Often we are asked about what are some of the wonderful places that Portugal has to offer and that everyone should know about. So we decided to make a list, hopefully to serve as inspiration to prepare a quick getaway weekend or a family vacation week. This is a set of our suggestions and the numbers are not intended to imply any order of preference.
This is one of the most pristine and wild paradise of Portugal, an archipelago located about six miles west of Cabo Carvoeiro. It consists of three small islands, Berlenga Grande, Estelas and Farilhões, only the first being permanently inhabited, but with very few people. It can be reached by boat from Peniche. You can view our tips to visit the Berlengas here.
The Algarve is a traditional holiday destination not only for the Portuguese, but also for everyone looking for sun, sea and sand. It needs no introduction. Enjoy the magnificent beaches and enjoy the warmth of southern Portugal.
The capital of Portugal is fashionable nowadays. And it’s not just our opinion. The international tourism community has been rewarding and distinguishing Lisbon as one of the world’s best travel destinations. Lisbon has gradually been gaining a prominent place in European tourism. Many of the tourists who travel in Europe integrate Lisbon in their circuit and they do not repent. Lisbon appeals to the younger, as well as to the most experienced tourists, and all those who like places with charisma and whose population boasts a genuine smile. Check more tips here.
VALE DAS BURACAS, SERRA DO SICÓ
North of Serra do Rabaçal, a few kilometres from Condeixa-a-Nova, municipal road 609 takes us to the village of Casmilo. What brought us to Casmilo was the Vale das Buracas, ‘Valley of Holes’, a valley with steep, bare slopes, where there are several rock shelters, called ‘Buracas’. The Buracas may have elliptical or circular shape and its dimensions are very variable.
The north of Portugal is full of charms and the town of Caminha is one of those places. Enjoy the northern hospitality, good wine, great food and wonderful scenery.
The Azores are one of our favourite spots in Portugal. Explore the different islands, all volcanic in origin, but quite distinct from each other. Azores is like a forgotten paradise in the middle of the Atlantic. There are not many places like this in the world.
Aveiro is the Venice of the north of Portugal. Beautiful beaches, a beautiful city, typical boats, people with history and natural stunning lagoon landscape. It is a beautiful corner of our country.
Alentejo is one of the least populated areas of the country and perhaps that is why it still has so many hidden charms. Endless plains, dam reservoirs, lost villages, historic towns, etc. Dare to explore this territory.
COSTA VICENTINA (VICENTINA COAST)
The Vicentina Coast is one of our beloved places to escape during the summer in Portugal. A strip of coast full of wild and almost deserted beaches, with hospitable people, and delightful food. What more can you want?
COSTA ALENTEJANA (ALENTEJO COAST)
The Alentejo coast is one of the most beautiful regions of Portugal and the world. These titles are quite common but the truth is that for us the beauty of the Alentejo coast is unparalleled in many places.
The train line that followed Tua river closed a few years ago. The Tua Valley will forever be submerged with the construction of a dam. The great heritage and landscape that exists there will be lost forever. This is the time to do it. One day only our photographs will show what this place was once.
ESTRELA MOUNTAIN RANGE
It’s a classic, but a deserving one. The highest point in continental Portugal, it still preserves the typical way of life of the highlands. How about a visit to the snow on the Serra da Estrela?
Colourful houses, traditional Portuguese beaches and good sea food. The Costa Nova has a privileged view of the Aveiro lagoon and the Atlantic. It’s a beautiful destination for a getaway.
It’s one of the most beautiful monasteries and one of the Portuguese architectural examples. It deserves a closer look on a weekend getaway.
AIRES AND CANDEEIROS MOUNTAIN RANGE
It’s a very distinctive mountain in the national context. With spiked caves and grottos, the Serra de Aires e Candeeiros invites to know her above and below. Schedule a visit to its caves and enjoy this attraction of Portugal.
HOUSE OF ROCK, FAFE MOUNTAIN RANGE
In 2014 this house appeared in the international press when it was considered one of the strangest houses in the world. You can visit this house, and do a small trek through the Fafe mountain range, in the north of Portugal. See more here.
This is one of the most beautiful castles in Portugal. Its location, on an island in the middle of the Tagus, takes us to a medieval setting. You can visit it in a quick and short trip from Lisbon.
It’s a beautiful Portuguese little town, very close to the capital and the Tejo river, and a beautiful destination to spend a few days relaxing.
VILA NOVA DE GAIA
It is said that Oporto is even more beautiful seen from Vila Nova de Gaia. This reason alone would make it worth coming here. However, attractions abound in Vila Nova de Gaia, especially linked to the Douro River and Port wine.
Whenever we have a little time to spare and a few days of rest, we cannot resist and we flee to Baleal. On the coast of Peniche, it has been for long one of our retreats, a place where we like to watch the sun disappear behind the blue Atlantic, a place where our geographies meet.
The River Douro is closely linked to the foundation of OPorto and even Portugal. At its mouth, the Romans founded the villages of Portus and Cale, respectively in the northern and southern banks of the river, which later combined designated the region between Douro and Minho, Portucale. Douro River is also responsible for creating that which put OPorto in the mouths of the world: the Port wine. You have to get to know this city.
