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Five Reasons to Consider a Portugal Winter Road Trip

Host Writer
Published 03/02/2020 Five Reasons to Consider a Portugal Winter Road Trip


We were starting to feel the January blues creep into February here at HU, daydreaming of warmer climes and sunny southern Europe. So instead of wallowing, we thought why not invite Katie from Siesta Campers in Portugal to guest blog for us on HostWriter

What exactly makes exploring the country so appealing when the weather still has us reaching for the gloves further north? Here is what she told us....

Author: Katie Moran, Siesta Campers

There comes a moment when the cosiness of Autumn merges into the festivities of Christmas and before you realise it, you suddenly find yourself staring into the long months of January and February.

With the cold still creeping in and the days not getting much longer, you wouldn't be blamed for daydreaming of balmy evenings in the Bahamas or stretches of Summer spent by the sea.

Blog-Siesta-1.jpgPhoto: Tom Kahler

However, there are ways of getting in a quick Winter warmer instead of waiting it out until the Spring sun comes around. While Portugal has long been considered a holiday favourite with tourism showing no signs of slowing down, it's year-round good weather and stunning landscapes also make it the unsung hero for an alternative Winter weekend escape.

Need convincing? Look no further! At Siesta Campers we're well-seasoned travellers lucky enough to call Portugal home and have come up with five reasons why you should pack your suitcase and join us on a road trip for some Portuguese winter Sunshine.

1.    Deserted Beaches
Without a doubt, when Portugal opens its doors to the tourists that flock here in the Summer, there's one hot spot at the top of their agenda: the beach. Renowned for its endless coastline (the Alentejo region has almost forty miles of untouched beaches) hazy sunsets and sleepy seaside villages, Portugal offers a visual palette that Instagrammers and drone owners can only dream of.

Blog-Siesta-2.jpg Photo: Tom Kahler

However, once the high season settles down and the Winter kicks in, the masses disperse and the beaches take on a whole new tranquillity. Gone are the sun loungers and droves of surf schools and in their place remain empty stretches of sand that make havens for hiking and gentle Winter strolls. Of course, if you're no stranger to surfing, you'll know the extra legroom in the ocean is another draw for Portuguese Winter escapes.

2.    Bigger Swells
With swells reaching between 6 feet and even up to 15 feet in the Winter, it's no surprise that Portugal has become a global fixation for surfers travelling the world in pursuit of their next adrenaline hit.

Blog-Siesta-3.jpgPhoto: Tom Kahler

Whether you come as a spectator to take in the powerful awe of Nazaré's "Big Wave Season" between October and March or are keen on taking a dip to catch the friendlier waves in the Southern bays, the Winter surf season in Portugal is one to keep on your radar. Its location next to Spain means that Portugal picks up swells North, South and West of the Atlantic. With a variety of waves and surf up and down the coast, beginners looking to catch their first will have no shortage of surf schools to choose from with favourites including Peniche, Ericeira, Arrifana and Lisbon's Guincho coastline, a gem for windsurfers. While the water will certainly be fresh, you won't need more than a 4/3 wetsuit which luckily, are easily rented and will cost you half the price of a Summer rental. 

3.    Low Season, Lower Prices

Is there anything worse than the dread of comparing flights and hotel prices as they fluctuate in the approach to Summer? This is perhaps the Holy Grail of off-season escapes, avoiding the hysteria that can be peak season pricing. Flights, car rentals, campsite prices, surf schools and Air BnBs in Portugal are all less expensive out of season, offering the perfect opportunity to book an escape that won't leave you pinching pennies at the end of the month.

Blog-Siesta-4.jpgPhoto: Tom Kahler

With the extra capacity gained from fewer visitors, prices can even be more competitive with endless possibilities for bagging yourself a great discount, this can be great for planning a group road trip with friends and family. Portugal is already considered one of the more affordable European countries, so factor in the off-season prices on top of this and you can be in for a real deal!

4.     A shot of Vitamin D
While the rest of Europe carries the burden of grey skies and Winter blues, Portugal's Atlantic coast can't quite relate, enjoying 300 days of sunshine per year. While you might not be in your bikini, the Algarve is known to still have temperatures between 17-20 degrees Celsius in the winter months and makes for an ideal getaway to defrost from the harsher Winters experienced in Northern Europe.

Blog-Siesta-5.jpg Photo: Emilie Cheyenne

You can also top up your Vitamin D in a calmer atmosphere, with the break from peak season and crowds that come with it, restaurants and cafés have more time to serve guests often exchanging stories about the local area and sharing their personal recommendations of where to try the best marisco (seafood) or cozido (traditional Portuguese stew) or where to sip on the tastiest caipirinha, a popular cocktail brought to Portugal from Brazil.

5.     Many Countries in One

Blog-Siesta-6.jpg Photo: Kim Leuenberger

Something underrated about Portugal is just how diverse it is, each region has a striking contrast that leaves you with the kaleidoscope feeling of having many countries in one. Take in the opulence and culture of Porto in the North and the dazzling waterfalls and greenery of the Gerés National Park, get swept up in the beauty and bustle of the capital Lisbon and just watch yourself become utterly charmed by the endearing Alentejo region.

Blog-Siesta-7.jpg Photo: Kim Leuenberger

Get lost in the stunning Portuguese interior navigating Portugal's Route 69- the EN2, before landing in the doorway to the stunning landscape and historic towns that make up the Algarve. 

If you're undecided about where your next adventure should take you, Portugal offers a great one-size-fits-all solution with a little bit of something for everyone!

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