Portugal is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy some heartfelt entertainment. There is a lively nightlife scene particularly in the capital Lisbon and restaurants, cervejarias or beer gardens, bars, cafes and clubs are open until the small hours. In Lisbon, the esplanades around Príncipe Real and Jardim da Estrela are the place to be. They offer many places to relax eat drink and watch the world go by. Down by the river, there is a wealth of cafes and bars which look out onto the silvery reflection of the city. There are also many cultural events on offer across the country with plenty of concerts, ballet and theatre plays. Bull fighting also still takes place here.
Wine making tours are abundant and all are set against some spectacular landscapes. The Minho is the area where the vinho verde grapes grow along trellises and the Douro is the region where the famous port wine is made. In the Centro de Portugal region wine routes run through the many attractive and historical towns and further south the wine routes run close to some amazing waterways like the River Tagus. The Alentejo wine route extends over sun-scorched plains and on the island of Madeira you can see how the famous Madeira Wine is produced. Vines are grown by hand here in terracotta pots on terraces or supported by stone walls along the mountain slopes. In September the Madeira Wine Festival takes place to celebrate this ancient tradition.
Portugal hosts many religious and cultural festivals including the Festival Músicas do Mundo (World Music Festival), which takes place in July in Sines. The Sudoeste Festival held at the beach in Zambujeira do Mar in August is the home of one of the country’s best pop-rock festivals. The Popular Saints Festival is held in Lisbon in June and the city is filled with vivid processions, barbecued food cooked in basil and fortune telling. The Festival of the South-West, held annually in August at the Herdade da Casa Branca brings hundreds of young people together to listen to a wide array of musical performances. In Braga at Easter there is a festival to celebrate Holy Week. During this week the city is festooned in religious decorations and there are many street altars called Passos covered with flowers and lights. The main procession consists of the Farricocos (lay brothers), carrying torches and walking barefoot in purple tunics and with their heads covered.
Families will enjoy a safari in Alentejo, where they can experience a variety of animals from buffaloes, lamas, wild boars and ostriches to giraffes, tigers, kangaroos and zebras. There is more wildlife to be found in Badoca Park, where children can learn about wildlife native to the country. There are also many attractions including jeep rides through forested areas and meadows where you can see animals from all over the world.
Portugal has some fantastic golf courses. The most famous is the Belavista Golf Club in Lisbon, which lies on the River Tagus and the sea. You can play golf until 11pm here. Sul do Tejo has some wonderful golf courses surrounded by beautiful scenery. World renowned architects, Rocky Roquemore, Frank Pennink and Robert Trent Jones have designed the golf courses in this area. On the coast in Estoril and Sintra, there are over 10 challenging golf courses. The Aroeira ll located in the Aroeira tourist complex is a rather unique course with long greens and some close-cut turf. On the coast you can enjoy a wide range of water sports like windsurfing at Guincho, water skiing in the bay of Cascais, and surfing at Praia Grande. There are also a diverse range of other sports available in this region including paragliding, hang-gliding, rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking and horse riding.