The lands of Basto, in northern Portugal, have several places worthy of a visit: the Monte da Senhora da Graça, the vines and vineyards of green wine, and numerous manor houses converted into rural housing. It’s a great suggestion to escape the hustle and bustle of cities. Furthermore it has the Fisgas de Ermelo waterfall, in the Serra do Alvão, where you can swim in a hot day.
Portugal is fashionable and Lisbon is increasingly visited by foreign tourists. Once in the Portuguese capital, some take the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and flock in search of the famed Portuguese beaches. One such getaway can be to the coast of Peniche, since in a few days you can enjoy and know quite diverse landscapes and unusual beauty.
The beach of Nazaré (Nazareth) has become world famous due to its giant waves, but there is much more in Nazaré. There are traditional fishing communities, an endless beach and a rocky promontory with a privileged view over the Atlantic.
The wine aging in bottles or casks in the wine cellars in Gaia, and that attracts the avid attention of tourists, has its origins further upstream, where the Douro cut strands in schist and granite land, giving rise to a valley that is wildest in the International Douro, where the river defines the border between Portugal and Spain. Further downstream, the valley is smoother, as the river crosses the area that would be the birthplace of Port Wine, with the towns of Régua, Pinhão and Tua as major producers, with its populated slopes of terraces and vineyards. Explore this beautiful region of Portugal.
It’s one of the main historic places of Portugal. It is a beautiful monastery and a visit is almost mandatory for all Portuguese, as well as foreign interested in history. Be sure to meet him and taste the wonderful convent sweets of the region.
The ruins of the Roman city of Conímbriga are a beautiful discovery in the history of the country. It’s a place to return to the origins, right next to the beautiful city of Coimbra.
SADO RIVER ESTUARY
The Sado River estuary is full of places to discover, like the towns of Troia and Comporta, and the city of Setúbal, as well as rice fields stretching out of sight and dolphins swimming in the river. It’s a very nice short trip from Lisbon.
Fatima is a classic destination for religious tourism. It is one of the most visited places in Portugal. Even if you’re not a Catholic, it is interesting to visit Fatima and witness the devotion of the population.
Guimarães is one of the most beautiful Portuguese cities and the birthplace of the nation. It has palaces, the most important castle in the country’s history, and an amazingly preserved historical centre. Let yourself be enchanted by this beautiful city.
It’s one of the most beautiful Portuguese small towns. Inside a circular ancient wall, the old town delights visitors with a medieval setting.
NATIONAL PARK OF GERÊS
The only Portuguese national park is in Gerês, a beautiful mountain range to explore with short walks or large treks. It is an excellent destination for any time of year.
Sintra is one of the most popular places in Portugal, for nationals, as well as for foreigners. And yet, there are still many who do not know the enchantments and corners of the city. Get lost in the Serra de Sintra, discover palaces, stately homes and convent sweets. It will be worth it.
CONVENT OF CHRIST, TOMAR
What a fine example of Portugal’s history! This monument is stunning, as well as the entire region of Tomar. It is worthwhile getting lost in this convent and discover it.
FREITA MOUNTAIN RANGE
The Serra da Freita is part of the Geopark of Arouca and there are several marked trails to explore particular interesting geosites, and even a campsite. There are plenty of activities to do in the Serra da Freita. You can enjoy nature without spending any money and that is one of the great advantages of visiting this corner of Portugal.
PAIVA RIVER BOARDWALK
Paiva river is one of the purest in the world and was considered, in the 90’s, the least polluted river in Europe. While much has happened since then, Paiva river continues to have a very clean stream, with clear water, and is considered by many nature lovers, the most beautiful river in Portugal. Once a place only accessible to the more adventurous ones, like those who defied the strong currents and fast rapids in rafting boats or kayaks, now the valley is accessible to all, with the new Paiva River boardwalk. Do not miss the opportunity to explore the valley of Paiva River. See more here.
It used to be a distant corner of Portugal, but is now easily accessible for those coming from the coast or from the south. The A4 motorway, for those coming from Oporto, connects with Bragança, and the A3 and A7, for those coming from Braga and Guimarães, connects with Chaves. But for those who want to follow the route of the river, and are enamoured by the trains and the slower viewing of the landscape, nothing beats the Douro Train Line, which connects the city of Oporto to Pocinho, one of the most beautiful railway lines in the world. The main stations are Régua, Pinhão, and Tua, and are great places to stop and enjoy this region and its people, and continue another day.
ROMANIC ROUTE IN SOUSA VALLEY
The Romanic Route takes us to the time of the foundation of Portugal, and illustrates the importance of the territory delineated by the Sousa, Douro and Tamega river valleys. It was in this territory that noble families and religious orders helped building Portugal, and it is this history that is shaped in 58 Romanic monuments erected between centuries XI and XIV, a varied set comprising monasteries, churches, chapels, memorials, bridges, castles and stately towers.