Today more than ever North Americans are flocking to Portugal. Recent years have witnessed a significant increase in U.S. travelers headed for this beautiful country. The word is finally getting out that this is an amazing part of the globe to visit. This is not news to the rest of the world; Lisbon is consistently ranked in the top three most visited cities in Europe. The majority of these tourists come from other European countries, so you know there has to be a special appeal if it’s where Europeans choose to spend their vacation dollars.
A significant amount of visitors are drawn to the warm weather and beautiful beaches. For years the southern most region of Portugal, the Algarve, was the leading destination, but this is beginning to change. Cities in Portugal are now overtaking beach destinations as the number one hot spots, thanks in part to year-round warm weather that offers a wide window for choosing the best time to visit Portugal. Travelers are taking a deeper interest in the culture of their surroundings, too, and the beach chaise and boat drinks are becoming secondary considerations.
One of the driving forces behind the rising interest in culture is food. Regional cuisine is hot and people are demanding an authentic experience. A crucial aspect of cultural immersion is to understand and live like the locals do, and that means fully exploring what they eat. In Portugal that means seafood, especially bacalhau. Bacalhau is a dried and salted codfish that originates from the pre-refrigeration days when fisherman had to preserve their catch. There is an insatiable appetite for this delicacy throughout the Iberian Peninsula and it is ubiquitous. It is prepared in so many ways that you are bound to like one. The Bolinhos de Bacalhau is a personal favorite. They are deep fried fritters that are impossible to resist!
To fully explore and find those hidden gems arrange your car rental in Portugal today!