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Portugal is one of the most popular destinations in Europe this summer for American travelers.
According to Reuters, Portugal set a new all-time visitor record in May 2023, with more than 1.7 million arrivals. In the first five months of 2023, Portugal received 6.4 million visitors compared to 5.7 million visitors in the same period of 2019.
The country is on track to receive a record number of visitors this year and, after British tourists, Americans are the most common nationality visiting Portugal, followed by the French.
So why are Americans flocking to Portugal in record numbers?
Here’s why Portugal is experiencing such popularity right now:
1. It’s affordable
Portugal remains the most affordable destination in Western Europe. It’s on a par with Croatia and Slovakia in terms of costs, and visitors will find everything from hotels to food to transportation cheaper in Portugal than anywhere else in Western Europe.
Although costs have risen in recent years due to an influx of tourists and expats, Portugal remains a budget destination where you can experience a lot for very little money.
Your money will go much further in Portugal than in nearby Spain, France or the UK.
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2. Beautiful Beaches
One of the biggest attractions of Portugal are its beaches. In the south of Portugal, the Algarve region is known for having some of the most stunning beaches in Europe.
Whitewashed fishing villages, sandy beaches and coves, and spectacular rock outcroppings are emblematic of the Algarve. Cities such as Lagos and Faro are an excellent base for exploring the region.
There are also great surfing beaches near Lisbon, including Ericeira and Peniche, where you can catch big waves (and take surf lessons if you’re still a beginner).
3. Big Cities
The highlight of Portugal are its cities. The capital of Lisbon is not to be missed. Known for its beautiful and colorful architecture, steep streets, delicious food, and fascinating history, Lisbon is one of the best capitals in Europe.
Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, is also worth a visit. Porto is known for its Port wine and the Douro River, which runs through the center of the city. Taking a river cruise under the city’s many bridges or enjoying a tasting at one of the many wineries in the city’s port are some of the best things to do in Porto.
Beyond Lisbon and Porto, there are plenty of great underrated destinations in Portugal where you can escape the crowds and see another side of the country.
4. Interesting culture
Another thing that is drawing record numbers of visitors to Portugal right now is the country’s fascinating history and culture.
Fado it is a type of music that represents Portugal, and enjoying a performance of this mournful and emotional genre is a must during your visit to Portugal.
In the northern part of the country there are many vineyards, especially in the Douro Valley. Visiting a vineyard and learning how port is produced is a great day trip from Porto and provides a glimpse into a tradition that is hundreds of years old.
5. Digital nomad hotspot
Although many Americans visit Portugal for just a week or two of vacation, a growing number of Americans also call Portugal home.
It is a popular hotspot for digital nomads where remote workers and entrepreneurs can enjoy a great quality of life at an affordable price.
The cities of Lisbon and Porto are two popular spots for digital nomads in Portugal, while Madeira, an island territory off the coast of Africa, or Peniche, a sleepy surf town on the coast, are great for digital nomads looking to They are looking to live near the beach. .
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com