Portuguese coast

The 5 most beautiful spots to visit on the Portuguese coast on your next visit.

It goes without saying that Portugal is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, considering its rich history and warm hospitality. People across the globe have been eager to see the stunning Portuguese art and to get to know the welcoming locals. However, the Portuguese coast has always been in the spotlight, and it has always been the most intriguing attraction for most travelers. 

What are the most beautiful spots on the coast of Portugal?

If you decide to explore the Portuguese coast, you will need to make a quite difficult decision when it comes to picking out the spots to visit. The abundance of miraculous places will tempt you to go and visit all of them, but since it’s impossible, you will have to stick to a few of them. Below, we have a narrowed-down list that will help you pick the best places to visit in Portugal that suit your needs and match your traveling preferences. 

1. The exotic island of Madeirã at the Portuguese coast

If you intend to visit the Portuguese coast, you should not miss out on the astonishing surroundings Madeirã Island offers. This is the ideal spot to explore the unique flora of the coast and enjoy the tropical climate. You can visit the island even in winter, especially if you are looking for warm rays of sunshine during the cold days of the year. 

Moreover, Funchal, the capital, is known for the awesome parties thrown for the New Year celebrations. Therefore, if you are looking for a new place to welcome new beginnings, then this is the place to go! 

2. Fishing village Ericeira at the Portuguese coast

Fans of surfing will adore the small but cute fishing village of Ericeira. The village is located in the north of Lisbon, and it’s the ideal spot for those who want to hit the waves. However, if surfing is not your thing, you can still enjoy the unique things this beach town offers. 

Tasting local food is never boring, so you can try some of the most delicious seafood dishes the Portuguese coast offers here. Plus, you get to eat while enjoying breathtaking views! 

3. Sunny Algarve at the Portuguese coast

The Algarve coast should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Portugal. This sunny region has the best beaches, including one of the most popular sandy coastlines – Praia de Marinha. This beach is known for stunning rock formations, caves, and unique rock pools. 

In addition, here, you can enjoy scuba diving or snorkelling, and see the underworld from another perspective. 

4. Chic Lisbon at the Portuguese coast

You shouldn’t go to the coast of Portugal without visiting the capital. Lisbon is full of pretty neighbourhoods, and it includes the best viewpoints in this country. Wherever you go, you will have the chance to enjoy some spectacular views of the city. 

Make sure to sample the delicious local food – you can try it at every corner of this city; when you think about things to do in Lisbon Portugal.

5. Splendid Porto at the Portuguese coast

Porto is the perfect city for those who enjoy fine wine and astonishing architecture. The popular azulejos are found everywhere you go, so you will give your eyes a real treat when wandering around the streets. Also, don’t forget to dine along the river Douro since Porto cuisine is known to be a genuine delicacy! 

Get ready for your Portuguese adventure!     

We believe that we have resolved your dilemma about the spots you should visit on the Portuguese coast. Now, pack your bags and get ready to see some stunning surroundings! 

Need some more travel tips? Then visit our blog, and let us help you become the most informed traveler! 

Portugal

5 Great Surfing Spots in Portugal

Portugal is known as one of the best countries for surfers, and that isn’t a surprise considering its astonishing coastline, wonderful beaches, and exceptional hospitality. There are numerous coastal spots that come with amazing waves perfect for different kinds of surfers. In other words, if you are a fan of the surf, you won’t make a mistake by choosing Portugal as your next destination. 

However, if you want to be truly prepared for your trip, you should discover the best surfing spots in Portugal before you take off. We have prepared a list of splendid places regarded as heaven for surfers, so choosing some of them will certainly not be a mistake!

5 Exceptional surf spots in Portugal

Portugal
Surfing spots in Portugal

Almost every Portuguese beach is suitable for surfers, meaning that you can surf almost everywhere. However, if you don’t plan to stay in this country for long, then you need to consider opting for the best surfing in Portugal so that you will get the most out of your trip. 

Praia de Carcavelos 

This is the most popular beach in Lisbon, so it is generally quite crowded. Therefore, if you intend to visit it, make sure you go early in the morning to secure a good spot on the sand, and this will allow you to truly enjoy this beach!

Nonetheless, the reason why Praia de Carcavelos is on our list is due to its awesome beach wave breaks. In fact, this is one of the best surfing spots in Portugal for beginners. So, if you have recently picked up surfing, this is the ideal place for you to sharpen your skills. 

Praia de Matosinhos 

If you are looking for a lovely sandy beach suitable for surfing, then you should opt for Praia de Matosinhos. It is the perfect spot for rookies, but it is also convenient for intermediate surfers who want to test out their abilities. 

Another great thing about this beach is that you can reach it by taking the subway, so it’s very easily accessible, and you won’t spend too much of your surfing Portugal budget commuting there. 

Praia do Amado 

This might be one of my favorites among the top surfing spots in Portugal. Praia do Amado is easy to get to from most of the Algarve region, and there’s ample parking here too – which is quite convenient for those traveling through Europe with their caravans. 

While the amazing waves are a paradise for surfers, those who don’t enjoy the sport also have the chance to enjoy this stunning beach. This is a magnificent place for swimming, considering it offers clear waters, it’s also a popular sunbathing beach since it’s quite long and so visitors can spread out. Those who want to learn some new skills can book a highly-recommended class at the Amado Surf Club. 

Praia de Cabedelo 

This beach has become quite the attraction for surfers who want to catch Portugal’s big wave at night!

Praia de Cabedelo has recently gained popularity worldwide as an excellent night surfing spot, and experienced surfers have been loving testing their skills under a blanket of darkness. 

