Wondering The Best Places To Visit In Portugal? Here Are The 12 Best Places You Can’t Miss

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places to visit in portugal
Photo by Rodrigo Curi on Unsplash

A visit to Portugal is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. There are so many reasons and best places to visit in Portugal that we had to collate them below under in points because, as we sometimes say, words aren’t enough to express.

Why Visit Portugal?

Portugal is one of the world’s most significant historical sites, with unmatched features, cultural heritage, architectural treasures, several UNESCO world heritage sites, and beautiful landscapes that make it a delight for visitors/tourists and photographers.

Vibrant Nightlife is another excellent reason to visit Portugal. Portugal’s speciality of wine produces your best selection of both red and white wines. Lots of dance clubs, bars and restaurants to let out your party spirits.

Portugal offers a few breathtaking nature parks that you can look at and explore. With an expansive diversity of wildlife, the Peneda-Gerês National Park is regarded as one of the best national parks in Europe.

Visitors often find its weather great! It is not too hot in summer and usually not cold in winter, with temperatures in perfect balance throughout the year.

Alright, now let’s have a sneak peek into the best places to visit in Portugal.

The Beaches In The Algarve, Portugal

The Portuguese coast is home to some of the world’s most fascinating and coveted landscapes, which are featured annually in Europe. And now we will take you through our selection of Civitatis of the best beaches in the Algarve so you can maximise enjoyment on your trip to Portugal.

Portugal’s Algarve Coast is breathtakingly beautiful, with numerous beautiful beaches and places to visit; some of them are mentioned below. Gold sand, crystal-clear waters, and limestone cliffs abound on the Algarvian coast. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Here is our selection of the PRISTINE beaches.

places to visit in Portugal
by Pedro Ferraz on Flickr copyright 2022

Marinha Beach

This iconic beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal and is one of the world’s leading beaches. The small sandy sea is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs that stand in stark contrast with the lush green waters.

But the carvings of carvings that truly separate the sea – including M Rock or Cathedral with two arches, have become a symbol of Portugal’s natural beauty.

To get a closer look at rock formations, you can book one boat trip or go snorkelling in clear water.

Activities

  • Snorkelling,
  • Hiking,
  • Swimming

Arrifana Beach, One of The Best Beaches In The Algarve For Surfers

The village of Arrifana, spread over cliffs above sea level, has undergone a significant overhaul of tourism, although development is restricted and maintains a strong sense of place.

Pass the twelfth section of cafes, bars, and hostels facing directly (but much higher) than the sea, and you will come to the remains of a ruined castle. The sea itself, accessible by a single lane, recently closed to traffic, is sandy, safe, and popular with divers and swimmers. There is a cafe and an ample parking space at the top.

There are several accommodation options in Arrifana and a well-appointed campground just 8 miles north of the town of Monte Clerigo. This place deserves to be included in your list of places to visit in Portugal.

places to visit in portugal
By Mike FinnFollow/Flickr.Copyright 2022

Carvoeiro Beach

Called the Old Fisherman Village, this tourist destination is famed for the calm water cove that exists there. The beach has several colourful boats that its visitors can visit the sea caves or wild beaches that you cannot reach by foot.

Boat trips from Carvoeiro to Benagil cave, with the famous ‘eye-opening in the ceiling of the cave, depart daily throughout the year. Carvoeiro beach is a very famous and lively beach with cafes, restaurants and accommodation only a few feet away.

Benagil Sea Cave

Portugal’s rugged coastline has been marvellously built for hundreds of thousands of years by the power of the Atlantic Ocean and winds – and the Algarve is known for some of the world’s most impressive rocks and sea caves.

Best known in all these cases is the Benagil Sea Cave, an impressive cathedral-like cave with a hidden coast, two arches open at sea and a circular hole in its roof covering the sky.

You can reach the cave by one of the many tourist boats or rent a kayak or rowing board to do the trip yourself. Go ahead and make this your places to visit in Portugal.

by David Ceballos on Flickr copyright 2022

The Palaces and Castles in Sintra

The palaces in Sintra are described as a treat to the eyes. The stunning natural landscapes and striking Castles are much fun to engage when you visit Portugal.

Some of the palaces you can visit,

  1. Pena Palace
  2. Castelo dos Mouros
  3. Quinta de Regalia
by Patrick Nouhailler on flickr copyright 2022

The Wineries In The Rio Douro Valley

As a historic site, it is located on the remote shores of River Douro in the Porto region of Ribeira by Vila Nova de Gaia (or just Gaia). Despite its location, Gaia is actually a city itself and extends somewhat from the river.

The Douro is the highest flowing river of the Iberian Peninsula and flows across Spain, to northern Portugal to its mouth at Porto, and finally meets the Atlantic ocean.

The river is marked by a spectacular Douro railway, frequent tourism and – related – the construction and production of the port – a solid wine – grapes, regular wine and other agricultural products.

