Portugal has always figured on my travel checklist. However, never as a priority, I told myself I'd go if the opportunity presented itself. It did 2 months ago. I was in France and had a week off… 150$ later, my flight was booked and I'd spend an entire week in that country which I've unfortunately put way too low on my list. I definitely underestimated Portugal. I think in reality, few people whom I know had gone there, thus I had received little to no feedback of people who have once set foot in this country. That say, I wanted to go, don't get me wrong, but I didn't have any expectations which is good since I TRULY LOVED all places I visited in this beautiful country that is Portugal. Now you can be sure I will recommend this destination to everyone. But why? Well, there are several reasons and today, I'm dedicating this article to my main 5 ones:
1. IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!!
It doesn't make any sense. From north to south, Portugal is SPLENDID. I started my trip in Porto, which is worth the look believe me (photographic proof below). I then visited Lisbon. Usually, I don't like big cities, but Lisbon is undoubtedly an exception. In fact, everyone I've met have a soft spot for the capital. Then, I ended my journey in the south of Portugal, principally in Lago and Sagres, two places that give us the impression of looking at a postal card. The sea, giant rocks, the heat… I didn't need more to be won over.
2. The weather
Let's just say this, even if I love to live in Quebec, we have it hard with our harsh cold winter. Europe has the chance of having a less changeable climate, therefore it's warmer on the other side of the pond. I went to Portugal towards the end of October and literally wore shorts. I love the heat and being able to wear flip flops so I can tell you how I particularly loved discovering the country in this weather.
3. The people
There are places where people are known to be friendly (Quebec is one). I would add that without a doubt Portugal should figure on that lsit. Everywhere I went, I was always well-received. Locals didn't hesitate to come and talk to me, always with a smile, and I loved the fact that there are several activities planned for travelers in hostels (pub crawls, typical group dinners, etc.). I strongly recommend visiting Portugal if you're traveling by yourself for this reason. I, myself, traveled to Portugal alone and I was always meeting new people throughout my journey.
4. Pasteis de Nata (Portugal's gift to the world)
Now that I've tried this typical Portuguese pastry, I can't stop thinking about it. Want a snack at 2pm? Want some dessert? You're not hungry but you know how delicious it tastes? All excuses are good to stop and hav ea Pasteis de Nata. In fact, you can find them on every corner. One a day to keep the doctor away? That's my motto. It's not true but who cares, it was my excuse. And you know, it only costs between 1€ to 1.50€. No need to say more. BTW: Those who love fish will also be in paradise.
5. Perfect travel destination
There are several benefits from traveling to Portugal in terms of efficiency. First and foremost, it's easy to travel from one place to another. I did the commute by bus and had no problem. I know some would rather rent a car, but you choose. Also, everyone can find something that will suit their needs. It's for that reason a destination where you can go by yourself, with friends or with your other half… Then, it was one of the countries where I found the cost of living truly affordable in Europe which is different from its' neighbor countries. And we love that! Finally, the diversity you find inside the country itself makes Portugal an attractive destination. And yes, the beer is good! Saúde!
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