The beach is known for its point-break waves, so it isn’t recommended for beginners. So, if you intend to improve your rookie skills, this is not your spot. 

Praia de Bordeira 

When it comes to the best surfing in Portugal, this is a haven for advanced surfers and those who intend to improve. Praia de Bordeira is one of those endlessly long beaches that you usually see in romantic movies. Its beach break waves come in all sizes, so you can choose to go wild with the waves or just test them out. 

Praia de Bordeira is sandy, but there are also a lot of reefs. If you are traveling with non-surfing buddies, you shouldn’t worry because they will love sunbathing at this spot. 

Hit the waves in the best spots 

You won’t regret picking some of these surfing spots in Portugal to test your skills. Surfing is a way of life for many people, and Portugal is the ideal country to live out your surf fantasies! We hope that you will consider some of these spots and have the time of your life in this gorgeous country!    

If you enjoyed reading this blog, we recommend you check out our other travel blogs

Quarteira

Why you should visit Quarteira in the Springtime!

Portugal is known for its beautiful beaches, delicious food, and friendly people. But of all the places to visit in Portugal, Quarteira stands out as a must-see destination during the springtime. With stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and plenty of activities for everyone in your family, this city should be at the top of your travel list. But there’s even more, to love about Quarteira: traveling with a travel club means you can save on accommodation and make your trip even more affordable!

Quarteira

What To Do In Quarteira

Quarteira has something for everyone in your family! Nature lovers will be thrilled by the beautiful landscapes and seascapes that surround this coastal town. You can take a leisurely stroll along one of its many beaches or take a dip in its crystal-clear waters. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go kayaking or surfing. And don’t forget about fishing – it’s an extremely popular activity here! And if history is more your thing, check out some of the museums and galleries that line the streets.

Try the food

You’ll be sure to learn something new. After a day of exploring, make sure to sample some of the delicious cuisines at one of the many great restaurants in this area. And don’t forget about the nightlife – Quarteira is home to some amazing clubs and bars that will keep you entertained until dawn!

Quarteira

Quarteira is also close to Vilamoura. Here you will find some more expensive restaurants and shops but it’s well worth the visit just to walk around the marina and a little further along the beach, perhaps stopping by at some of the beach bars and cafes along the way.

Visit Vilamoura

Vilamoura is a stunning town located on the Algarve coast of Portugal. The town has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and offers an array of activities to suit all tastes. From relaxing on one of its stunning beaches, enjoying a round of golf or two at its world-renowned golf courses, to exploring ancient ruins and indulging in local cuisine, Vilamoura offers something for everyone.

The town is also home to one of the largest marinas in Europe; with over 1,000 berths it provides a paradise for sailing enthusiast from all around the world. Luxury yachts can be seen moored up alongside traditional fishing boats creating an eclectic mix that adds to its charm.

With plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightlife hotspots nearby, Vilamoura makes for the perfect holiday destination. Whether you’re looking for a weekend away or a longer stay, there is sure to be something for everyone among this picturesque town’s offerings.

Go to the park

For some fun with friends or family members, head over to one of Quarteira’s many parks. From playgrounds to bike paths, these parks offer something for everyone no matter their age or ability level. Plus, they’re usually free! So you will save tons of money too.

Go shopping

For those looking to shop till they drop, there are plenty of stores that line the streets offering everything from souvenirs to local goods. There is alot that you can explore in that area.

And when you work up an appetite after all that shopping and sightseeing? You won’t have to look far for delicious Portuguese cuisine – just head over to one of Quarteira’s many restaurants after your shopping spree.

Save Money With A Travel Club

If you want to make your trip even more affordable (who doesn’t?!), consider joining a travel club like ours. We offer access to resorts all around the world at discounted prices – perfect for families looking to get away without breaking the bank! Plus, members have access to discounts on airfare and ground transportation, so you can save even more money on travel costs. These savings add up quickly when traveling with a family!

Quarteira is an ideal destination for anyone looking for a sunny getaway with something for everyone in their family. From breathtaking views of nature and historical sites to endless activities like biking and kayaking, there’s no shortage of things to do here during the springtime season. And if you join a travel club like ours before embarking on your journey, you could save some serious cash while having an unforgettable experience with loved ones – what could be better than that? Start planning today; we guarantee it’ll be worth it! ​​​

Examples below are for 7 nights in March 2023, for 2 adults:

To find out more about saving money on travel with a travel club, visit http://www.thetravelclub.info

The best places to visit in Portugal

From world-famous cities and isolated villages to vibrant beaches and spectacular National Parks, Portugal offers a vast array of visitor attractions and services. It occupies the wedge of ibéria with the Borders of Spain as well as the magnificent coastline with the Atlantic and Portugals location at this sunny corner of West-Europe lends it an exclusive appeal. The southern parts of the island are still popular vacation destinations with glorious sandy beaches and golf courses.

A round-up of the best places to visit in mainland Portugal – but we are sure there’s more to find!

If you are planning to visit Portugal any time soon – here are our top suggestions.

Lisbon – the Capital city

Did you know that Lisbon (Portugal’s capital city) is known as the architectural, narrow cobbled streets and cultural pearl of Western Europe and one of the oldest towns in the world? The original capital of the Country was Guimarães. In the mid-13th century, Lisbon became the Portuguese Capital.

lisbon, portugal, historic center

Lisbon has a very mild climate for Europe. It is sunny throughout the year, with an annual average of 2900-3300 hours of sunshine. The Tagus Iberia is the largest river in Lisbon and is believed to be large enough to hold all the warships on the planet.

