Portugal is a stunning destination with much more than its famed cork exports, stunning coastline, and delicious port. It’s a land with countless historic cities and breathtaking natural landscapes.
Despite its ever-growing popularity, Portugal is still one of Europe’s most affordable tourist hotspots. It’s got everything: a fascinating past, cutting-edge art, a pleasant scene, and chill, welcoming people.
1. Faro (The old town)
The Algarve capital of Faro is characterized by its picturesque whitewashed buildings and roofs, many of which provide stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Since most tourists to the Algarve only get a glimpse of the city from the airport or a transfer bus, it has managed to maintain its Portuguese identity despite its prime tourist position.
The old town’s narrow, winding lanes and dense concentration of historic structures evoke a bygone era, while the cathedral dates back to the 13th century.
Its enormous, fortified tower protects an interior glistening with magnificent azulejo tiles. To the south, on the wild Ilha do Farol, you may find some fantastic beaches that attract more wading birds than visitors.
2. Lisbon (A mosaic of winding streets)
A tiny lane in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon is lined with colorful apartment buildings.
Lisbon, the country’s capital, should be at the top of any tourist’s itinerary while visiting Portugal. Lisbon is an attractive city, with its mazelike alleyways, broad plazas, breathtaking cathedrals, and miradouro lookouts.
There’s never a dull moment in this lively city, whether you’re looking for a gift in the oldest bookstore in the world, devouring Pasteis de Belem custard pastries, or bar hopping in the hip Bairro Alto neighborhood.
3. Obidos (A perfect picture visit)
Obidos’s nicest corner home is white and yellow. Obidos, in central Portugal’s Oeste region, is the world’s best-preserved Portuguese walled town. From the Paleolithic, Phoenicians, Romans, and Moors have shaped Obidos.
Obidos’ tiled Porta do Vila entryway promises a delightful encounter. The ancient core’s cobblestone roads weave through lovely, whitewashed cottages under slate roofs, following the town’s mild slopes. Sawtooth protective walls shelter Obidos, a sparkling pearl in a big, trembling fist. The limestone and marble Obidos Castle is now a luxury Pousada.
4. Madeira (life on a remote island)
Madeira’s mountain village has white homes with terracotta roofs. Portugal’s subtropical island offcut in the Atlantic Ocean 1078 kilometers (670 miles) southeast of the mainland is distinctive due to its diverse vegetation, mild climate, and hair-raising aircraft approach.
See Portugal’s most beautiful beach on Porto Santo Island by boat. Funchal, the capital, offers one of the world’s best New Year’s Eve parties, and pensioners go there in winter for sunshine.
5. Coimbra (A dreamlike night)
Coimbra, the site of Portugal’s oldest university, was the country’s medieval capital for nearly two hundred years and the birthplace of no fewer than six Portuguese rulers. It is elegant, scholarly, and classically gorgeous. If your travels lead you to the northern areas of Portugal, you must include this city on your itinerary.
Because of its high student population, Coimbra boasts a vibrant café and nightlife scene. The university structure has been existing in some form since the 1200s, adding to its historic allure.
Coimbra has a rich history that many stories and myths ascribe to the city’s Gothic architecture and Moorish walls. After a traditional Portuguese meal and an intimate Fado performance, stroll through Coimbra at night, when the city takes on a dreamlike beauty as the candle-like lights contrast with the inky blue sky.
6. Amarante (mythical beauty)
The stunning Portuguese village of Amarante is home to this picturesque stone bridge. The Portuguese word for love is “Amar,” It would be hard to resist this sweet-natured charmer at first sight. Amarante is situated on both sides of the river Tamega in the prosperous agricultural area of Minho.
The stunning sights of the lake and the arched stone bridge, Ponte Sobre o Tamega, mirrored in its sparkling waters, have inspired several restaurants and cafes to open. Sao Goncalo, the town’s patron saint, is buried in a chapel of the church of the same name.
7. Sintra (Best For A Fantasy Escape)
Sintra, a village less than an hour from Lisbon by train, is a great day trip from the city. This historic hillside hamlet with stone-walled bars and a vividly colored palace looks like a fairy tale.
This incredible panorama has towering castles, gorgeous gardens, strange residences, and ancient monasteries hidden in the forests on wooded slopes. The nighttime fog only serves to heighten the sense of mystery.
8. Setbal Peninsula (Excellent For Cliff-Backed Beaches)
The Setbal Peninsula, to the south of Lisbon, is traditionally where Lisboetas relax on the weekend (Lisbon residents). Visit this beach town for a day of surfing lessons, beachside relaxation, or a dinner with a view of the crashing waves. The Costa da Caparica is accessible by boat and then a short bus or bicycle ride; once there, you’ll find an infinite stretch of beach that grows wilder and less populated the further south you go.
Visit Park Natural da Arrábida in the peninsula’s southernmost tip for quiet. Village life and hiking in the great outdoors in the Minho region are at their finest.
Beach do Portinho da Arrábida has nice sand, clean water, and Roman-era ruins. Portuguese tourists love Minho’s vineyard-covered valleys, rugged wilds, lonely beaches, and lovely river settlements. The region’s primary entrance point, Braga, is a magnificent city with Roman ruins, a famed medieval church, and flower-lined plazas with outdoor restaurants.
The large, rugged Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês is north, with majestic peaks, flowing streams, and stone towns that appear stuck in time. The area has dozens of hiking routes leading to sights like castle remains, Roman roads, and glistening waterfalls.
9. The Algarve (Ideal For A Peaceful Family Vacation)
Visitors searching for rays of sunshine will find much to celebrate in Portugal. The Algarve is renowned for its beautiful and diverse coastline throughout the south. You may discover coastal tranquility on magnificent wild beaches backed by wind-carved cliffs or join the masses on the sands of big resorts.
It’s no secret that the Algarve is one of the most family-friendly destinations in Portugal. Surfing some of Europe’s most legendary breakers, playing in the sand, and taking long walks down the coast fill the days. Beaches, water parks, and other recreational opportunities are ideal for families (from boating to hidden sea caves to exploring undeveloped islands).