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Last updated : Nov 2009
Portugal Sports
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Wine tasting

Portugal is renowned for its Port but is also establishing a good reputation for its still light wines that use a variety of indigenous grapes. For its size Portugal boasts a high number of different styles of wine and vineyards can be found throughout the country. Oporto is famous for port wine, which became a major trade following a 1703 agreement with the United Kingdom, and there are many wine lodges, still bearing English names like Croft or Graham, where visitors are welcome.

Music and folklore

The melancholic fado, said to have originated from 16th-century sailors’ songs, is Portugal’s best-known musical form. One of the best places to experience it is Lisbon, with many fado clubs located in the Alfama and Bairro Alto neighbourhoods. One of the country’s main traditional crafts is the making of decorative tiles known as azulejos. Visitors wishing to learn the craft should enquire locally. Traditional folk dancing is still practised in the rural areas and there are numerous colourful festivals.


Portugal’s coastline offers excellent beach holidays with all the usual activities including:

sailing and windsurfing

For information on diving, which is practiced in many areas along the coast, contact:

The Portuguese Federation for Underwater Activities (FPAS),
Rua Frei Manuel Cardoso 39,
1700 Lisbon
Telephone number/fax number: 2181 41148
,e-mail: fpas@fpas.pt
website: www.fpas.pt

The Algarve has a perpetually mild climate, although the tides can be strong during the winter, and big-game fishing is popular here. The west coast is best for surfing and the Beiras in the north has big Atlantic breakers with many deserted beaches.

The wetlands around Rio de Aveiro (crossed by numerous canals) offer some interesting boat trips in traditional Portuguese moliceiros (gondola-like sailing barges). Another good boating destination is the Douro Valley, stretching from Oporto to the Spanish border, where the River Douro is navigable. Canoeing is available in the Peneda-Gerês National Park.


Portugal is a well-known golfing destination and the south in particular has many championship golf courses with 19 in the Algarve alone. The mild climate allows playing all year round. Some of the best-known 18-hole courses include:

Estoril, one of the oldest, close to Lisbon, hosting many major competitions.

Quinta de Marinha, on the Estoril coast near Lisbon, with good views of the Sintra mountain range.

Golden Eagle, near Rio Maior, boasting a typically US design, open to non-members.

Ponte de Lima, a typical mountain course in the northern Minho region, close to vineyards, fruit gardens and mountains.

Estela, on the coast near Póvoa de Varzim.

Tróia, in Alentejo, southern Portugal, reputedly the country’s most difficult course.

The Royal Golf Course, in the Algarve, said to be one of the world’s most famous and most photographed courses.


The Peneda-Gerês National Park, a wilderness park in the far north near the Spanish border, has many short-distance walking trails with places to swim along the way. The dense Foia forest in the Algarve highlands also offers good walks with beautiful scenery. Horseriding is also available in the park as well as in many resorts elsewhere.

Portugal offers some excellent cycling routes, notably in the Minho region in the north, where the most interesting villages and towns are sometimes not accessible by car.

Useful travel links
visit Portugal Tourist Board of Portugal