In the spring, discover the most charming historic Portuguese towns and villages, located in surprising and diverse natural environments.
At the beginning of the season, enjoy a unique gastronomic snack, lamprey, very common in the Santarém region, fished in the Tagus River. This delicacy is only available from February to April, the time of year when the lamprey leaves the depths of the sea and returns, to spawn, to the river where it spent the first four years of life in the shape of a larva.
Do not miss the opportunity to taste, in early spring, the “Silarcas” in the Alentejo. This snack is a mushroom that appears associated with the cork oaks and that the Alentejo people pick at this time of the year in the fields and forests. After cooking it becomes an unmissable and exciting delicacy.
Spring is the ideal time for hiking trails in the middle of dream fields colored by flowers, to discover the Portuguese fauna and flora or discover the exciting world of birdwatching, when migratory birds from many regions of the world seek shelter in this territory.
The traditional Carnival and Easter celebrations are also authentic and celebrated in Portugal in a very particular way, varying from region to region. Be sure to get to know the complex and ancestral traditions that guide the Easter Mysteries in the Idanha-a-Nova region or the Carnival “Brincas”, a manifestation of the intangible cultural heritage of the municipality of Évora.
The summer is ideal for exploring the sea beaches but also the Portuguese rivers and river beaches or for watching extraordinary sunsets at the top of one of the imposing medieval castles.
Watching the equinox or solstice of the Sun in one of the mysterious megalithic precincts that are concentrated in the region of Évora is an exciting and mystery-filled experience. Observe distant planets, stars and galaxies in one of the clearest skies in the world for astronomical observation. Alqueva, near Évora, is the first site in the world to be certified by the Starlight Foundation as a “Starlight Tourism Destination”, awarded by UNESCO.
In summer, you can also get to know the life cycle of cork better, which, as a raw material, begins with the extraction of bark from cork oaks. It is the so-called stripping that takes place during the most active phase of the growth of cork, between mid-May or early June until mid or late August.
Autumn begins with the harvest season and with the opportunity that you may have to participate in one of the vast wine tourism programs that we have prepared especially for this season.
At this time, there are in Portugal many parties and regional markets associated with wine where you can get to know and taste the quality and diversity of Portuguese wines.
Wine production in this territory is almost 3000 years old. This results in the great variety of grapes native to the Portuguese regions, which are rarely found in other regions of the world. There are more than 280 types of indigenous Portuguese grapes suitable for wine production. Thus, Portuguese lands are the third country in the world with the greatest diversity of indigenous grape varieties and a dream destination for wine lovers.
The Alentejo region and the Douro region are the areas of excellence for the production of Portuguese wines. In Portugal, the Alentejo has been the great guardian of Talha wines, having known how to preserve this winemaking process developed by the Romans until today. Over the years, the winemaking technique using large ceramic pots has been passed down from generation to generation, in an almost immutable way.
In the fall you can also delight yourself with the typical Portuguese roasted chestnuts or with typical Portuguese gastronomy that is usually associated with this and other dried fruits typical of the season. It is also at this time that the traditional sausage manufacturers are made. They are authentic and distinct between each region of Portugal, together with typical cheeses. It is an excellent opportunity to visit the local sausage factories and participate in thematic gastronomic workshops.
In winter you can try snow sports in Serra da Estrela or take the opportunity to get to know Portuguese gastronomy better, enjoying a gastronomic experience with one of the Portuguese Chefs recognized worldwide or discovering more typical and little-known family restaurants, which delight the discoverers of local flavors.
You can experience a Fado session in a traditional fado house, or visit modern museums that portray thousands of years of local culture and tradition.
There are many traditions and Christmas celebrations that are authentic and typical of Portugal, such as the tradition of Madeiro in the Beira Interior region, or Cante ao Menino, typical of the Alentejo. These festivities are always accompanied with sweets and gastronomy typical of each region and the Christmas season.
Three Kings Day, in Alentejo, is also an excellent opportunity to be touched by listening to Cante Alentejano, when several singing groups celebrate singing in the streets of Alentejo cities and towns. They almost always end up with all the people singing in unison, packed with the comfort of bread, wine and sausages distributed to the population at a community banquet.
Don’t miss the opportunity to watch the olive harvest and transform it into olive oil. This age-old tradition distinguishes Portugal as one of the world’s largest exporters of this product that is so appreciated and used worldwide.
We highlight in the region of Évora the popular parties of S. João and the Évora Wine party that take place in June, as well as the International Puppet Festival. In the summer months, Évora hosts lively cultural events, with many concerts of traditional Portuguese music, jazz or classical music. We also recommend the Wine and Vineyard market that takes place every year in November in Borba (typical village 30 minutes from Évora) or the Arraiolos carpet market. The OVIBEJA market is held annually in the Alentejo city of Beja and is also a popular celebration of Alentejo culture.
In Santarém we highlight the largest Portuguese agricultural market that takes place every year in June. Gastronomic and cultural event where all regions of Portugal are represented. We also highlight the Gastronomy Market, which is also held every year in Santarém, representing the best restaurants, chefs, Portuguese gastronomic products. Near Santarém we also highlight the Christmas Market and the Medieval Festival in the historic village of Óbidos, located 30 minutes from Santarém. We also recommend the Golegã Market, a festival and market dedicated to horses, where equine lovers and traders from all over the world converge.
In the region of Tomar, the ancient and mysterious celebration of the Festa dos Tabuleiros stands out, in honor of the divine holy spirit, which takes place every 4 years, perhaps the greatest popular and religious celebration in Portugal. Also worthy of note is the Templar Festival, which takes place every year in Tomar, with international conferences, historical recreations, concerts and gastronomy. The Bons Sons music festival is held in a village near Tomar and is an excellent opportunity to discover all Portuguese music, from the most traditional to the most modern. Every month, between May and October, on the 13th, there are celebrations and pilgrimages to the sanctuary of Fátima, 30 minutes from Tomar. Fatima is one of the most sacred places for Catholics around the world.