For those of you who think Portugal only consists of glorious beaches, great food and wine and summer sun, think again. While the coastal region of the Algarve is packed full of summer visitors who want some sun on their backs, the Portuguese mountains are just as popular through the winter by those who love nothing better than wrapping up warm and playing around in the snow.
You can ski in Portugal from December to April, and considering that it is one of the main countries where people come for winter sun, it illustrates the diversity of Portugal that while some are lying on the beach, further inland others are flying down mountains. Within easy reach of the UK and with the budget airlines frequently flying here, Portugal should certainly be on your list when you are planning where to go skiing on your next trip.
What is the atmosphere like?
Much as you would expect from a country which relies heavily on tourism to boost its economy. The locals are friendly and will go out of their way to help you, and throw in the fabulous gastronomy and the wine that Portugal is famed for and you have all the ingredients for a great holiday.
Who will enjoy it?
There is something for everyone who wants a winter break in Portugal. The skiing is impressive, as are the snowboarding facilities. Whether you are a beginner or an expert there are slopes to suit and enough après ski to satisfy even the most discerning of winter enthusiasts.
How many resorts are there?
The main skiing area in Portugal is the Serra Da Estrela, and at the summit you will find the Vodafone ski resort. It's quite a small resort that has 4 lifts, 130m of vertical descent and 9 pistes totalling 7.7km in length. You can probably guess by the name that the resort is sponsored by the UK mobile network Vodafone, and since their relationship began back in 2005 they have made numerous improvements and it is now a very pleasant resort.
Staying in Portugal
In and around the Serra Da Estrela area you will find many comfortable hotels bookable through the popular online travel sites. The standards vary from cheap and cheerful to luxurious. Some of the hotels are set a short distance away from the resort itself and many couples go for these as they offer great facilities and all you need for a romantic break in the snowy mountains.
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