The best time for a cultural holiday in Portugal

The beautiful country of Portugal holds a stunning wealth of history, art, and food. The Portuguese celebrate festivals, holidays, and many other exciting events all throughout the year, making any trip one to remember. A little planning in advance is never a bad idea to ensure you get the experience that suits your needs. The rolling mountains and varied beaches have something for everyone, be it magical walks through the hidden palaces of Sintra or the enchanting cellars of Porto. In this blog post, we’ve covered the best time for a cultural holiday in Portugal and some of the best places to visit.

Lisbon – The Bustling Capital of Portugal

Lisbon, or Lisboa to the locals, is wonderful throughout the year with many events and sights to cater to any weather or taste. This being said, the city shouldn’t be considered a winter sun destination by any means, as the winter months are both cold and wet.

For a real taste of Portuguese excitement, the Santa Casa Alfama festival in September is a standout option. This two-day event takes place on the historic streets of Alfama, where locals and tourists alike indulge in an unforgettable showcase of fado music. Fado is an integral part of Portuguese culture, and holds great significance to the locals. The unmistakable sounds of the Santa Casa Alfama festival are produced by some of the nation’s best fado artists, making it a truly unmissable experience if you’re in the area.

Porto – A Shining Jewel of the Douro

Full of wonderful food, wine, and even better scenery, the hillside city of Porto is a must-visit for any travel enthusiast.

Traditionally making its money through river trade and wine production, this city has a culture of great tasting vintages, in particular the port wine produced from the grapes of the Douro Valley. Many of the wine cellars, covering one side of the city, offer tours and tastings throughout the year. As one of Portugal’s many UNESCO world heritage sites, Douro Valley is well worth the trip.

During peak season, the weather will be hot but not overwhelming. However, hotels and flights will be more expensive, and tours may be fully booked. We recommend mid-season when the weather is a little cooler and everything has calmed down a little. You will have more space and time to enjoy the city at your own speed.

Sintra – Palaces Amongst Pines

Sintra is unlike anywhere else in the world. Palaces, castles, and majestic villas are nestled amongst pine trees scattered across a beautiful Portuguese hillside like castle Pena.

sintra castle in portugal

This mountainous destination is accessible from Lisbon and is worth at least one full day, if not more, to truly experience the splendor of all it has to offer. Walking between the different locations can be quite tiring, plus the footwork needed to get around the grounds can make it quite a physical day, so it’s best to factor in a little extra time so that you can enjoy this spectacle at your own pace.

Either side of summer will be the best time to visit Sintra; the weather won’t be at its hottest and the vegetation will be at its most beautiful. Keeping cool and enjoying the natural beauty of the mountain will make this a trip you will never forget.


We hope you’ve got some inspiration for your next trip and when is the best time for a cultural holiday in Portugal! If you want to discover more, we recommend our blog article 7 Beautiful Places to Visit in Portugal!

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