Portugal has the wind in its sails
With double-digit growth and a historic first place in terms of volume, the French market in Portugal is in insolent health. The reasons for this success in 5 travel experiences.
For the first time, the number of French visitors to Portugal surpassed German visitors in 2014. "This is historic," says Jean-Pierre Pinheiro, director of the tourist office of Portugal in France. Two million people visited the Iberian sun last year, an increase of 20% in a market that has been growing in double digits for four years. In addition to attractive prices in a time of crisis, Portugal has more than one reason for this popularity.
1/Lisbon and Porto, city-breaks par excellence
It is not surprising that the Germans are still in first place in terms of the number of overnight stays. French tourists are very fond of city breaks in Lisbon and Porto, destinations served by more than 22 cities in France thanks to low-cost airlines. Festive, cultural and creative, these two cities on a human scale "benefit from good word-of-mouth", confirms Jean-Pierre Pinheiro. In June, the festivals of Saint Anthony in Lisbon and Saint John in Porto are major popular events.
2/ A surfing destination for sure
Without going as far as surfing the biggest wave in the world off Nazaré, a record recently held by the Frenchman Benjamin SanchisIn Portugal, you can enjoy great surfing sensations. The country is famous for its spots in the north but also more in the south, notably in Carrapateira more suitable for beginners.
3/Chasing the "Quintas" and "Pousadas
Wine lovers are familiar with the term "quintas", which in Portuguese designate wine estates. In addition to the wines of Porto, the vineyards of the Upper Douro Valley are definitely worth a visit or at least a tasting. In the north of the Minho region, the "vihno verde" has also gained a solid reputation in recent years. In terms of accommodation, the "pousadasThe "paradores" offer, like the paradores in Spain, charming and affordable packages. Housed in old manors or convents that have been rehabilitated, they are often good gourmet stops.
4/Evora, the pearl of the Alentejo
Many call it the most beautiful historical city in Portugal. Proudly dominating the Alentejo plain, classified by Unesco for its Medieval and Renaissance heritage, Evora is in any case a living testimony of the golden age of the country. But the city does not dwell on its past: a beautiful animation reigns there during the year, thanks to a student and cultural life.
5/The idleness off the beaten track
If Portugal is proud of the opening this summer of its first Lookea club in the Algarve region and of a Framissima near Lisbon, its 800 km coastline makes it possible to find more confidential idle spots without worrying. For example, you can go and look for one on the east coast towards Tavira or on one of the best beaches listed by the tourist office of Portugal.