Portugal Vacation in Portugal: Here is what to explore in Lisbon and Madeira

Portugal is a slightly overlooked holiday destination and that is a shame. The country is a wonderful travel country, whether you are visiting for culture, an active holiday, relaxation or a good mixture of it all.

Lisbon
If you go to the capital Lisbon, you will experience a city that offers a bit of everything. Over 500,000 people lives here, making it Portugal’s largest city. The city offers some of the best culture and the best experiences you can find in Portugal — and there is plenty to explore.

An experience you should definitely not deceive yourself about, is a visit to the Jerónimos Monastery in Belém. The monastery was established in 1501 and took well over 100 years to build. The beautiful architecture, with decorated columns that refer to Portugal’s heyday as seafarers, has made the monastery today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery is located a bit outside the center of Lisbon and may well be a full day visit, but definitely worth the time. When you are in the area, you can merge it with another World Heritage treasure; namely, the Belém Tower.

Another commendable experience is the Castelo de São Jorge castle built on Lisbon’s highest hill, which offers an excellent view over the city. Also visit Europe’s largest aquarium, Oceanário de Lisboa, which the kids will definitely love.

Flower Island Madeira
If you are searching for a less big city and more holiday paradise vibe, then Madeira is a good idea for a vacation destination.

Madeira is the name of both an archipelago in the eastern Atlantic off the coast of Morocco and the name of the main island itself. The islands are created by volcanic eruptions, and it is clear that plant life thrives in the volcanic soil. Madeira is like being taken out of a postcard and is known for its beautiful nature, fantastic floral flora, scenic hiking trails and of course the island’s great pride: Madeira is the birthplace of football legend Cristiano Ronaldo.

Go hiking up in the lush green mountains, where adventurous waterfalls spring out, and natural swimming pools are formed between the hills. When it’s time to relax and get in gear, head to the delicious man-made beaches, which are found in several places around the island.

Visit the capital, Funchal, and indulge in delicious local dishes from the sea and of course the famous liqueur wine “Madeira”, which is known and loved by wine enthusiasts. Or go on adventures beyond the steep cliffs and experience the small villages and see how the locals live.

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