If You Only Go On One Vacation This Year, This Should Be It

There’s one often overlooked destination in the world that has everything you need. From unspoiled beaches and warm waters to the bustle of a busy city and the peace of the countryside. This one destination has everything you love.

Culture? Food? History? Views? Relaxation? Adventure? No matter what your dream vacation includes, this place ticks the boxes for everyone.

I’m talking about Portugal, the coolest country in Europe right now. If you only go on one vacation this year, this should be it. Fast emerging as this year’s hottest vacation destination, Portugal has captured the heart’s of celebrities and IT girls alike.

Those who get a chance to see the real Portugal are easily converted into repeat visitors, and it’s easy to see why it’s become the vacation destination of 2018. You can book a ten-day trip and experience the highlights of Portugal for yourself, which I would recommend if you want to have your fill of food and wine and live like a local in paradise. Get $100 off your trip with the code CGD100 here.

Forget what you think you know about Portugal, get ready to be reintroduced.

There’s one often overlooked destination in the world that has everything you need. From unspoiled beaches and warm waters to the bustle of a busy city and the peace of the countryside. This one destination has everything you love.

Culture? Food? History? Views? Relaxation? Adventure? No matter what your dream vacation includes, this place ticks the boxes for everyone.

I’m talking about Portugal, the coolest country in Europe right now. If you only go on one vacation this year, this should be it. Fast emerging as this year’s hottest vacation destination, Portugal has captured the heart’s of celebrities and IT girls alike.

Those who get a chance to see the real Portugal are easily converted into repeat visitors, and it’s easy to see why it’s become the vacation destination of 2018. You can book a ten-day trip and experience the highlights of Portugal for yourself, which I would recommend if you want to have your fill of food and wine and live like a local in paradise. Get $100 off your trip with the code CGD100 here.

Forget what you think you know about Portugal, get ready to be reintroduced.

Start in Lisbon for pasteis, vintage shopping, and culture.

You are never more than a whisper away from the action in Lisbon. It’s the pulsing heart of Portugal and is known as a city for creatives, artists, and influencers.

Nestled along the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is a mixture of modern luxury and ancient fairytale. Which, is why it’s so popular with those seeking culture and experience. The streets are cobbled, peppered with boutique stores like my favorite, Pappabubble, which sells delectable handmade candy. A wooden funicular or an iron-tram can carry you around the city with ease, while you make pit stops at the best boutiques, vintage stores, and eateries.

It’s a charming city that will take your breath away and leave you wanting to explore. Sao Jorge Castle is an excellent place to see sweeping views of Lisbon and learn a little more about the enigmatic history and mixture of cultures that have risen and fallen here.

For an authentic Portuguese experience, be sure to head to the famous Pasteis de Belém and try a Pasteis de Nata. You’ll see plenty of Instagram shots of this humble little custard tart. Top tip: If you visit at the right time, you’ll enjoy your snack with views of wild flamingos in the salt marshes alongside the Vasco de Gama bridge.

THIS CHARMING CITY WILL LEAVE YOU WANTING MORE

You’re never far from the action in Lisbon

Start in Lisbon for pasteis, vintage shopping, and culture.

You’re never far from the action in Lisbon

You are never more than a whisper away from the action in Lisbon. It’s the pulsing heart of Portugal and is known as a city for creatives, artists, and influencers.

Nestled along the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is a mixture of modern luxury and ancient fairytale. Which, is why it’s so popular with those seeking culture and experience. The streets are cobbled, peppered with boutique stores like my favorite, Pappabubble, which sells delectable handmade candy. A wooden funicular or an iron-tram can carry you around the city with ease, while you make pit stops at the best boutiques, vintage stores, and eateries.

It’s a charming city that will take your breath away and leave you wanting to explore. Sao Jorge Castle is an excellent place to see sweeping views of Lisbon and learn a little more about the enigmatic history and mixture of cultures that have risen and fallen here.

For an authentic Portuguese experience, be sure to head to the famous Pasteis de Belém and try a Pasteis de Nata. You’ll see plenty of Instagram shots of this humble little custard tart. Top tip: If you visit at the right time, you’ll enjoy your snack with views of wild flamingos in the salt marshes alongside the Vasco de Gama bridge.

Take a trip to Evora to slow down and learn the way of life.

