Portugal lies on the Iberian Peninsula in the southern part of Europe. Visiting Portugal is a great vacation option as it offers incredible opportunities for luxury travellers and adventure lovers. The country stretches about 800km along the Atlantic coastline. The magnificent river Tagus is one of the crown jewels of the capital city of the country Lisbon. The country has a mixed landscape with a mixture of rugged and Mediterranean scenery. Portugal is home to some of the quaintest villages, coves and booming cultural scene. If you love beaches, and islands, Azores archipelago and Madeira are worth visiting. You can also admire architectural marvels from the 15th and 16th century in different cities including Lisbon. From the southern mountain ranges to the sun-baked central region, the whole country is a marvel. Portugal
Here are out 10 best places to visit in Portugal:
Lisbon is a modern metropolis just like London or New York. It is jam packed with exciting activities and opportunities for people from all walks of life. The city is historically rich and with unending tales of Roman imperials, Moorish builders and pirates from centuries ago.
One of the must visit landmarks of the Portuguese capital is the Torre de Belem. Lying at the seafront, this beautiful tower is an epic display of Moorish, Mudejar and gothic architecture. Undoubtedly, it is the most iconic feature of the city built in the 16th century by Saint John.
The Alfama district of Lisbon is just like any other old town centres’ of Europe. It is the oldest part of the city dating back to the moors of Africa. The winding alleys and streets of this quaint town lead to cathedrals, Chapels hidden squares and old city walls.
If you love to visit museums, Lisbon will surely not disappoint you, as you will have plenty of options to choose from including Azulejos in the National Tile Museum, National Museum of Ancient Art, Museu do Oriente, and Modern Berardo Collection Museum. Some other must visit attractions include:
- Monastery of Jerónimos
- St George’s Castle
- Lisbon Oceanarium
- Mercado da Ribeira
The mercantile city of Porto is all about business and trade. The city has a huge number of exciting destinations that will keep you engaged during your trip to Porto. Baroque churches, Romanesque cathedrals and compact streets are just a few to mention.
Both locals and tourists equally enjoy the hustle of Cais da Ribeira, the picturesque riverside of the city. There are countless bars and restaurants around the place to have a wholesome gastronomic experience. Don’t forget to take an iconic click on the Luis Bridge.
The church of Sao Francisco is the last gothic monument in Porto. It was built back in 1425. The intricately carved pillars, walls and vaults represent true gothic art.
Foz do Doura is your gateway to the ocean. Palms and pines make this lighthouse even more beautiful and special.
Lastly, sitting right beside the ocean, Porto definitely has so many beach options. Out of the 10 most prominent beaches of Porto, Matosinhos is the most popular one.
Some other must visit places in Porto include:
- Muralha Fernandina
- Church of Santa Clara
- Parque de Cidade
- Parca da Liberdade
Sintra is another great tourist destination located about 30 minutes from Lisbon. It is also listed as UNESCO world heritage site. Don’t forget to visit the splendid baroque churches, grand mansions and magical palaces of former kings and queens of Portugal.
Quinta da Regaleira is a beautiful display of monuments including masons, divinations and knights. Adding to the confusion and delight, there is a proper system of tunnels and grottoes.
Pena palace has recently added to the list of 7 wonders of Portugal. It is built on multiple styles including Renaissance and Moorish charms. The Pena palace was used as a summer residence, which is why it has exceptionally beautiful gardens.
Cabo da Roca is 140 meter high cape with huge boulder and outcrops. At this point Serra de Sintra suddenly disappears into the ocean. The lighthouse makes it even more iconic.
Another must visit attraction of Sintra is the castle of the moors. It is located on the northern most peaks of Sintra with 4 square towers offering an incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Some other noteworthy destinations are:
- Park and palace of Monserrate
- Palace of Sintra
- Convento dos Capuchos
- Old centre of Sintra
- Praia da Ursa
The timeless city of Evora is another UNESCO World Heritage site, because of immense amount of remains from the Roman and Mediaeval Times. Romans were the first one to settle in the town, and built immense defensive enclosures for which they had to destroy many temple and now you will find their ruins. Evora is also known to have the second oldest University of Portugal along with numerous Neolithic Monuments, churches, and Chapel all around the city.
One of the most visited places in the city is the Evora Roman Temple, which is also the highest point in the city; offering a great view of the surroundings. The monument has survived the first century through the mediaeval times until it was finally restored in the 1870.
Evora Cathedral is a beautiful study tower characterized by its conical spires. Undoubtedly, it is an architectural masterpiece with a small museum showcasing gold and silver work.
Attached to the church of Sao Francisco, Capela dos Ossos is an ossuary made with the remains of thousands of monks from the 16th century. The walls are arches and pillars are lined with skulls and bones.
The Agua de Parata aqueduct is the most striking feature of Evora, which still remain tall since the 16th century. The aqueduct was used to channel water for at least 20km in the city.
Some other popular tourist destinations include:
- Museu de Evora
- Evora University
- Parca do Giraldo
- Church of Sao Francisco
The enchanting town of Obidos was home to one of the most popular queen Urraca of Leon. It was gifted to her by Afonso II. The queen decorated the city with buildings and monuments. The fertile valley also produces vines and cherries, so you will find numerous vast orchards in Obidos.