Lisbon has a symbol of a Raven. For quite some time, the city had a cult for Raven. The clan even had a large cage with ravens in the São Jorge Castle.

The main port in Portugal is the Port of Lisbon, located where the River Tagus and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It was a global maritime power during the 15th and 16th centuries. There are five major ports in Portugal, including Aveiro, the seaport of Douro, Leixões in the north, Lisbon, Setúbal, and Sines in the south. On a cruise, your ship will dock in Leixões Port, located in the Matosinhos District.

The Port of Setúbal has been recognized as an ‘EcoPort’ by the European Sea Ports Organisation, recognizing the excellent environmental quality of the port. Portugal’s top 5 commodity exports are petroleum, tobacco, olive oil, copper ore, and pig meat. Importable items of the nation are machinery and transport commodities, chemicals, textiles, and agricultural products.

Lisbon city center is so full of history; it truly is one of Portugal’s best places to visit. Many independent restaurants and cafes line the streets, and you won’t be able to resist the sweet treats! Lisbon truly is one of the best places in Portugal. Read on for more places to visit in Portugal.

Natas (the most amazing custard tarts!)

Monks and nuns originally baked many of Portugal’s best cakes. In fact, the original recipe for Pastel de Nata came from the monks at the Jerónimos Monastery in Belem, Lisbon. In 1834, when the monastery closed, the formula was sold to the eventual owners of the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém, which opened in 1837.

portuguese custard tart, pastel de nata, lisbon

Pastel de Nata looks like a cross between a custard tart and a cake. The outside is crispy and flaky, while the inside is creamy and sweet. To order this in Lisbon, request “u pastel de nata.” However, other regions call it by different names. Want to try one of these tasty pastries? They are best tried from a local bakery. Head of down to one of the best place to see in Portugal and try them.

The Trams of Lisbon

Here are some interesting facts about the historic trams of Lisbon.

Trams first appeared in Lisbon in 1873. They were called Carros Americanos and were first built in the United States.

portugal, lisbon, europe

It was on the 31st of August 1901, the first electric tram (Eléctricos) departed from Cais Sodré towards Algés.

Green and red trams are specifically for tourists. The green ones were recently added to the system in May 2015. Inside, the Cobrador had two roles: to validate the ticket and to get rid of the penduras, people who climbed the tram for a free ride.

Around Christmas, you might spot the Christmas Tram with Santa on the driver’s seat.

Benagil Cave

Benagil Cave, also referred to as Algar de Benagil, is probably the most famous of all the sea caves in Algarve, Portugal. You’ll see many beautiful villages and stunning sea caves. The dome is impressive with its colorful rings and a blue opening at the top. To get to Benagil Cave, you’ll need to either kayak, take a small boat tour, or swim, but beware, the ocean is rough, and even the best swimmers should take caution.

portugal, algarve, benagil

Azores – a beautiful and unique Portuguese archipelago

Made up of nine different islands and situated far from Portugal’s coastal coast in the mid-Atlantic, the Azores might be the perfect place for anyone looking for adventure, but they are also a perfect place for those searching for beauty and wonder.

Each travel destination is unique, and we strongly encourage the visitor to learn the most about it, and we want to give you all of that information. Expect vineyards, spectacular scenery, fishing villages, and lush pastures.

Azores

São Miguel Island

Experience the magical island of São Miguel with the waterfalls of the Azores being one of the most enchanting features. To reach the waterfall, you’ll follow the PRC29SMI trail, which takes you along an old power plant pipeline.

It requires climbing stairs, so shoes are a must. A little trip for anyone who decides to visit this trail; make sure you go up to the top of the waterfall. You’ll pass a small lookout point on your right so that you can see the waterfall from above. Continue on that path, and you’ll reach the serene water before the drop.

island, azores, atlantic

Batalha Monastery

The Batalha Monastery is one of the most significant religious buildings in Portugal. King João accredited this gothic monastery in gratitude for the 1385 victory in the battle of Aljubarrota, and the grand designs took over a hundred years to construct. The leading portal has a myriad of carved arches and magnificent stone statues, which cover most of the western wall.

The lower figures represent the Apostles, above them are angels, and at the pinnacle is a statue of Christ. You can visit the main church for free and revel in its high vaulted ceilings and original stained glass windows. However, you must attend the paid sections to experience the real magic of the monastery.

monastery, batalha, architecture

Sintra

foam, castle, portugal

The Palacio da Pena is one of the most beautiful places in Sintra as well as one of the seven wonders of Portugal. It shares an array of Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Neo-Islamic, and Neo-Renaissance architectural styles and a prime example of 19th-century Romanticism. Initially, it was a monastery donated to the Order of Saint Jerome by Manuel I.

It was reduced to ruins after the Lisbon Earthquake. In the restoration of 1994, the original colors were restored outside the Palace. These colors included an old rose for the old monastery and an ocher for the New Palace. The work of the Pena Palace ended in the mid-1860s, although later interior decoration campaigns were carried out.

Porto and Douro – Northern Portugal

In northern Portugal, Porto and Douro are two complementary destinations, both with the charm and delight of romantic locations. Porto is an ancient city that passed its name to Portugal as well as Port wine. Porto and Douro are located by the mouth of the River Douro and are classified as World Heritage Sites since 1996. Tourists admire the typical housing and granite monuments. Grab a tipple in Porto! Porto is one of the country’s largest cities that sits in the north of the country.

