The small city of Vila Real, with its population of just less than 25,000 people, is situated in northern Portugal. It is the ideal place to take a relaxing vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the coastal resorts, and is most suitable for those people that would like to gain a further appreciation for the Portuguese culture and way of life. The first step towards this aim, is to choose somewhere to stay, and a holiday rental cottage in Vila Real is ideal in this regard. With all the creature comforts of home, tasteful furnishings and décor, and a fully equipped kitchen, self catering accommodation in Vila Real is a tranquil base from which to explore the area.
No vacation is complete without trying some of the leisure activities that we never seem to have time for at home, and a holiday in Vila Real offers the chance to try a wide variety of outdoor pursuits. The countryside is a great attraction for anyone that enjoys cycling and hiking, and it seems that in Portugal, one never need travel far to find a golf course. Whilst Vila Real is situated inland, the coast is only an hour’s drive away, where anyone that likes swimming, windsurfing or any other number of water sports will be in their element.
One of the main attractions to visit in the area around the holiday rental cottage in Vila Real is a mere 4 kilometres east of the town. This is where the magnificent Baroque style Mateus Palace is to be found, which is often described as the best country house in Portugal. Guided tours of the palace are available, which give valuable information on the furniture and architecture, and the gardens are delightful to walk around. Other ideas for day trips include taking a vineyard tour to try a spot of wine tasting and find out how it is made, and visiting the city of Porto, with its many museums and art galleries.
Unlike the more southerly parts of Portugal, Vila Real often experiences cold, frosty winters, with average daily low temperatures of 2.5 degrees during December, January and February. The summers are however much warmer, when the hottest months of July and August see the average daily high temperatures hover around the 30 degree mark. The summer sees minimal rainfall, but the winter can be very wet, with December receiving on average 150mm falling in the month. With this in mind, most people choose to stay in self catering accommodation in Vila Real during the summer months.
The closest airport to the holiday rental cottage in Vila Real is located just over an hours drive away at Porto. Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport (OPO) is a major international facility, offering connections with many cities from around Europe and further afield. Of particular interest to people travelling from the United Kingdom will be Easyjet flights from London Gatwick (LGW), Ryanair flights from London Stansted (STN) and TAP Portugal flights from London Gatwick (LGW). Car rental is available on arrival, and may be of some use during a holiday in Vila Real.