Costa da Caparica
Known in Portugal for its wonderful beaches, this city hides a natural treasure that took my breath away – the Costa da Caparica Fossil Cliff Protected Landscape.
If you’re like me and love beautiful beaches with fine sand, hiking among wonderful landscapes, admiring fishermen and their authentic quarters, then visiting Costa da Caparica is a must and something to do when you visit this part of Portugal!
Palácio da Bolsa
The Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa) is, in my opinion, the most beautiful monument in Porto. Built in 1862 in a neoclassic style and inspired in the Moorish style, it was meant to be the headquarters of the Commercial Association of Porto. During your visit, you can’t miss the Pátio das Nações and the marvellous Arab Room.
Ponta do Sossego Viewpoint
Located in the island of São Miguel, in the Azores, this viewpoint offers a fascinating and bucolic landscape.
The Roman Temple, also (wrongly) known as Temple of Diana, is located in the historic centre of Évora, a place that was listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage.
This temple was built in the 1st century and is one of the most famous monuments in the city and one symbol of the Roman presence in Portugal.
Lagos is one of the most beautiful cities in the region of Algarve. It grew as a modern city but, at the same time, kept intact its picturesque charm of its historic centre.
During your stay in Lagos, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Ponta da Piedade and Dona Ana beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Algarve.
Located on the top of a hill, Monsaraz is one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal. Aside from having the possibility of enjoying a marvellous view over the valley and the Alqueva lake, one of the biggest artificial lakes in Europe, you can also stroll through the beautiful streets and admire the typical white houses.
Costa Nova beach, also known as Costa Nova do Prado, is located in the west coast, 11 km from Aveiro historic centre.
It is perfect for those who love water sports, such as windsurf, kitesurf and others.
Furthermore, this beach has as its main attraction the beautiful houses painted with vertical and horizontal stripes. These houses belong mainly to local fishermen and stand out to those visiting Costa Nova.
Serra da Estrela
© wikipedia.org – Rosino
Serra da Estrela Nature Park is the largest protected area in Portugal, with 101 000 hectares. When you visit the park you may stroll around the incredible landscape, similar to the Alps, discover the highest point in mainland Portugal (Tower – 1993 metres) and ski in the only ski slope in Portugal.
Don’t leave without tasting the Queijo da Serra (a type of cheese) and without visiting Manteigas, Sabugueiro and Linhares da Beira villages.
Piódão is one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal, mainly because of the schist houses that are displayed in an amphitheatre way. With the sunset and lights turned on, you’ll feel like watching a Nativity set.
Foz d’Égua is an idyllic village located 4 km from Piódão. As you can see in the photo, Foz d’Égua is really a “postcard” village. Here you can take some beautiful photographs, swim in the creek, cross the suspended bridge and discover the small shrine at the top of the hill.
Convent of Christ
One of the monuments you can’t miss when you visit Portugal is the Convent of Christ, located in the city of Tomar. It belonged to the Knights Templar, an order that was disbanded in 1314 due to the persecution of the king of France.
People, properties and privileges of the Portuguese part of this order were transferred to a new order (Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ) created by the king D. Dinis I.
Fecha de Barjas Waterfall, also known as Tahiti Waterfall, is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Peneda-Gerês National Park. To get to this waterfall, first you must go on a stroll, but be assured, it will be worth your while.
Batalha Monastery is one of the most beautiful architecture gems in Portugal and in Europe. The construction of this amazing monument began in 1386 and ended in 1517.
Protected by the imposing Serra da Arrábida, Galápos beach is heaven on earth, with a beautiful blue and calm sea and a stretch of golden or very white sand. The crystal clear waters let you gaze at the bottom of the sea, making this beach perfect for a swim and underwater fishing.
The town of Nazaré was a fishing village which became, over time, a tourist town because of its beautiful beach, the fishing related traditions and its untouched natural beauty.
This town is known worldwide for its huge waves that surfers dare to challenge. In addition, you can also discover the downtown (near the sea) and Sítio, where you’ll have the most beautiful view over the town (see photo).
Óbidos is a fortified town where you can visit the castle (from the outside), stroll through a maze of streets surrounded by houses painted in white and decorated with beautiful flowers and walk along 1.5 km over the ramparts.
