Portugal is one of the hottest destinations in Europe this summer for American travelers.
According to Reuters, Portugal set a new all-time record for visitors in May of 2023, with more than 1.7 million arrivals. In the first five months of 2023, Portugal has seen 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 high 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 so much popularity right now:
1. It’s Affordable
Portugal remains the most affordable destination in Western Europe. It’s on par with Croatia and Slovakia in terms of costs, and visitors will find that everything from hotels to food to transportation is cheaper in Portugal than elsewhere in Western Europe.
Although costs have been rising in recent years due to the influx of tourists and expats, Portugal still remains a budget-friendly 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 United Kingdom.
2. Beautiful Beaches
One of Portugal’s biggest attractions is its beaches. In southern Portugal, the Algarve region is known for having some of the most stunning beaches in Europe.
Whitewashed fishing villages, sandy beaches and coves, and dramatic rocky outcroppings are emblematic of the Algarve. Cities like Lagos and Faro make a great base for exploring the region.
There are also excellent surfing beaches near Lisbon, including Ericeira and Peniche, where you can catch some great waves (and take surfing lessons if you’re still a beginner.)
3. Great Cities
A highlight of Portugal is its cities. The capital of Lisbon can’t be missed. Known for its beautiful and colorful architecture, hilly streets, delicious food, and fascinating history, Lisbon is one of the best capital cities in Europe.
Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, is also worth a visit. Porto is known for its port wine and the River Douro, which flows through the center of the city. Taking a river cruise under the city’s many bridges or enjoying a tasting at one of the city’s many port cellars are some of the best things to do in Porto.
Beyond Lisbon and Porto, there are many 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 attracting a record number of visitors to Portugal right now is the country’s fascinating history and culture.
Fado is a type of music that embodies Portugal, and catching a performance of this mournful and emotional genre is a must while visiting 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 on vacation, a growing number of Americans are also calling Portugal home.
It’s a popular digital nomad hotspot where remote workers and entrepreneurs can enjoy an excellent quality of life for an affordable cost.
The cities of Lisbon and Porto are two popular places for digital nomads in Portugal, while Madeira, an island territory off the coast of Africa, or Peniche, a laidback surf town on the coast, are great for digital nomads looking to live near the beach.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com