The small river table contains the Côa Valley Paleolithic art gallery, which is considered to be an important archaeological site designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The latter includes wine-producing areas such as Ribera del Duero. It doesn’t require second thoughts to be included in your list of places to visit in Portugal.

by mat’s eye on Flickr copyright 2022

The Venice of Portugal, Aveiro

Roaming through Aveiro is equivalent to diving in the waters of Centro de Portugal, known as Portuguese Venice. Ria de Aveiro is described as a living soul that connects land to sea like a huge heart.

Aveiro has a set of buildings in the style of “Art Nouveau” most are located near the main canal. Near the sea and along the river, Aveiro crosses a series of canals for Moliceiro boats. These vessels, small and colourful, were used for collecting seaweed and sargassum, and today they are used for tourist trips.

Walking does not require much effort either, as the city is flat, and those who like to ride bicycles can opt for the “BUGAS” – free-to-use bicycles available from Aveiro City Council.

When you return to the city centre, you can revitalise yourself by savouring regional delicacies. If it is almost lunchtime, you can try caldeirada de enguias (eel stew) or carneiro à lampantana.

Or, you can sweep our regional cakes, where eggs and sugar are magical, and let the Ovos Moles conquer your taste as if they were small pieces of sweet gold.
For the Ovos Moles, don’t forget to have this in your places to visit in Portugal.

by Paulo Corceiro on Flickr copyright 2022

The Exciting Capital, Lisbon

The Portuguese capital city, Lisbon, is equally admirable and charming as its other regions. It is mainland Europe’s westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coastline.

It is effortlessly one among the many historical sites in Portugal, perched on the edge of the Atlantic ocean; its enthralling natural beauty and historic buildings capture the imagination of its tourists.

White Bleached limestone buildings, whitewashed houses, alleyways and beauty worth beholding. It’s a popular year-round destination. On average, it takes 3 days to explore Lisbon, so it could be your weekend break. Day trips include visits to surrounding regions like Sintra, Cascais and Obidos.

Trips are packed with exciting outdoor adventures and recreational activities.

Lisbon coast is lined with alluring beaches with golden sand. Besides, the narrow cobbled streets serve as the symbol of the capital city- its black and white pattern stretches across the city and paves almost all pedestrian pathways.

These cobblestones are imitated worldwide by different countries, so although they are an ancient tradition, these cobblestone streets are evolving with the times.

There are many Travel agencies with attractive holiday itineraries in Lisbon; grab yours and don’t forget to make this one of your places to visit in Portugal.

by Michaela Loheit on Flickr copyright 2022

Islands Of The Azores

The Azores Archipelago, a group of nine islands, nine beautiful beaches, nine small worlds with friendly and welcoming inhabitants, awaits your visit. Mother nature has created this specimen to instil her wondrous beauty in the 9 glorious beaches.

These are Flores and Corvo, west; Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, and Faial center; and São Miguel, Santa Maria, and Formigas Reef to the east. They stretch over 600 km (370 mi) and lie northeast. All of these nine islands are of volcanic origin.

Mount Pico, on the island of Pico, is the highest point in Portugal, at 2,351 feet (7,713 ft). Measured from the bottom of the ocean to their peaks, high above the Atlantic, the Azores are among the tallest mountains in the world.

places to visit in portugal
by Ravi sarma on Flickr.Copyright 2022

It could be your summer retreat, so don’t forget to include this in your places to visit in Portugal.

Amarante, Attractive Riverside Town

Examples of stunning architecture and naturally beautiful landscapes. This place is sure to pull at your heartstrings.

All visitors to Amarante will surely be impressed by the two wonders of nature: the mighty Serra do Marão rising above the city in a series of spectacular scenery and the Tâmega River, the longest tributary of the Douro River.

The bridge at Amarante furthers the memory of the heroic opposition of the local people against Napoleonic forces, which invaded Portugal in the 19th century. Amarante sweets and cakes are very famous and easily available in many cake shops and cafes in the region.
Make sure to taste them; they’re like drops from heaven!

places to visit in portugal
By Pedro on Flickr.Copyright 2022

No visitor to this region can miss out on a visit to Serra do Marão to see its amazing sights. Nearby is the picturesque valley of Ansiães, where you can visit trout farms on the right bank of the Ovelha River, giving you excellent excuses for enjoying the dense jungle surrounding.

The Boulder Village of Monsanto

Defined by its dramatic landscapes, ancient streets, and unbelievable sight of houses tucked between or underneath humongous boulders. Nature lovers, don’t miss this as one of your places to visit in Portugal; it will leave you speechless.

Monsanto lies off atop a mountain, with a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.
The mountain top served as an important historic site and was a geographically strategic location crowned by the Templars Castle.

The village has not changed much over the centuries, and it enjoys the segregation of Portugal as a living museum. As a result of this stand, Monsanto cannot be replaced and retains its rural beauty.

Its narrow cobbled streets wind up a steep slope past houses with red roofs over muddy rocks. Some stones actually have doors leading to buildings carved out of stone. Although a mountain town seems unusual, it is actually a unique twist in the architecture of Portuguese buildings.