This hilly city is one heck of a place to visit; think cobbled streets, fresh seafood, and copious amounts of port that’ll keep you sozzled all evening! On our last visit, I kept forgetting that port was much more alcoholic than ‘regular wines’. As you can imagine, an almighty hangover and bouts of feeling sorry for myself ensued.

portugal, lisbon, seafood

Taking the tram towards the beaches or riding along the river is quite romantic. Take a stroll around the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves with its luscious park, or the new Casa da Música and the praised Metro do Porto. Visit the Museu do Douro, where you will see objects about the region while enjoying a drink.

The Douro River

The Douro River is a historically significant river of the Iberian Peninsula, creating a magnificent waterway for cruise ships. The Douro River cruises run from Porto, Portugal to Vega de Terron, Spain – a gorgeous place to spend some time! Most cruises are round trip from Porto. The most eminent structure on the river, the Dom Luis I Bridge, stretches to 951 feet long.

porto, portugal, river

You get a variety of Portugal and Spain on Douro River Cruises, meaning excellent Paella from Spain and Port wines from Portugal, along with Flamenco dancers and Portuguese pingo (like espresso).

Let’s learn a little about the city of Porto!

Portugal got its name from the city of Porto (Portus Cale) before Lisbon was the capital of Portugal. The city is nicknamed Invicta because Porto was never conquered and even survived a siege.

The most typical dish in Porto is the Francesinha (Frency). It is composed of meat and sausages, cheese, and beer-tomato sauce. Porto’s most famous export is Port wine.

portugal, porto, port wine

Porto, the home to one of the three biggest football teams in Portugal, Futebol Clube do Porto (FCP). Porto also hosts one of Europe’s largest street festivals, St John’s Festival. Porto really is one of the best places to visit in Portugal.

Aveiro

Are you ready to learn some fun facts about Aveiro?

Aveiro is known for bold Art Nouveau buildings, human-made canals, and ornate vessels.

aveiro, coloured houses, portugal

Costa Nova Beach in Aveiro is a must for seafood lovers; crabs, goose barnacles, shrimp, and whelks from the lagoon can be prepared for you on the Cais dos Pescadores. The tourists often herald the town of Aveiro as being the Venice of Portugal.

The cityscape is crisscrossed by canals that you can navigate on painted gondola-style boats known as Moliceiros. The Romans were the first to recognize Aveiro as a harbor. The harbor is the best-sheltered harbor on the Iberian Peninsula western side. Aveiro’s prized monument is the Moistero de Jesus, built between the 15th and 17th centuries.

Portuguese architecture

Portugal’s architecture made its artistic statement. It developed its style, like all aspects of Portuguese culture noted in the history of the country, and many people have settled and influenced the current Portuguese territory. These settlers include Romans and Suebians, among other related Germanic peoples, Visigoths, and Arabs.

Influence from the main European artistic centers, such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassicism, are also present. Among the primary local manifestations of Portuguese architecture are the Manueline, the exuberant Portuguese version of late Gothic, and the Pombaline style that developed after the Great Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

statue, sculpture, art

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

The Monument to the Discoveries or Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Portuguese is a monument constructed in 1939 in honor of the Portuguese Discoveries of the golden XV and XVI centuries. It is also known as Monument to Navigators and designed by the Portuguese architect José Angelo Cottinelli Telmo.

Each side of this monument features 33 heroes of the Portuguese Discoveries, and the sculpture of Infante D. Henriques (Henry the Navigator) is found on the edge of the caravel. He was the most significant person in the Discoveries. You can climb up to the 6th floor, by stairs or elevator. Try to reach the highest point of this monument to enjoy one of the favorite views over Belém and Tagus River.

Classic Portuguese Azulejos tiles

Tiles (called Azulejos) are everywhere in Portugal. They decorate walls of churches and monasteries, palaces, ordinary houses, park seats, fountains, shops, and train stations. Azulejos date back to the 13th century, and the word Azulejo stems from Arabic roots, meaning ‘small polished stone.’ King Manuel I was astonished by the Alhambra in Granada (Spain) and decided to have his Palace in Sintra decorated with the same vibrant ceramic tiles.

portugal, azulejo, ceramic

When visiting a church or cathedral in Portugal, many are decorated in Azulejos, depicting a style that started during the 16th century. Birds and leaves were frequently symbols used as decoration, possibly inspired by Asian fabrics. Famous sites known for their Azulejo art include the Sao Bento Railway Station in Porto, and the Buçaco Palace.

Glorious beaches

Portugal is a gorgeous country and home to some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in the world. The country’s coastline stretches for over 1,000 kilometers, and is littered with sandy coves and rocky cliffs. From the picturesque Algarve region in the south to the wilds of the Atlantic Coast in the north, there are plenty of beaches to choose from.

faro, portugal, algarve

Some of the most popular beaches in Portugal include Praia da Marinha in Lagoa, Costa da Caparica near Lisbon, and Dona Ana Beach in Lagos. Praia da Marinha is known for its dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters, while Costa da Caparica is a long sandy beach that is popular with locals and visitors alike. Dona Ana Beach is one of the most secluded beaches in Portugal, and features dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters.

Braga

Bragare is Portugal’s largest city. A city to the north, the town is renowned for a long tradition as a religious and commercial centre. Walking around the historical center of Braga you’ll be entered into an 18th-century city of magnificent mansions and impressive cathedrals, as well as impressive palaces. Several spruce gardens and parks break up the imposing granite veneer characteristic for most of the buildings. Braga was established in the 10th century with its Cathedral Sé proving a popular tourist attraction that symbolizes its position as a bishopric and church, and it remains a major ecclesiastical center for Portugal in Portugal.