Evora is a unique city. Different from anywhere I’ve been before, it still contains much of the charm and charisma of Lisbon, but at a slower pace. Evora houses one of the best preserved Roman Temples in the Iberian Peninsula, said to be from early 1st Century AD. This city is full of fascinating little quirks like a chapel made entirely from bones.

In the Alentejo region, you will notice traditionally-painted houses, and see the countryside coming alive. The Alentejo countryside is calm, relaxing, and a world away from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon. Take a moment to appreciate the little details. Everywhere you look, you’ll see, “Comidas, Vinhos, Petiscos.” Food, wine, and small plates (not unlike tapas, but definitely not tapas if you ask a Portuguese person).

One of the great joys of Portugal is the food. Dip into one of these places and enjoy the experience, where sitting around the table is an act of love, and clearing your plate is the highest compliment you can pay.

THE ALENTEJO REGION IS WHERE THE COUNTRYSIDE COMES ALIVE

Be sure to see the Roman Temple while you’re visiting

Take a trip to Evora to slow down and learn the way of life.

The Alentejo region is where the countryside comes alive

Evora is a unique city. Different from anywhere I’ve been before, it still contains much of the charm and charisma of Lisbon, but at a slower pace. Evora houses one of the best preserved Roman Temples in the Iberian Peninsula, said to be from early 1st Century AD. This city is full of fascinating little quirks like a chapel made entirely from bones.

In the Alentejo region, you will notice traditionally-painted houses, and see the countryside coming alive. The Alentejo countryside is calm, relaxing, and a world away from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon. Take a moment to appreciate the little details. Everywhere you look, you’ll see, “Comidas, Vinhos, Petiscos.” Food, wine, and small plates (not unlike tapas, but definitely not tapas if you ask a Portuguese person).

One of the great joys of Portugal is the food. Dip into one of these places and enjoy the experience, where sitting around the table is an act of love, and clearing your plate is the highest compliment you can pay.

Go to the Algarve for sun, fun, and a deserted island.

Take a trip to a deserted island

Known for its vibrant strips and tourist spots, the Algarve can get a bad rap. There are still some hidden spots. Ilha Deserta, for example, is an unspoiled island, and the perfect way to get your beach fix without sacrificing your peace. Even in the height of the summer, there should only be a handful of people on the island, and the only building in sight is a restaurant.

Once you’ve had your fill of paradise, and paddled in the cool crystal waters, head to the famed Estamine Restaurant for some of the best seafood dishes in the region. Try the octopus salad, with a glass of wine, and look out over the incredibly pristine beach. This slice of paradise is so good, you’ll want to take it home.

The only way to sum up how you’ll feel when you leave is the Portuguese word we have no translation for, ‘saudades.’ A longing for a place, time, or feeling. 

Go to the Algarve for sun, fun, and a deserted island.

Known for its vibrant strips and tourist spots, the Algarve can get a bad rap. There are still some hidden spots. Ilha Deserta, for example, is an unspoiled island, and the perfect way to get your beach fix without sacrificing your peace. Even in the height of the summer, there should only be a handful of people on the island, and the only building in sight is a restaurant.

Once you’ve had your fill of paradise, and paddled in the cool crystal waters, head to the famed Estamine Restaurant for some of the best seafood dishes in the region. Try the octopus salad, with a glass of wine, and look out over the incredibly pristine beach. This slice of paradise is so good, you’ll want to take it home.

The only way to sum up how you’ll feel when you leave is the Portuguese word we have no translation for, ‘saudades.’ A longing for a place, time, or feeling.

VISIT A DESERTED ISLAND

Your ten-day trip will take you to Ilha Deserta

So if you’re ready to enjoy life like never before, book your ten day trip to Portugal with EF Ultimate Break now. And don’t forget to use the code CGD100 for $100 off.

GOOD THINGS

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So if you’re ready to enjoy life like never before, book your ten day trip to Portugal with EF Ultimate Break now. And don’t forget to use the code CGD100 for $100 off.

GOOD THINGS

…come to those who sign up for our emails

Beth Macdonald

Managing Editor

I'm the Managing Editor of CGD. I'm a graduate of the Penguin Writer's Academy and have published a short story. I specialize in copywriting, digital marketing, and research.