History, culture and nature in perfect balance

Why visit Portugal

Portugal has an exceptional range of well-protected landscapes and nature areas, lots of leisure activities and an overwhelming cultural heritage, where tradition and modernity blend together. Its cuisine, fine wines and hospitable people make this a great destination for the responsible traveller. In March 2019, Portugal won the Best of Europe Award for sustainable tourism at ITB Berlin, the world's leading tourism fair.

Nine destinations in Portugal are committed to sustainable tourism. They are participating in the programs of Green Destinations and QualityCoast and their performance are checked every two years by an independent auditor. Check them out below under “Recommended Destinations”.


Portugal has a strong commitment with sustainable and green tourism. Ten destinations participate in Green Destinations' programs, trying to preserve their true values and to avoid over-tourism. The national Secretary of State for Tourism and Turismo de Portugal have joined Green Destinations' Global Leaders Program.

Getting there

By rail: CP (Portuguese railways) offers train services from Vigo, Madrid and Paris.
By coach: International routes are operated by Eurolines, Internorte and FlixBus.
By air: Airports all over the country facilitate international connections. Don’t forget to offset your carbon footprint if you choose to travel by plane.

Getting around

In mainland Portugal, main towns and cities are well connected by trains and coach services. By car there are two types of motorways: the traditional motorways with toll booths and those with an exclusively electronic toll system.

Tourism & People

Portugal has been very successful in attracting visitors, and some hotspots can be overcrowded during high season. Especially in Lisbon residents are hoping to prevent over-tourism and the government is planning control measures.

Portugese people are genuinely friendly and hospitable and keen to ensure safety and security for their guests.

Human rights are very well respected in Portugal.

Travel tips from our editors


Religious celebrations

Portugal is rich in religious local celebrations, they are precious and deserve our full respect. These are not events created for tourists, so apart from Carnival, please do not interfere. However, if there is a market connected to a celebration, this is your opportunity to buy the best local products available in the region.

Hot or busy in Lisbon?

Lisbon offers you some nice day trips. You can take a local ferry from Cais do Sodré to Casilhas, crossing Tejo river and offering wonderful views towards the capital. For day trips, consider the train to Sintra's lush woodlands and romantic cultural heritage; the beaches of Cascais; or to taste great wines in Torres Vedras.

Waste separation for recycling

For separate waste disposal, remember this color code:
GREEN bin for glass, BLUE for paper and cardboard
YELLOW for plastics and metal, RED for batteries and
WHITE for reusable clothing.

Sustainability Recognitions

In 2019 Portugal received the prestigious “Best of Europe” Award at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel event. Nine destinations in Portugal have been recognized for considerable efforts in sustainable and responsible tourism
Recognised by QualityCoast (Silver Award or higher) are:

Azores, Alto Minho, Oeste, Torres Vedras, Sintra, Cascais and Lagos.

Recognised with a “Green Destinations Award” (Gold or higher) are:

Alto Minho and Serras do Socorro e Archeira Protected Landscape.

Ana Mendes Godinho
Former Secretary of State for Tourism
"Portugal adopted a 10-year strategy to become the world’s most sustainable destination. It is implementing measures to have tourism throughout the year, across the country, with a qualified and valued workforce and with efficient water and energy consumption and waste management. The work is paying off. In 2018 Portugal had the lowest seasonality index, the tourism workforce is becoming more qualified and better paid, companies are adopting responsible measures."

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