Lonely Planet Portugal (Travel Guide)
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Festivals aside, it’s not easy to pin down the best month to visit Portugal. That really depends on what you’re after: outdoor activities in the south? Go in winter when the crowds and prices are thinnest, and the weather is pleasant but not hot. Beach days with plenty of time in the surf? Visit in summer when the water temperatures are warmest. A mix of urban exploring and hiking adventures in the wilderness in the north? Opt for the shoulder season when it’s not so rainy, and the cities aren’t yet filled with tourists.
Fall sets in, and smoke and the scent of roasting chestnuts fill the city as street vendors switch from selling ice cream. Lisbon’s weather in October is not too cold and not too warm – still inviting enough to spend plenty of time outdoors.The 76m-high (249ft) Torre dos Clérigos, designed by Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni in the 1700s, is Porto’s signature landmark. The baroque tower soars above the city rooftops and visitors can climb 225 steps to reach far-reaching city views from the top. It's not an experience for the claustrophobic – the structure definitely wasn’t built with big crowds in mind!
From golden beaches and mountainous peaks to lush river valleys, every region has its own diverse highlights across this small Iberian nation.Be aware that cycling conditions aren’t perfect everywhere, with cobbled streets in some old-town centers liable to jar your teeth loose if your tires aren’t fat enough; city cyclists should have wheels at least 38mm in diameter. Rattle across Lisbon and Porto via tram
Unfortunately, Portugal is not a user-friendly country for travelers with disabilities. Some train stations have ramps, others do not. Some trains also have interior steps making access difficult. In general, Porto is the best city for getting around if you have a wheelchair. Nearly all metro stations are fully accessible with ramps, elevators, and dedicated spaces for wheelchair users onboard metro trains. Lisbon has fewer elevators, and they are often out of service. Expressos and Rápidas: Comfortable, fast buses. The former tends to run between major cities, the latter around specific regions. These tend to be the most popular with tourists. The country’s rail network is headed by CP (Comboios de Portugal), which has handy rail network maps online. They run four main types of long-distance service:Insider scoop on the best festivals, secret hangouts, hidden locations, tantalising local food scene and photo-worthy views The hottest month in Lisbon, July is also when the days are longest, with the sun shining for almost 11 hours. Plan for long days at the beach, lots of al fresco dining, and festival-hopping in and around Lisbon. The star of Sintra-Vila is this palace, with its iconic twin conical chimneys and lavish, whimsical interior, which is a mix of Moorish and Manueline…