When is the best time of year to visit Portugal?

For as long as I can remember I, and most people I know, have been brainwashed into thinking a decent holiday in Europe is only feasible in July and August. Even hairdressers seem to be trained to only ask you about your holidays when spring comes to an end. I remember sweating my way around golf courses, queuing to get into a decent restaurant, rushing to the beach early to get a good spot and waiting till it was almost dark to have a game of tennis. That after fighting my way through airports that always resemble the inside of a sardine can (I’d imagine, I’ve never actually been inside one) whatever time of day you head off.

All the while it was perfectly warm back at home – what an odd (and expensive) time of year to leave. If the UK is anything like it was this summer then perhaps more people will realise there’s no need to leave.

Granted, if you have kids in school you have no choice in the matter. But if you don’t then it’s time to start thinking about skipping rush hour and heading to Portugal in October.

If you’re like me and want a relatively active break with walking, tennis, golf, sightseeing or cycling the likely mid 20s temperature (it can and does hit 30 degrees) is actually far more pleasant.

It’s also far easier to get a court, you’re less likely to be waiting for ages for the people in front of you to clear the hole and the whole place is actually much prettier. The countryside loses the inevitable browning of the summer becoming green, verdant and teeming with wildlife.

It’s almost bizarre then that at this glorious time of year everything is actually cheaper! Your flights will likely be half the price, as will the hotels. In all likelihood the whole trip will cost a fraction of a mid August one.

If you’re still stuck in your July and August ways give it a try – it’ll change your holidays forever.

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