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HOLIDAY IN PORTUGAL

by Roy Stephens

In the Fall of 2003, my wife Isabel and I spent five enjoyable weeks in Portugal. We found the people most welcoming and the countryside very beautiful. Isabel and I can't wait to return! I am sharing our travel experience with you, in the event you decide to spend your own holiday in Portugal. At the end of this article, you will find links to a number of helpful websites where you will find additional information on the various things I discuss.

We visited in early October. Our stay included a month in a resort in the Algarve and over a week at various hotels and pousadas. During our Algarve stay we took a three-day bus tour to Seville, Spain; Gibraltar; and Tangiers, Morocco. We also spent two nights in Evora, a walled city now classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Evora, located in the Alentejo region immediately north of the Algarve, is well worth a visit.

We found the weather to be very pleasant for the first half of October. However, by the time November arrived the nights and most mornings were quite cool, with temperatures in the single digits. A local Algarve resident told us that the afternoons are usually quite pleasant when the sun warms things up, but nights and mornings can be somewhat cool from November through January. The good news is that temperatures in the Algarve seldom, if ever, reach the freezing mark, especially in places near the sea.

The busy season stretches from June through September. During August the area is teeming with Portuguese folk on summer holidays. Everything is packed… hotels, resorts, beaches, tourist sites, and so on. Because of this, I would say that it would not be wise to visit Portugal in August. Mid-September through early November should be quite pleasant and not too busy.
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