Tavira

The most beautiful destination on this map, Tavira, certainly possesses all of these picturesque features. This charming, laid back vibe small town neighborhood has a Roman bridge that connects both sides. The waterfront provides an exciting walk before or after exploring Tavira’s remaining historical treasures. Castle walls give spectacular views over Old City and its neighbor’s shoreline.

tavira, algarve, water

You can also explore Igreja Santa Do Castelo, the grand cathedral where warriors’ Knights are buried. The city also has an amazing museum, Ncleo Islamic. Highlighting this is an ancient and rare figure vase.

Vilamoura

Sopotnic Vilamoura, considered to be the heart of the Algarve, is known for its absorbent beauty and its natural beauty as well – a truly beautiful town. But today, tourism is growing and has become renowned for the luxuriant spa and golf courses and as a paradise for discerning food lovers. Vilamoura is where one can put his feet up. The Algarve offers countless beaches to explore in just minutes. Some of Portugal’s finest wind-surfs occur on beaches nearby. It’s definitely worth visiting for food lovers and wine lovers.

Lagos

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal, Lagos soaks up the sunshine from the Algarve and is an ideal holiday destination for thousands of tourists. Lagos – formerly known for its stunning beach fronting both sides of its International Marina – is also a home of incredibly magical rocks and sandstone walls which rise above several rocky islands.

There is also a series of sea caves and strange-shaped cliffs. Alternatively, they are possible when visiting them during a relaxing sightseeing tour, among many watersport activities. It’s easy to spend a lot of time here with some of the Algarve’s best beautiful beaches. Enjoy many day trips to visit the caves, dolphin watching, or water sports. This really is an amazing place to visit in Portugal.

lagos, algarve, portugal

Albufeira

portugal, albufeira, portuguese

This old fishing village today offers dozens of destinations for visitors domestically and internationally. The beaches of white tans, parasailing, jet skiing, dolphin watching, and diving are not surprising. Two good beaches worth looking at are Praia da Oura and Praia dos Pescadors. The smaller secluded beaches with plenty of charm are ideal for families. Take the boat into the countryside to explore appealing villages, narrow streets, and the finest restaurants on offer. Also, remember to keep in mind the amazing nightlife.

Cascais – a pretty cosmopolitan coastal resort and a great place to visit in Portugal

Cascais, Portugal, Calcassis

Once a sleepy fishing community, Calcassis is a fashionable beach resort near Lisbon. It’s famed for a glorious beach, elegant nightlife, watersports, and adventure pursuits that have an elegant cosmopolitan quality. Besides being extremely acclaimed among artists and artisans for its exquisite landscape, the museum has some outstanding artworks that remain prominent in the Museum Cond de Castro Guimares. Another attraction is the elegant new marina filled with yachts dazzling in the sunshine.

What month is the best to go to Portugal?

The best time to visit Portugal is during the spring months (March-May) when Portugal is blooming and waking from winter. If it is autumn (between September and Oct. ), you will find things a little quieter but also still quite warm.

That’s our starter for the best places to visit in Portugal. If you would like to travel to Portugal for less and even travel for free, check out our travel club membership: http://www.thetravelclub.info

 More about Portugal – Top Tips for your first amazing visit to Portugal: https://greatescapetravel.blog/top-tips-for-your-first-amazing-visit-to-portugal/


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porto, portugal, river

Portugal Highlights that you need to read.

Are you visiting Portugal soon? We have got your back for the best places to visit in Portugal.

A round up of the best places to visit in Portugal.

From world famous cities and isolated villages to vibrant beaches and spectacular National Parks, this minuscule country offers a vast array of visitor attractions and services. It occupies the wedge of ibéria with the Borders of Spain as well as the magnificent coastline with the Atlantic and Portugals location at this sunny corner of West-Europe lends it an exclusive appeal. The southern parts of the island are still popular vacation destinations with glorious sandy beaches and golf courses.

Lisbon – the Capital city

Did you know that Lisbon (Portugal’s capital city) is known as the architectural, cobbled streets and cultural pearl of Western Europe, and one of the oldest towns in the world? The original capital of the Country was Guimarães. In the mid 13th century, Lisbon became the capital of Portugal.

lisbon, portugal, historic center

Lisbon has a very mild climate for Europe. It is sunny throughout the year, with an annual average of 2900-3300 hours of sunshine. The Tagus Iberia is the largest river in Lisbon and is believed to be large enough to hold all the warships on the planet.

Lisbon has a symbol of a Raven. For quite some time, the city had a cult for Raven. The clan even had a large cage with ravens in the São Jorge Castle.

The main port in Portugal is the Port of Lisbon located where the River Tagus and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It was a global maritime power during the 15th and 16th centuries. There are five major ports in Portugal, including Aveiro, the seaport of Douro, Leixões in the north, Lisbon, Setúbal, and Sines in the south. On a cruise, your ship will dock in Leixões Port, which is located in the Matosinhos District.

The Port of Setúbal has been recognized as an ‘EcoPort’ by the European Sea Ports Organisation, recognizing the excellent environmental quality of the port. Portugal’s top 5 commodity exports are petroleum, tobacco, olive oil, copper ore, and pig meat. Importable items of the nation are machinery and transport commodities, chemicals, textiles, and agricultural products.

Lisbon is so full of history; it truly is one of the best places to visit in Portugal. There are lots of independent restaurants and cafes that line the streets and you won’t be able to resist the sweet treats! Lisbon truly is one of the best places in Portugal. Read on for more places to visit in Portugal.