The University of Coimbra
The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest in Europe. It was founded in Lisbon in 1290 and transferred to Coimbra in 1537.
Inside the university you’ll discover the Chapel of S. Miguel, the Medieval and Academic Prison, the Arms Room, the Capelos Room, the Private Examination Hall, the Joanina Library and the Tower of the University.
Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira was built between 1904 and 1910 and is located at the town’s historic centre.
Its architecture takes us to the times of kings and queens, with its romantic structure, surrounded by gardens, caves, lakes and even enigmatic constructions that bring to life the Gothic and Renaissance style.
Cape Roca is located in Colares parish, Sintra. It is the westernmost point of continental Europe. Around 150 metres away you can discover amazing landscapes such as the ones from the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and those from the coastline.
Arado Waterfall is one of the most famous waterfalls in Peneda-Gerês National Park. It’s located near Pedra Bela viewpoint and it’s easily accessible.
São Gabriel Viewpoint
In my opinion, this is the most beautiful viewpoint in the North of Portugal. Located 10 km from Vila Nova de Foz Côa, São Gabriel viewpoint offers a magnificent view.
Ucanha is a small Douro Valley village, located a few kilometres from Lamego. When you visit this place don’t forget to go to the Tower and the Gothic bridge that was used as a toll station for those who wanted to cross it, some centuries ago.
The famous Alfama quarter is one of the oldest in Lisbon. Located in the heart of the capital, this is the most authentic location to discover the Portuguese culture. The narrow streets, flowered balconies, restaurants, fado and daily life scenes are part of the tour.
Lindoso is a farmer and shepherd village (1300 inhabitants). This village is well known for its castle built in 1278 and its old granaries that, strangely, resemble mausoleums but with a very different purpose.
These granite granaries were built over stilts and vented on the sides enabling the storage and curing of corn.
The calm sea and the beautiful surrounding landscape make Figueirinha beach one of the most popular beaches in the region. A sand bank emerges when it is low tide, making this beach popular amongst the adults but especially with the kids.
The 76-metre high Clérigos Tower was the tallest building in Portugal when it was constructed (between 1754 and 1763), and still is the tallest tower in the country.
For many years it worked as a lighthouse to help ships enter Douro river; since then it offers you the widest views over the city, Porto’s Cathedral, Douro and the Port wine cellars.
Rio de Onor
Located in Montesinho Natural Park, Rio de Onor is one of the last community villages in Portugal where the inhabitants share their ovens, properties and flocks.
This village has another peculiarity – it’s a village divided by the border between Portugal and Spain, where half the inhabitants is Portuguese and the other half Spanish.
In 1502, King Manuel I decided to order the construction of a huge religious monument. Located in Belém quarter, this magnificent building mirrors the richness of the Portuguese discoveries all over the world in the 16th century.
Castro Laboreiro is a village well known for its 16th century castle ruins (a castle built in 1505 over the foundations of a 12th century Moorish castle), bridges, medieval churches, community ovens, windmills and its inhabitants lifestyle.
Pena National Palace
Located in Sintra, Pena National Palace is so wonderful and beautiful that in 2007 was considered as one of the 7 wonders of Portugal. In addition, Pena National Palace was the first palace in Europe with an architecture style which came from Romanticism.
Listed since 2011 as UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserve, Berlengas Nature Reserve was the first protected area in the country, decreed by king D. Afonso V who, with that, banned hunting in the biggest island of this archipelago, Berlenga Grande.
Apart from the fauna and flora that embellish this place, you’ll have the opportunity to admire a magnificent beach, a lighthouse and the Fort of São João Baptista das Berlengas.
Miranda do Douro
Located in the International Douro Natural Park, Miranda do Douro is only 3 km away from Spain.
This city and outskirts have the peculiarity of having their own language, Mirandês, the second official language in Portugal. It’s a language spoken by approximately 7 000 people. In this city the names of the streets are written in Mirandês and the description of every monument is in Mirandês and Portuguese.
During your stay in Miranda do Douro, visit the ruins of the castle, the Episcopal Palace, the Cathedral and go on a cruise on the International Douro to enjoy the fauna and flora.
Lamego is an old city, from the Roman times. It was conquered from the Moors in 1057 and it was here that Dom Afonso Henriques was acclaimed as the first king of Portugal.
During your visit, don’t forget to go to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies and to the historic area around the castle.
