Recreation & Entertainment in Portugal
Portugal has endless opportunities for recreational activities and entertainment, and there is something to suit every taste and budget.
The Portuguese themselves tend to like free outdoor activities like taking a walk, going to the park or the beach or meeting friends and family for a picnic.
Portugal’s long coastal line and sunny weather gives great opportunities for different kinds of water sports like surfing and sailing. Scuba diving has become popular with a number of attractive sites for example Pelo Negro which is a complex of shallow undersea canyons close to Leça da Palmeira beach not far from Porto. In central Portugal some of the best sites are: Arcanzil, Pedra da Lagoa and Maria Eduarda and there are also many fantastic sites all along the coast in the Algarve.
Staying on a water theme, Portugal has some of the largest and most exciting water parks in Europe most of them based in the Algarve. AquaShow near Quarteira , Slide and Splash near Lagoa and Aquland near Alcantarilha are the biggest.
It is also possible to go whale and dolphin watching both near Lisbon and in the Algarve where dolphin watching trips are widely available from many of the bigger marinas. Another opportunity to see dolphins and even swim with them is available at the Zoomarina Park near Albufeira that also offers tame sea lions, a large aquarium, fair ground rides amongst many other things. The Ocenarium in Lisbon’s Expo area is definitely also worth a visit.
If you like golf, Portugal is the right place to be with its many fantastic golf courses; in fact Portugal has about 80 golf courses all of very high quality and stunning landscapes. Although you can find great golf courses all over the country, Portugal has two main golf regions; Lisbon Golf Coast with 24 golf courses from Setubal to Estoril, Cascais and Sintra and The Algarve Golf Courses where you can play on one of the 30 different courses around Lagos, Portimão, Silves, Albufeira, Vilamoura, Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Tavira.
Portugal also has world-class leisure complexes offering golf, tennis and other sports as well as fantastic spas and luxury accommodation. One of the most well-known is Praia D’El Rey Golf &Beach Resort located on Portugal’s Silver Coast.
Portugal also has many beautiful national parks where you can go for walks and experience amazing natural phenomena, rare animals and stunning nature. Here is just a few: Peneda-Geres National Park, Montesinho, North Coast natural Park, Douro River Valley and Rio Famosa. In the area of Serra da Estrela you will find the Estrela Mountains which has the highest plateau in Portugal and a popular place to go skiing in the winter.
Quad biking, horse riding, mountain biking and hiking are other great recreational activities that Portugal has to offer.
Another popular activity is wine tasting where you can see the vineyards, learn about local wine including production techniques and traditions and of course try some of the lovely Portuguese wines.
If you are in the mood for a good movie, you can do that too. Portugal has many multiplex cinemas all over the country and all foreign movies are subtitled and not dubbed, so even if you don’t speak the language, you can still enjoy a good movie.
Throughout the summer period there are several festivals in Portugal where you can find entertainment for the whole day and night. In the Algarve you can for example go to The Algarve Music festival which is held in May and June with concerts in Lagos, Faro and Portimao.
The Beer festival is held in Silves in June and gives you a chance to taste all the types of beer produced in Portugal as well as seeing local folk-dancing troupes and musicians. Silves is also the host of the annual Summer festival in July and August where you can enjoy music, ballet and theatre in the beautiful ancient town.
During July and August many villages and towns hold their annual Sardine festival but the most famous one is probably in Portimao where you can enjoy sardines grilled on open fires whilst you are watching local folk dancing or listening to traditional Fado music. September is the month of the National Folklore festival where you can find lots of traditional dance and music in different venues throughout the Algarve. Lisbon also has many great festivals all year around. In February you can enjoy the carnival where streets are jammed with people in colourful costumes and dancing samba.
In May you can go to Estoril Open Tennis tournament, July has the Sintra Music Festival, a world-renowned classical music festival which features concerts by both Portuguese and international performers and in October you can experience great fashion from Portugal’s top designers at the fashion week Moda Lisboa.
If you go to the North around Porto you can also experience some great festivals. The biggest is São João Festival in June and one of Europe’s liveliest street parties that attracts people from all over the country. Porto is also the host of The International Fantasy Film festival in February, the Festival of Portuguese Rock each August and the International Folk Festival just to mention a few.
Of course, Portugal also has endless opportunities for nightlife entertainment like dining, clubbing and casinos. For more information on this please go to the PortugalProperty directory “Nightlife”