The Best Places To Visit In Portugal

Written By: Alice Woods

Portugal is a country of distinct natural beauty and is embedded in rich cultural history. It offers great beaches, azure blue waters, world-class sights and a vast array of great cuisine. Explore the country from the Algarve to the Azores, take a city break in Lisbon and sunbathe on the beaches of elegant Cascais, before you head to the Atlantic shore to surf some big waves. All this is possible in Portugal, and more!

Portugal is full of cultural highlights, with history presenting itself everywhere. See stone-built villages, fortresses, monasteries, and beautiful castles spread out all over the country! Make sure to visit the medieval city of Porto, where the famous Port wine is made.

The wonderful capital of Lisbon is a must-see and will cast a spell of enchantment on every visitor: walk through cobblestone streets lined by beautiful white architecture and experience the cultural splendor it has to offer. To explore it, take a ride on one of the picturesque vintage trams winding up and down the steep hills through the city. For an excellent evening sit down in one of the small taverns, taste the fresh fish and seafood paired with some excellent Portuguese wine and listen to a touching Fado singer accompanied by guitarists, expressing “saudade”, a feeling of longing and melancholy.

The Atlantic shore of Portugal is a world-class surf spot and the strong waves of the ocean offer an exciting surfing adventure. For a calmer sea and sand experience, travel to the sunny south of the country, called the Algarve, where you can swim and relax in the many beautiful coves and hidden beaches. There are charming little villages as well as big cities to visit and lodge in; choose the lively town of Lagos for plenty of nightlife opportunities and a young crowd to mingle with!

One of the most popular tourist destinations of Portugal are the beautiful islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and for good reason! The lovely green archipelagos of Azores and Madeira offer flower gardens, beautiful beaches and wonderful trekking opportunities through their lush mountain landscape.

Slightly less expensive than its European neighbors, Portugal is great for travelling on a budget and offers great value. Explore this captivating country, where life is enjoyed to the fullest and music and good food are of essential value – start planning your trip today!



Lisbon is the capital of Portugal; a rich tapestry of cobbled alleyways, historic ruins, ancient cathedrals and pastel colours lining the streets – like an old oil painting in one of the world’s top art galleries. This charming city is one of incredible heritage and festive culture, which must be experience by all!


The Algarve

Waking up in the Algarve is like nothing else; its bright sunny skies and endless blue horizons will breathe light into the lives of everyone who visits. The Algarve is most known for its picturesque coastline and breathtaking cliffs, but there is so much more to be found if you take the time to explore!



It’s hard to imagine a travel destination that is more perfectly suited to adventure lovers than that of Azure; a magical archipelago off the coast of Portugal. This collection of volcanic islands has everything; from endless green forests, to magnificent crater lakes and crystal-clear oceans – it’s simply magnificent.



Located west of Lisbon on the Estoril coast, the once-sleepy fishing village of Cascais has become the summer playground of city dwellers, adored for its glorious string of sandy bays and the spanking new marina.



One of Portugal’s most fascinating destinations, Evora is a city full of historic national treasures that keep any visitor intrigued. From the Roman ruins of the Templo de Diana (Temple of Diana) featuring 14 original Corinthian columns, to the Capela dos Ossos (Bones of Chapel), which is completely decorated with human bones, Evora contains corner to corner historical encounters.



Faro is home to about 55,000 people, but despite its relatively small size, it is the administrative center of the Algarve region. Prior to its modern incarnation, Faro was occupied by the Romans and then later the Moors, serving as a trading hub for both; ruins of both invading civilizations can be found throughout the city. As it grew in importance over neighboring towns such as Silves, Faro eventually became the regional seat.



In Fatima you will find the Basilica, the House of Our Lady Dolours and the Chapel of Apparitions. Four million pilgrims make the journey each year to see the exact spot, where 70,000 people witnessed the Virgin Mary miraculously appear. Now marked with a statue of Our Lady, there is also accommodation for up to 250 pilgrims in the House of Our Lady of Carmel and a monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.



Originally named Lacobriga by the Romans and then Zawaia by the Moors, Lagos was settled prior to the Roman’s conquest of Iberia, due to its natural river port and proximity to the sea. Its modern area actually began in 1249 when Dom Afonso III made it part of the Portuguese kingdom, and from there, the renamed Lagos played an important role in discovering the rest of the world. While Lagos has a number of architectural testaments to its Roman, Moorish and feudal pasts, it is now an important tourist destination.


Madeira Islands

The Madeira Islands are an archipelago located in the Atlantic Coast off Portugal, and provide some of the most spectacular natural scenery and golden beaches in Europe. But these islands aren’t like any other resort town – they’re full of rich history, colourful architecture and exciting adventure activities!



Famous for its picturesque marina, sandy beaches, and tasty sardines, Portimão is the gateway to the western Algarve, as well as the jumping off point for the popular Praia da Rocha beach. Perched opposite Ferragudo on the banks of the Arade River, it’s the region’s second-largest town (after Fado) and is bursting with restaurants, shops, and nightlife.


Ria Formosa Natural Park

Like Porto’s Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa is a Portuguese national treasure created for the preservation of the the Algarve’s unique marshland and its flora and fauna. It encompasses a large lagoon area hugging almost 60 km (37 mi) of coastline between Manta Rota and Vale do Lobo. This lagoon’s diverse topography includes dunes, dune islands, marshland, saltpans and inland lakes. These wetlands are in turn a protected habitat for many species of birds.



Once a hotspot destination for Portuguese royalty, Sintra is offers beautiful greenery, gorgeous mountains and amazing neo-Gothic structures. In Sintra there are a number of places to experience the culture from the Museum of Modern Art, to the exotic villa and the Palacio de Monderrate. Then at Quinta da Regaleira and its Palace you can see the best architecture of the Gothic era with gargoyles, towers and amazing stone facades.



Though at first it seems like nothing more than a charming small town, Tomar packs much historical significance for Portugal. Situated on the banks of the Nabão River, it is home to the impressive Castle of Tomar and the Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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