Natas (the most amazing custard tarts!)

Monks and nuns originally baked many of Portugal’s best cakes. In fact, the original recipe for Pastel de Nata came from the monks at the Jerónimos Monastery in Belem, Lisbon. In 1834, when the monastery closed, the formula was sold to the eventual owners of the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém, which opened in 1837.

portuguese custard tart, pastel de nata, lisbon

Pastel de Nata looks like a cross between a custard tart and a cake. The outside is crispy and flaky, while the inside is creamy and sweet. To order this in Lisbon, request “u pastel de nata.” However, other regions call it by different names. Want to try one of these tasty pastries? They are best tried from a local bakery. Head of down to one of the best place to see in Portugal and try them.

The Trams of Lisbon

Here are some interesting facts about the historic trams of Lisbon?

Trams first appeared in Lisbon in 1873. They were called Carros Americanos and were first built in the United States.

portugal, lisbon, europe

It was on the 31st of August 1901 that the first electric tram (Eléctricos) departed from Cais Sodré towards Algés.

Green and red trams are specifically for tourists. The green ones were recently added to the system in May 2015. Inside, the Cobrador had two roles: to validate the ticket and to get rid of the penduras, people who climbed the tram for a free ride.

Around Christmas, you might spot the Christmas Tram with Santa on the driver’s seat.

Benagil Cave

Benagil Cave, also referred to as Algar de Benagil, is probably the most famous of all the sea caves in Algarve, Portugal. You’ll see many beautiful villages and stunning sea caves. The dome is impressive with its colorful rings and a blue opening at the top. To get to Benagil Cave, you’ll need to either kayak, take a small boat tour or swim, but beware, the ocean is rough, and even the best swimmers should take caution.

Azores – a beautiful and unique Portuguese archipelago

Made up of nine different islands and situated far from Portugals coastal coast in the mid-atlantic, the Azores might be the perfect place for anyone looking for adventure, but they are also a perfect place for those searching for beauty and wonder. Each travel destination is unique and we strongly encourage the visitor to learn the most about it and we want to give you all of that information. Expect vineyards, spectacular scenery, fishing villages and lush pastures.

azores, landscape, nature

São Miguel Island

Experience the magical island of São Miguel with the waterfalls of the Azores being one of the most enchanting features. To reach the waterfall, you’ll follow the PRC29SMI trail, which takes you along an old power plant pipeline. It requires climbing stairs, so shoes are a must. A little trip for anyone who decides to visit this trail, make sure you go up to the top of the waterfall. You’ll pass a small lookout point on your right so that you can see the waterfall from above. Continue on that path, and you’ll reach the serene water before the drop.

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Batalha Monastery

The Batalha Monastery is one of the most significant religious buildings in Portugal. King João accredited this gothic monastery in gratitude for the 1385 victory in the battle of Aljubarrota, and the grand designs took over a hundred years to construct. The leading portal has a myriad of carved arches and magnificent stone statues, which covers most of the western wall. The lower figures represent the Apostles, above them are angels, and at the pinnacle is a statue of Christ. You can visit the main church for free, and revel in its high vaulted ceilings and original stained glass windows. However, you must attend the paid sections to experience the real magic of the monastery.

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Sintra

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The Palacio da Pena is one of the most beautiful places in Sintra as well as one of the seven wonders of Portugal. It shares an array of Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Neo-Islamic, and Neo-Renaissance architectural styles and a prime example of 19th-century Romanticism. Initially, it was a monastery donated to the Order of Saint Jerome by Manuel I. It was reduced to ruins after the Lisbon Earthquake. In the restoration of 1994, the original colors were restored outside the Palace. These colors included old rose for the old monastery and ocher for the New Palace. The work of the Pena Palace ended in the mid-1860s, although later interior decoration campaigns were carried out.

Porto and Douro – Northern Portugal

In northern Portugal, Porto and Douro are two complementary destinations, both with the charm and delight of romantic locations. Porto is an ancient city that passed its name to Portugal as well as Port wine. Porto and Douro are located by the mouth of the River Douro and are classified as World Heritage Sites since 1996. Tourists admire the typical housing and granite monuments. Grab a tipple in Porto! Porto is one of the country’s largest cities that sits in the north of the country. This hilly city is one heck of a place to visit, think cobbled streets, fresh seafood and copious amounts of port that’ll keep you sozzled all evening! On our last visit, I kept forgetting that port was much more alcoholic than ‘regular wines’. As you can imagine an almighty hangover and bouts of feeling sorry for myself ensued.

Portuguese Vineyards

Taking the tram towards the beaches or riding along the river is quite romantic. Take a stroll around the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves with its luscious park, or the new Casa da Música and the praised Metro do Porto. Visit the Museu do Douro, where you will see objects about the region while enjoying a drink.

The Douro River

The Douro River is a historically significant river of the Iberian Peninsula, creating a magnificent waterway for cruise ships. The Douro River cruises run from Porto, Portugal to Vega de Terron, Spain. Most cruises are round trip from Porto. The most eminent structure on the river, the Dom Luis I Bridge, stretches to 951 feet long.

porto, portugal, river

You get a variety of Portugal and Spain on Douro River Cruises, meaning excellent Paella from Spain and Port wines from Portugal, along with Flamenco dancers and Portuguese pingo (like espresso).

Let’s learn a little about the city of Porto!

Portugal got its name for the city of Porto (Portus Cale) before Lisbon was the capital of Portugal. The city is nicknamed Invicta because Porto was never conquered, and even survived a siege.