The historic townscape of Porta da Villa seems to be a scene from a movie. The authentic white washed houses are lined with blue or yellow borders. There are numerous souvenir shops, restaurants, and ice cream parlours in the surrounding area.
The Obidos Castle was founded by the moors in the 700s, and it was later renovated in the 1200s. Everything about the castle is too good to be missed.
Obidos Lagoon is a beautiful water body that eventually empties in the ocean. It is a splendid site with two long sandy spits running parallel to each other. The shallow water of the Lagoon is perfect for people avoiding the deep Atlantic Ocean.
Don’t forget to visit:
- Porta da Villa
- Parca de Santa Maria
- Igreja de Santa Maria
- Callas da Rainha
Tavira is undoubtedly the most beautiful town in the Algarve region. Its picture asks seaside is the main tourist attraction along with the old streets castles and churches.
Praia do Barril is a world-class beach with a wide belt of white sands surrounded by huts, restaurant, and many museums. If you have kids, board them on the miniature train that will cross the dunes and creeks, making the journey even more exciting.
The Tavira Castle is one of the best remains of the Moorish era. You can also climb to the Albarrana Tower for a panoramic view.
Paraia da Ilha de Tavira is the nearest beach from the main town. Take a ferry ride across the barrier island from the mainland for €2 only.
Take a day trip across the city offering a tour to some other Majestic tourist destinations like:
- Igreja da Misericordia
- Tavira Camera Obscura
- Parca da Republica
- Palacio da Galeria
Ponte de Lima
Ponte de Lima is known to be the most charming city of Portugal with so many historical buildings, fancy mansions, gardens, and picturesque country side.
River Lima is the most popular destinations in the city. It is vast and can be crossed through the stone bridge build centuries ago.
Ponte de Lima is the most floral town. The historical centre of the city is lined with pansies, and petunias producing beautiful site, and sweet scent. Interestingly, the city has a toy museum displaying play things used in Portugal from the 20th century. The city also has amazing Gothic parish churches with exterior and interior architecture.
Some other places are Museu dos Terceiros and Museu do Brinquedo Portugues.
Braga is one of the oldest cities of Portugal, which used to be the centre of religious power back in the 4th century. You will see numerous Cathedral Churches, chapels, and monasteries in the city.
Bom Jesus do Monte is the most visited tourist attraction of Braga, which lies on the hilltop. It is a sanctuary receiving pilgrims since the 14th century. Making up to the stair way with 640 steps needs a lot of devotion. The baroque sculpture, fountains, and neoclassical architecture makes it worth the hype.
Braga Cathedral is another architectural wonder in the city, which was modified many times in the past. You can easily pick out the Romanesque Gothic, Manuline Renaissance, and baroque elements in its decoration. It also houses the Tomb of the son of King John I.
Next to the Braga Palace, the beautiful formal Gardens of Santa Barbara are a must see in summers with numerous colourful flowers and birds. Admire the sculpture and stone work all the way to the Patio of the Palace.
Parca da Republica allies ride in the middle of historic Braga also known as Arcada. It is one of the best points to start your trip to Braga as the tourist office is located here. The square is old and was built in the 1800s, now walled by tall buildings.
If you are a fan of historical structures, visit Misericórdia Church, Monastery of São Martinho de Tibães, Arco da Porta Nova, and Chapel of São Frutuoso.
Mertola lies in the South Eastern region of the country near the Spanish border. It is also home to numerous historic and architectural structures. The city also offers exceptional gastronomic experience for true food lovers.
Parque natural do Vale do Guadiana was created in 1995, which is characterized by plains, valleys, and hills. The city hoists one of the most important rivers of the country known as Rio Guadiana. The park is home to a diverse flora and fauna, including some endangered species as well.
Igreja Matriz is the most striking parish church known for its conical decoration. It used to be a mosque, but then later converted into the church.
Some other must visit destinations are:
- Casa Islamica
- Casa Romana
- Torre do Relogio
Averio is a fairy-tale city of the country. You will see canals crisscrossing the city with beautifully colored gondolas locally known as Moliceiros. The pastels shades in the older parts of the city gives the city a perfect look for classic old town in the modern world. While in Averio, you are always minutes away from the magnificent Atlantic Ocean. The quite sandy beaches are a perfect get away from the hustle of the city life.
Mosteiro de Jesus convent took 2 centuries for its completion. The convent is rich in history and architecture popular for being the residence of Joanna, princess of Portugal.
Museu de Aveiro was established in 2011, in a monastery building. It houses huge religious collection from all over the city. You will see a huge collection of carved stonework, renaissance paintings, glazed tiles and historic vestments.
Don’t forget to take a city tour of Moliceiro, which are beautifully painted with bright colours. Some other attractions in the city include:
- Rossio Area
- Forum Averio
- Old Train Station
- Costa Nova
A private tour is the best way to explore the natural landscapes and towns of Portugal. Whenever you plan a private tour for Portugal contact S4S travel agency and check the selection of small group tours and private tours here…