Portugal cityWhen it comes to arranging a European holiday and you’re looking for something affordable with sun sea and sand most people tend to opt for Spain but Portugal ticks all those boxes and sits right alongside it.

Portugal is perfect no matter what you’re looking for and because it usually gets overlooked in favour of its neighbour it’s wonderfully unspoilt to the point where you actually feel like you’re in another country.

You can quite easily go a whole week in some parts of Spain and not hear a word of Spanish; you won’t get this in Portugal.

If you like your holidays with some buzz and excitement, Portugal offers a selection of metropolitan cities to rival anything you’re going to find in anywhere else. In the capital, Lisbon, you’ll find an endless selection of quaint boutiques, trendy bars and bustling clubs, enough to keep even the most restless person entertained.

If you start to venture out the cities you’ll soon begin to stumble across the most peaceful little towns and villages that really give you a true feel of what Portugal really has to offer. Roman ruins have been found scattered across this strip of a country and so many smaller towns offer you the chance to explore Portugal’s rich and very diverse history.

If you are after a slice of history Evora will come near the top of most people’s ‘must visit’ list, with a whole selection of windows looking back throughout history from the Romans to the Moorish through to more modern palaces, cathedrals and mansions there’s enough to satisfy even the most hard core history junkie.

If you like your history a little older then climb up the country to the Pegadas dos Dinossáurios where you can see where the oldest set of dinosaur tracks anywhere on earth were discovered. The tracks of these sauropods are dated at around 175 million years.

A holiday to Portugal

Of course if you’re looking for the sea and sand part of a holiday Portugal is only around 100 miles wide so you’re never more than a few hours from the beach even if you’re staying close to the borders. In most cases the majority of the tourists are going to flock to the stunning beaches when looking for somewhere to stay and one look at them it’s not hard to see why.

The Algarve offers some of the most beautiful water in the world, it’s deep blue colour is enough to make anyone just want to jump in and start swimming and with the waves gently crashing against the soft golden sands you might struggle pulling yourself away from the beach long enough to see anything else.

Beach in Portugal

If you’re looking for a beach with a little more action you want to check out Ericeira which is one of Portugal’s biggest surfer magnets.

Despite predominantly being a fishing town this beautiful part of the country is world famous for its beaches and as with any water sports locations you can do more than just surf with competitive rates available for anything from windsurfing to jet skiing, fishing, sailing and any other activity you can do on the waters.

Sunset in Portugal

When it comes to beach destinations in Portugal the Algarve is usually the most popular where the warm weather is even warmer you can spend the day lounging in the sun on a beach or work on your handicap at one of the many nearby golf courses.

No matter what you’re looking for or who you’re looking to cater for, Portugal has something for everyone so next time you’re planning your summer holidays and you automatically head straight for Spain try looking a little to the left.

Jessica the author of the “Quick guide to Portugal” works as a real estate agent in Portugal and helps UK residents looking to buy property in Portugal.