Holiday Guide Portugal

Portugal is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. It shares many links with its Spanish neighbour, but has a rich and distinct culture offering many historical and cultural sites which are well worth a visit.

Convento de Cristo in Tomar is a 12th Century Monastic Fortress. Built by the Knights Templar it is one of Portugal`s most important historical sites. This magnificent building has excellent examples of both Romanesque and Manueline architecture. From June to September, you can visit this unique castle between 9am and 6pm and between 9am - 5.30pm.

Batalha Monastery is a magnificent Dominican Convent near Leiria. It took around 130 years to build and is a stunning masterpiece of Gothic and Manueline Architecture. It is free to visit the abbey but there is a charge to visit the cloisters. Opening hours are between 9am and 6.30pm.

Alcobaça Monastery was founded by the first Portuguese King in 1153. It was one of the most prestigious monasteries in Medieval Europe and remains to this day, the largest church in Portugal. It was the first gothic building in the country and is open daily between 9am and 7pm between April and September and 9am - 5pm between October and March.

The historical city of Coimbra served as the nation`s capital during the high middle ages. Many important buildings and monuments in the city date back to this time including the Old. The city is however best known for its University; established in 1290 it is one of the oldest in the world. The Library is spectacular!

Serra do Bussaco is a mountain range made famous by the Battle of Bussaco and the Grand Palace Hotel. There is also a national park boasting a rich selection of exotic plants and trees.planted from seed and cuttings fbrought from around the world on the Portuguese voyages of discovery

Fatima Shrine is one of the most famous shrines in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Three children reported seeing apparitions and receiving instructions from Mary and it said that around 70,000 people witnessed her last appearance in October 1917. The shrine now draws around 4 million visitors each year.

Nazaré Beach Village is arguably the most famous fishing village in Portugal. Unlike other towns and cities which feature large historical impressive buildings, Nazaré is a simple village which oozes old Portuguese tradition and charm.

Conimbriga Roman Ruins are the remains of a large Roman settlement, much of which is astoundingly well preserved. The city walls and many mosaic floors are still intact. Between March and September you can visit this site between 9am and 8pm and between September and April between 10am and 6pm.

Portugal has so much history and culture to offer that it would be a crime to spend your whole time on one of the fantastic beaches. One of the best ways to see the sights is by car and with car hire Albufeira you can feel like your holiday has begun as soon as you arrive.

Area Sights