Ponte de Lima International Garden Festival
Every year, in May, a contest is organised in Ponte de Lima where twelve artists are selected to create an ephemeral garden based on a particular subject. In October everyone knows who won and the winner’s garden remains preserved for the next year.
Moimenta is a small village located in Montesinho Natural Park, close to the border with Spain, where you’ll discover an amazing landscape.
Bragança Historic Centre
This beautiful city was founded in the 2nd century B.C. and was known as Brigância. It became Bragança in 1199 after being freed by King Dom Sancho I from the siege Afonso IX of Leon imposed.
The historic centre is one area you must see when visiting Bragança. Lose yourself in the narrow streets and visit the Domus Municipalis and the castle.
Senhor da Pedra Beach
Senhor da Pedra beach has as its main attraction the unique Senhor da Pedra chapel, from the 17th century and erected over some rocks just by the sea. When the sea is rough, the beach is perfect for people who want to surf or bodyboard.
Guimarães Historic Centre
Guimarães is also known as the birthplace city because it is associated to the foundation of Portugal in 1128. This beautiful city is one of the most important historic cities in the country and its historic centre is listed as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
Lose yourself in the streets and squares (Rua de Santa Maria, Praça de Santiago, Largo da Oliveira) where history is present every step of the way. Don’t forget to visit Guimarães Castle and the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança.
The fourth biggest catholic sanctuary in the world, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima
In 2015, 6.7 million people visited the Sanctuary of Fátima which makes it the biggest sanctuary in Portugal and the fourth biggest catholic sanctuary in the world
It was here that Virgin Mary supposedly appeared to three children, in Fátima, a small village in the Centre of Portugal, in six separate occasions during the year of 1917. To get to know the full story of this place you should read this article.
São Leonardo de Galafura Viewpoint
Located 20 km from Peso da Régua, São Leonardo de Galafura viewpoint is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Douro Valley.
Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary
Also known as Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Braga, it is the jewel of the city, where art and nature become one, making this place a resting place and a sacred ground. The church is an example of the Portuguese Neoclassical style. Its construction began in 1784 and ended in 1811 and it replaced the former temple that was in ruins.
You can get to this sanctuary by car, by climbing the beautiful stairway or by taking the oldest funicular in the world still working with a water counterweight system .
Soajo is a secluded village overlooking Lima river. The main attraction are the old stone granaries where corn is stored. We can enjoy a magnificent view over the surrounding landscape and walking is a good way to discover the beauty of the protected area.
Ponte de Lima
Ponte de Lima is one of the oldest towns in Portugal and was founded in 1125 by D. Teresa. Prepare yourself to forget the 21st century when you visit this place. Enjoy the medieval charm and taste the local delicacies like sarrabulho rice and rojões (seasoned pieces of pork loin).
Santa Luzia Basilica
Santa Luzia Basilica is the monument you can’t miss when visiting Viana do Castelo. Aside from the beauty of the place, you can enjoy a marvellous view over the sea, the river and the city.
The project for this monument first appeared in 1898, but it was only in the beginning of the 20th century that its construction really began. This temple was inaugurated in 1926 and the project was concluded in 1943.
Considered one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world, Lello Bookshop inspired J.K. Rowling to write Harry Potter. Inside, apart from the books, you can admire a unique atmosphere with its majestic stairway leading to the upper floor.
Pateira de Fermentelos
Located close to Águeda, the lagoon Pateira de Fermentelos is the biggest natural lagoon in the Iberian Peninsula with about 5 km2.
When I visited this place, I was amazed with such natural beauty! The lagoon seemed to have disappeared below a huge carpet of violet flowers making this place a breathtaking sight.
I don’t recall having seen such a romantic place before and, because of that, I consider it one of my favourite places in Portugal!
Pedra Bela Viewpoint
This viewpoint is one of the most beautiful places to admire Peneda-Gerês National Park and is located just 6 km away from Gerês village.
Located close to the border with Spain, in Alentejo, Elvas is one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal. It’s not by any chance that it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
When you visit the biggest fortified city in Europe, you’ll have the opportunity to discover an authentic historic centre with several monuments, the biggest aqueduct in the Iberian Peninsula and the amazing forts of Nossa Senhora da Graça and Santa Luzia.