantas, and Ireland's national carrier, Aer Lingus, about Portugal's beautiful capital. Read my stories to find out my top picks of where to eat, drink, visit and stay in Lisbon.
I had the pleasure of road testing Portugal's CR7 hotels in Funchal (Madeira Island) and Lisbon, which are the product of a partnership between the world's greatest football star (or soccer star for my Aussie readers) and Portugal's largest hotel group, Pestana.
The Portugal Wire is the blog of Australian travel writer, copywriter and photographer Emily McAuliffe.
Things you might not know about Portugal
A brief history of Portugal
Who was the first person to sail around the world? (Hint: he was Portuguese ... and then he wasn't)
A quick overview of Portugal's economy
25 April: a shared day in history for Australia and Portugal
Portugal's bridges: go big or go home
Portugal and Spain: same same but different?
Interesting facts about Porto
Traditional Portuguese food: what to eat and drink in Portugal
Who are they? Famous names on the streets of Portugal
Interesting facts about Lisbon
Uncovering Porto's secret gardens
Lonely Planet Instagram takeover: sharing some of my favourite hidden spots in Portugal
In the news... my feature in Portugal's national newspaper Diário de Notícias
On board the Presidential train in Portugal's Douro Valley
When the lion mauled the eagle (Porto)
Kicking design goals: Cristiano Ronaldo & Pestana's CR7 hotels
Lovely Lisbon: my top picks of where to eat, drink, visit and stay in Portugal's capital city
Porto street art: fighting the good fight
The best places to visit in Lisbon: 5 of my favourite neighbourhoods
Big waves in Nazaré: my favourite beach town in Portugal
Best things to do in Porto
Portuguese wine: yes, the wines of Portugal extend far beyond port
Portuguese architecture Part I: Manueline style
Portuguese architecture Part II: Pombaline style
When is the best time to visit Portugal?
Food to try in Porto: northern Portuguese cuisine explained