The coldest season of the year also has its charms, both in the Algarve and in the capital.
In addition to the beauty of the beaches and the low temperatures, there are places that can be visited all year round.
In the past, Feu was known as the sardine factory and is now known for its sardine museum.
The museum is accessed by the old fish unloading area, which was then taken to the header room, which was considered the centre of the factory, where the mechanical washing and transport systems were located, as well as the brine tanks. In the centre nave of the old factory you can see a machine that used to print on metal plates.
This project shows cultural diffusion, a space for discovering the origins and evolution of the community, its territory and the most striking aspects of its industrial and maritime history.
The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve was founded in 2008 with the aim of concentrating all the facilities in the same physical space, such as: a race track, a kart track, an off-road track, the Hotel Algarve Race Resort, the Vista do Falcão Residence flats, a technology park and a sports complex.
Over 4.6 km long, the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve has had several international drivers take part: Lewis Hamilton, Emerson Fittipaldi and Michael Schumacher.
It hosts the most important races, such as MotoGP, Le Mans Seris or the Superbike Championship.
The highest point in the Algarve is in Fóia, which belongs to Monchique, the Algarve's mountain range. There's no-one who goes to the highest point in the Algarve and doesn't fall in love with the expanse of landscape that, on clear days, is only limited by the horizons of Cabo de São Vicente and Serra da Arrábida.
Caldas of Monchique is surrounded by woods and has its own thermal baths, which have a great reputation for treating certain illnesses. They have been known since the time of the Roman occupation.
There are also three well-known waterfalls with inexplicable beauty: Cascata do Barbelote, Cascata do Penedo do Buraco and Cascata do Chilrão.
Finally, we can’t forget the gastronomy. Monchique's gastronomy is the result of centuries-old know-how and traditional customs that have been passed down from generation to generation.
It's based on traditional sausages, the well-known Monchique-style cabbage, roast beef, beans with cabbage, the famous Bolo do Tacho and honey pudding.
As you can see, the Monchique Mountain range has a lot to offer.
Loulé's famous carnival is considered to be the oldest corso in the country and is very similar to the carnival in Rio de Janeiro. During these three days of revelry, “matrafonas”, floats, samba groups, dancers and the famous “cabeçudos” take to the streets to fill with revelry and joy.
The Ria Formosa is one of the Algarve's most stunning natural parks, covering some 60 km and encompassing several municipalities: Vila Real de Santo António, Faro, Olhão and Tavira.
It has diverse habitats such as dunes, marshes, pine forests and agricultural areas, and is an important area for birds.
Many species of migratory waterfowl from northern Europe spend the winter here or use the estuary as a stopover on their way south.
There are several Christmas markets in our capital, some of them already famous: the Christmas Market in Campo Pequeno square, the Christmas Market in Parque Eduardo VII and the Alvalade Christmas Market. They are almost obligatory at this time of year.
The tastiest and crispiest pastries in Portugal are in Belém.
Pastéis de Belém are made using a secret recipe from the Monastery, which is known only to the master pastry chefs who make them by hand in the "Oficina do Segredo" (Secret Workshop) and remains the same to this day.
If you like the world of nature or are curious about marine or terrestrial species, some of which are almost extinct, please read on.
The Lisbon Oceanarium has a large aquarium with 5 million litres of salt water, with four marine habitats that create the illusion that you are in the ocean. In this giant aquarium, you can find various species, such as mammals, birds, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, plants and algae.
It also has a temporary exhibition "Submerged Forests by Takashi Amano", the world's largest nature aquarium ever created by Takashi Amano. This aquarium contains 40 species of freshwater tropical fish and 46 species of aquatic plants.
At Lisbon Zoo, you can find other species that you won't find at the Oceanarium. The Zoo is home to around 2,000 animals of approximately 300 species, including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. In addition to the animals, you can also take the cable car and visit the zoo from a different perspective.