Thursday, November 7, 2013

Portugal In November? We Think So!

Portugal, if you are European, is known for its amazing sights, history, and cuisine. If you are American, Portugal has largely remained undiscovered. American tourists are travelling to neighboring Spain, and for some reason, usually skip over Portugal all together. For a small country about the size of Indiana, this Iberian nation boasts nearly every activity for travelers, as well as great annual events. November in particular is a great time to travel to Portugal, while other parts of Europe become wet and dreary in November, most of Portugal sees unusually warm and sunny weather, referred to there as ‘St. Martin’s Summer’.  St. Martin’s Day, on November 11th brings countrywide celebrations, including indulging in roasted chestnuts and a local alcoholic beverage called Gerupiga. November also brings lower prices for travellers, which is always a plus.

In addition to the pleasant weather, November also marks the National Horse Fair in Golega, one of the most important horse festivals in Portugal. Events include equestrian competitions, a horse auction, and an array of local food and beverages tourists can enjoy. From November 8 through 13, chocolate lovers will be able to attend the International Chocolate Festival in Obidous. Visitors will enjoy tastings, chocolate sculptures, and even a chocolate fashion show.

Travellers to Lisbon at the end of November should consider attending Lisbon’s fifth annual Contemporary Art Fair, which takes place November 24 through 28. There are also several music festivals in Portugal throughout November. If you decide to visit Portugal in November, you will be delighted to learn that there are actually fewer crowds in November, which makes it perfect for visitors to explore streets and cities without feeling crowded or rushed. Because November is also during Europe’s off-peak travel months, visitors can score great deals on hotels and bed and breakfasts. Flights are also cheaper and if your plan well, often travel within Portugal can be cheaper as well.

November truly can be a great time to travel to Europe, as long as you know where! Consider exploring Portugal and seeing a whole other side to Europe with fewer crowds, cheaper lodging, and less expensive travel costs. What more could you want in a vacation?

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