The place is accessible by Bus from Porto and Lisbon.

by Vitor Oliveira on flickr copyright 2022

Clerigos Church, Portugal

Situated in the city of Porto, in Portugal, it is a specimen of splendid Baroque architecture. It is therefore called the Baroque church or the Church of the Clergymen.

An iconic landmark of Portugal, it is believed to have been used as a reference point for boats entering the River Douro. Built on high ground just north of Porto’s historic centre, it is a marvellous oval-shaped dark granite church with elaborate facades and enchanting glory.

The interior has only one area of ​​granite and marble and is covered with baroque paintings and showcases the skill of the architect. In the main temple, attention is drawn to Manuel Porto’s polychromatic altar.

The tower rises to a height of 75 m of architectural excellence and is accessed by 225 granite steps. There is a spectacular view of the tower that offers spectacular views of the city.

Divided as a national monument in 1910, the church to which it is attached is the tallest church tower in Portugal. In addition to enjoying the magnificent architecture of the Church of Clérigos and its magnificent tower, visitors can visit the Casa da Irmandade (Brotherhood House), a fascinating museum depicting the daily life of the Clergy Brotherhood in the mid-18th century.

places to visit in portugal
By Ronnie Macdonald on Flickr.Copyright 2022

So, don’t forget to include this as one of your places to visit in Portugal, because the experience is going to be worth it.

National Parks in Portugal

Located on the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal draws flocks of tourists all year round. The national parks of Portugal are famous for the diverse experiences it provides. Be sure to include any one of the aforementioned as places to visit in Portugal.

10 Best National Parks In Portugal

Mentioned below are the best national parks in Portugal that offer a glimpse into the ferocious wildlife of the country and its varying landscapes.

  • Sintra-Cascais Natural Park
  • Peneda-Geres National Park
  • Arrabida Natural Park
  • Southwest Alentejo And Vicenti Coast
  • Serra Da Estrela Natural Park
  • Montesinho Natural Park
  • Ria Formosa Natural Park
  • Litoral Norte National Park
  • Alvaro Natural Park
  • Douro International Natural Park

Portuguese Gothic Cathedrals

Gothic architecture of Portugal is rooted in its ancient history; it reached Portugal at the end of the 12th century, mainly because of the Cistercians, a profoundly religious order.

Castles were built in the late 13th century sometimes in gratitude for Mother Mary and had blended in many elements.

Churches & Monasteries

Alcobaça Monastery and Mendicantes Orders

The foremost complete Gothic architecture in Portugal is the monastery of Alcobaça Monastery, the finesse of the splendid architectural forms of the Cistercians.

The church was built between 1178 and 1252 in three stages, and it seems to have been inspired by the Abbey of Clairvaux, Champagne. Its three corridors are very long and slender, offering a distinctive view of length.

The whole week is covered with rib vaulting, and the large chapel has an ambulance and a series of glittering chapels. The ambulatory vault is supported outside by flying shorts, typical features of Gothic architecture and youth at the time in Portugal.

So, this could be on your list of places to visit in Portugal.

by Sergei Gussev on flickr copyright 2022

Sés and Parochial Churches

The vivid and simple style of Olival de Tomar Church and the Conventional Gothic churches also serve as a model for many parish churches built in several Portuguese settlements from the 13th to the 16th century, in the middle of Manueline.

The remnant Parochial Gothic churches are located in Sintra (Church of Santa Maria), Mafra (St. Andrew’s Church), Lourinhã (Church of Santa Maria do Castelo), Loulé and others.

Numerous Portuguese churches dating to the Romanesque period were modernised with Gothic style elements in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Serra da Estrela – Star Mountain Range

It is another extraordinary place to visit in Portugal, and it promises to enrapture you with its unerring natural charm.

Located in central Portugal, the Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela is easily accessible. You can reach one of the largest regional towns, Manteigas, by several routes; the most scenic route is from Covilhã, where the road rises up and down through the pine forests before reaching the rocky plateau.

Can’t miss this beauty; it deserves a spot in your places to visit in Portugal.

A Snap At Torre, Portugal’s Highest Peak

Visiting Torre, mainland Portugal’s highest peak (1993m), is mandatory travel for many visitors. Crowds flock here in winter, while at other times of the year, visitors come for a selfie by one of the Vintage radar stations: giant’ golf balls’ that transports you back to the 1950s.

Walk Around The Zêzere Valley

A magnificent U-shaped, icy valley was built more than 20,000 years ago. Its landscape is dotted with boulders, and here and there, delicate rows of man-made fields cut through the hills. Below is the Zêzere River (Serra da Estrela is the source of two other rivers, the Mondego and the Alva), where small pastoral huts line the coast.

The area is rich in flora and fauna, with over 150 species of birds, as well as mountain foxes and mountain lizards, otters and wolves. It is one of Portugal’s largest tours, best done in the spring and summer when the roads are snow-free.

by ines s. on Flickr copyright 2022

Found some amazing places to visit in Portugal? Don’t wait. Book your tickets ASAP; Portugal is waiting. Choose from the above list of places to visit in Portugal, and fly to the destinations.

Also, read: “Best Guide On Budapest Holidays For 2022—You Should Not Miss“.

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