The most typical dish in Porto is the Francesinha (Frency). It is composed of meat and sausages, cheese, and beer-tomato sauce. Porto’s most famous export is Port wine.

portugal, porto, port wine

Porto, the home to one of the three biggest football teams in Portugal, Futebol Clube do Porto (FCP). Porto also hosts one of Europe’s largest street festivals, St John’s Festival. Porto really is one of the best places to visit in portugal.

Aveiro

Are you ready to learn some fun facts about Aveiro?

Aveiro is known for bold Art Nouveau buildings, human-made canals, and ornate vessels.

aveiro, coloured houses, portugal

Costa Nova Beach in Aveiro is a must for seafood lovers; crabs, goose barnacles, shrimp, and whelks from the lagoon can be prepared for you on the Cais dos Pescadores. The tourists often herald the town of Aveiro as being the Venice of Portugal.

The cityscape is crisscrossed by canals that you can navigate on painted gondola-style boats known as Moliceiros. The Romans were the first to recognize Aveiro as a harbor. The harbor is the best-sheltered harbor on the Iberian Peninsula western side. Aveiro’s prized monument is the Moistero de Jesus, built between the 15th and 17th centuries.

Portuguese architecture

Portugal’s architecture made its artistic statement. It developed its style, like all aspects of Portuguese culture noted in the history of the country, and many people that have settled and influenced the current Portuguese territory. These settlers include Romans and Suebians, among other related Germanic peoples, Visigoths, and Arabs. Influence from the main European artistic centers, such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassicism, are also present. Among the primary local manifestations of Portuguese architecture are the Manueline, the exuberant Portuguese version of late Gothic, and the Pombaline style that developed after the Great Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

statue, sculpture, art

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

The Monument to the Discoveries or Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Portuguese is a monument constructed in 1939 in honor of the Portuguese Discoveries of the golden XV and XVI centuries. It is also known as Monument to Navigators and designed by the Portuguese architect José Angelo Cottinelli Telmo.

Each side of this monument features 33 heroes of the Portuguese Discoveries, and the sculpture of Infante D. Henriques (Henry the Navigator) is found on the edge of the caravel. He was the most significant person in the Discoveries. You can climb up to the 6th floor, by stairs or elevator. Try to reach the highest point of this monument to enjoy one of the favorite views over Belém and Tagus River.

Classic Portuguese Azulejos tiles

Tiles (called Azulejos) are everywhere in Portugal. They decorate walls of churches and monasteries, palaces, ordinary houses, park seats, fountains, shops, and train stations. Azulejos date back to the 13th century, and the word Azulejo stems from Arabic roots, meaning ‘small polished stone.’ King Manuel I was astonished by the Alhambra in Granada (Spain) and decided to have his Palace in Sintra decorated with the same vibrant ceramic tiles.

portugal, azulejo, ceramic

When visiting a church or cathedral in Portugal, many are decorated in Azulejos, depicting a style that started during the 16th century. Birds and leaves were frequently symbols used as decoration, possibly inspired by Asian fabrics. Famous sites known for their Azulejo art include the Sao Bento Railway Station in Porto, and the Buçaco Palace.

Glorious beaches

Portugal is a gorgeous country and home to some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in the world. The country’s coastline stretches for over 1,000 kilometers, and is littered with sandy coves and rocky cliffs. From the picturesque Algarve region in the south to the wilds of the Atlantic Coast in the north, there are plenty of beaches to choose from.

faro, portugal, algarve

Some of the most popular beaches in Portugal include Praia da Marinha in Lagoa, Costa da Caparica near Lisbon, and Dona Ana Beach in Lagos. Praia da Marinha is known for its dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters, while Costa da Caparica is a long sandy beach that is popular with locals and visitors alike. Dona Ana Beach is one of the most secluded beaches in Portugal, and features dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters.

Braga

Bragare is Portugals largest city. A city to the north, the town is renowned for a long tradition as a religious and commercial centre. Walking around the historical center of Braga you’ll be entered into an 18th-century city of magnificent mansions and impressive cathedrals, as well as impressive palaces. Several spruce gardens and parks break up the imposing granite veneer characteristic for most of the buildings. Braga was established in 10th century with its Cathedral Sé proving a popular tourist attraction that symbolises its position as a bishopric and church and it remains a major clesiastical centre for Portugal in Portugal.

Tavira

The most beautiful destination on this map, Tavira certainly possesses all of these picturesque features. This charming laid back vibe neighborhood has a Roman bridge that connects both sides. The waterfront provides an exciting walk before or after exploring Tavira’s remaining historical treasure. Castle walls give spectacular views over Old City and its neighbour’s shoreline.

tavira, algarve, water

You can also explore Igreja Santa Do Castelo, the grand cathedral where warriors’ Knights are buried. The city also has an amazing museum, Ncleo islmic. Highlighting this is an ancient and rare figure vase.

Vilamoura

Sopotnic Vilamoura, considered to be the heart of the Algarve, is known for its absorbent beauty, its natural beauty as well – a truly beautiful town. But today tourism is growing and becomes renowned for the luxuriant spa and golf courses and as a paradise for discerning food lovers. Vilamoura is where one can put his feet up. The Algarve offers countless beaches to explore in just minutes. Some of Portugals finest wind-surfs occur on beaches nearby. It’s definitely worth visiting for food lovers and wine-lovers.

