Perfectly Picturesque Portuguese Spots
Portugal has a rugged Atlantic coastline and a culture which, thanks to its strategic position and maritime history, merges Mediterranean, European, African and American elements.
With scenery that ranges from beautiful beaches to verdant hills and valleys and remote scenic spots to metropolitan hustle and bustle, there’s something special for every type of visitor here.
If you’ve never been to Portugal before, the following perfectly picturesque spots might tempt you to try it for your next vacation.
With its romantic setting on the banks of the Rio Douro, Porto has a historic city centre, fab food and wine (it’s the home of port) and a welcoming culture. An ancient port city whose winding backstreets of Massarelos and Ribeira ooze charm and character, this is also a modern city where you’ll see edgy street art and minimalist architecture in modern edifices like the Museu de Arte Contemporanea. Wine tasting at Taylor’s port cellars at Vila Nova de Gaia is a must if you’re a foodie.
Now one of the jewels in the crown of Portugal’s premier tourist area The Algarve, Albufeira was a sleepy fishing village before its burnished bronze beaches, azure waters and marvelous Moorish architecture attracted tourists from around the world. Popular with UK tourists, the lively nightlife is supported by several British bars, but there are lots of scenic villages inland which you can explore by car and beaches like Praia da Gale to the west further enhance its attractions.
Portugal’s capital Lisbon gathers around seven sublime hillsides overlooking the Rio Tejo and it’s a captivating city dominated by dazzling white-domed cathedrals, amazing ancient ruins and a smattering of contemporary buildings cross-cut by cobbled alleyways and leafy streets. The seaside setting here means the cuisine draws heavily on freshly caught seafood, but you’ll also find a fusion of food including Morrocan couscous, Thai curries and high-grade locally-reared beef. This city is also a great launchpad for road trips ̶ hire a car in Lisbon from Enjoy Travel and visit hotspots like Cabo da Roca, Europe’s most westerly point with awe-inspiring Atlantic views, and historic Sintra, which is home to a remarkably well-preserved medieval royal palace.
Known as the Pearl of the Atlantic, this bijou but beautiful Portuguese island sits 520km west of Morocco and it’s a vibrant location full of verdant valleys, vertiginous mountains, dramatic cliffs, volcanic sand beaches and picture-postcard towns and villages. Cuisine highlights here include fantastic fish and strong locally-made rum, and it’s a subtropical paradise where hikers love to get their pulses racing by trekking alongside the levada irrigation channels that pepper the landscape. The airport runway sits on stilts and viewed from above it resembles a secret base from a James Bond movie, while capital Funchal has a lovely laid-back atmosphere and is spotlessly clean as well as very picturesque. If you’re a football fan, don’t forget to visit the Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 Museum because he’s a local legend with an interesting backstory.
As you can see, Portugal has more than its fair share of beautiful spots and you’re sure to have an absolute blast when you visit ̶ you can thank us later!