Lagos

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal, Lagos soaks up the sunshine from the Algarve and is an ideal holiday destination for thousands of tourists. Lagos – formerly known by its stunning beach fronting both sides of its International Marina – is also a home of incredibly magical rocks and sand stone walls which rise above several rocky islands. There is also a series of sea caves and strange shaped cliffs, Alternatively, they are possible when visiting them during a relaxing sightseeing tour among many watersport activities.

Albufeira

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This old fishing village today offers dozens of destinations for visitors domestically and internationally. The beaches of white tans, parasailing, jetskiing, dolphin watching and diving are not surprising. Two good beaches worth looking at are Praia da Oura and Praia dos Pescadors. The smaller secluded beaches with plenty of charm are ideal for families. Take the boat into the countryside to explore appealing villages and the finest restaurants on offer. Also remember to keep in mind the amazing nightlife.

Cascais – a pretty cosmopolitan coastal resort and a great place to visit in Portugal

Cascais, Portugal, Calcassis

Once a sleepy fishing community, Calcassis is a fashionable beach resort near Lisbon. It’s famed for a glorious beach, elegant nightlife, watersports and adventure pursuits has an elegant cosmopolitan quality. Besides being extremely acclaimed among artists and artisans for its exquisite landscape, the museum has some outstanding artworks that remain prominent in the Museum Cond de Castro Guimares. One more attraction is the elegant new marina filled with yachts dazzling in the sunshine.

What month is the best to go to Portugal?

Best time to visit Portugal is during spring months (March-May) when Portugal is blooming or waking from winter. If it is autumn (between September and Oct. ) it may be able to be crowded a few days after sunset when it’s hot.

That’s our starter for the best places to visit in Portugal. If you would like to travel to Portugal for less and even travel for free, check out our travel club membership: http://www.thetravelclub.info

 More about Portugal – Top Tips for your first amazing visit to Portugal: https://greatescapetravel.blog/top-tips-for-your-first-amazing-visit-to-portugal/

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Top tips for a great first visit to Portugal.

This southern European country certainly doesn’t lack natural or architectural beauty. It’s no wonder you have the desire to visit Portugal. We snapshot some of our top tips for your first amazing visit to Portugal…

There’s a never-ending number of things to do and see.

So, where should you even begin? Here are some top recommendations for visiting this magnificent nation for the first time. Don’t forget, as a Travel Club member, you can secure up to 80% off hotel accommodation rates in Portugal and worldwide!

1. What places should I check out?

  • Lisbon

As the capital of Portugal, Lisbon is full of vibrant culture, historical sights, and friendly natives.

Also, Lisbon is an ideal place in the nation to take delight in authentic Portuguese cuisine and to enjoy live entertainment.

Lisbon is known for its traditional Fado performances.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to listen to some of the best Portuguese folk music!

  • Porto

There are many things to do in Porto, and this list is just a sampling of the top attractions and activities. From exploring the city’s charming architecture and vibrant culture, to enjoying its delicious food and wine, there is something for everyone in Porto. So whether you’re visiting for a day or staying for a week, be sure to add this city (Portugal’s second city) to your itinerary.

Porto is one of the oldest European cities, with a history spanning over 2,000 years. Founded by the Celts in the late 4th century BC, Porto rapidly grew into an important trade center and capital of the region. Over the centuries, it has been ruled by Phoenicians, Romans, Suevi, Visigoths, Moors, and finally, Portuguese kings. Today, Porto is a vibrant city with a rich culture and history that visitors can explore while enjoying its beautiful architecture and delicious food.

  • Batalha

One of the most phenomenal Gothic churches in all of Europe.

The church preserve is protected as a World Heritage Monument due to its significance.

As you enter the grand doors of the church, you’ll immediately take notice to all of its architectural details and picturesque 16th Century stained glass windows.

potugal
  • The Abbey of Santa Maria

As Europe’s most significant building of the Cistercian order, wander through this historical site for hours if you wish.

There certainly is a lot to see, including a monastery, seven dormitories, the library, the kitchen, and of course, the church.

  • The Beaches

The coastline of Portugal provides some of the most stunning beaches you’ll ever see.

Don’t shy away, take a break from your explorations to relax on the shorelines of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Stream.

Some of the most popular beaches are in the Algarve region, Sagres, Aveiro, and the Praia da Adraga.

2. What are some of the most popular dishes and foods?

  • Arroz de Cabidela

It might seem daunting once you know what this dish derives from, but this chicken blood rice is a native favorite in Portugal.

You can also get this dish made with rabbit and rabbit blood.

  • Alheira

This delightful lunch includes sausage, typically prepared with french fries and fried eggs.

  • Bacalhau A Bras

Cod is shredded, sauteed to perfection, and served with onion, straw fried potatoes, eggs, parsley, and garlic.

  • Arroz Doce

As an authentic Portuguese dessert, this dish is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth.

This creamy rice pudding is topped with cinnamon and caramel custard to add a burst of flavor.

  • Caldo Verde

On a chilly night, treat yourself to this fantastic soup.

It’s merely potato, onions, and shredded kale, cooked in garlic and olive oil, yet it certainly doesn’t lack flavor!

  • Pastel de nata

Originating in Lisbon, this custard tart is an indigenous staple, and you can’t leave the country without trying it.

Now that you have some of our top tips for your first trip to Portugal let’s start planning your stay!

You’ll be amazed by the nation’s delicious food options and breathtaking sights!

Learn more about Portugal with our post HERE about its Highlights

If you’re looking for the best rates for accommodation in Portugal (or anywhere else in the world), the Travel Club can help you with up to 80% discounts off of typical retail rates. Our members also travel for free and get paid to travel. To find out more, visit http://www.thetravelclub.info