A visit to Portugal is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. There are so many reasons and places to visit in Portugal that we had to collate them below under points.
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 wine specialty produces your best selection of both red and white wines. There are 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.
Places to Visit in Portugal
1. 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 maximize enjoyment on your trip to Portugal.
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.
1.1. Marinha Beach
Marinha 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 the Cathedral with two arches, have become a symbol of Portugal’s natural beauty.
To get a closer look at rock formations, you can book a boat trip or go snorkeling in clear water.
1.2. Arrifana Beach
The Arrifana Beach, 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.
1.3. Carvoeiro Beach
This Carvoeiro Beach is famed for the calm water cove that exists there. The beach features a number of vibrant boats that tourists can use to explore marine caves or undeveloped beaches that are inaccessible on foot.
Boat trips from Carvoeiro to Benagil cave, with the famous ‘eye-opening in the ceiling of the cave, depart daily throughout the year. A few steps away from the popular and busy Carvoeiro beach are cafes, restaurants, and lodging options.
1.4. Benagil Sea Cave
Portugal’s rugged coastline has been marvelously 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.
2. 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 in when you visit Portugal.
Some of the palaces you can visit,
3. The Wineries in the Rio Douro Valley
As a historic site, the Rio Douro Valley 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 latter includes wine-producing areas such as Ribera del Duero. It doesn’t require second thoughts to be included in your list.
4. 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 of which 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 colorful, 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 center, you can revitalize yourself by savoring 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.
5. 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 of 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 three 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’s 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.
6. Islands Of The Azores
The Azores Archipelago, a group of nine islands, nine beautiful beaches, and nine small worlds with friendly and welcoming inhabitants, awaits your visit. Mother nature has created this specimen to instil her wondrous beauty in the nine glorious beaches.
To the west are Flores and Corvo; to the east are Graciosa, Terceira, So Jorge, Pico, and Faial centre; and to the west are Flores and Corvo. 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.
7. 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!
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.
8. 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 mountaintop 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 Portuguese buildings’ architecture.
The place is accessible by bus from Porto and Lisbon.
9. Clerigos Church, Portugal
An iconic landmark of Portugal, it is believed to have been used as a reference point for boats entering the River Douro. It is a magnificent elongated darkish granite church with intricate facades, built on high terrain immediately north of Porto’s old center.
The interior has only one area of granite and marble, 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 and is of architectural excellence, accessed by 225 granite steps.
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.
10. National Parks in Portugal
Portugal, a country on the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, is a popular destination for travellers all year long. Portugal’s national parks are renowned for the variety of experiences they provide. Include any of the aforementioned locations in your list of Portugal travel destinations.
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.
11. 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.
11.1 Churches & Monasteries
11.1.1 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.
11.1.2 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 modernized with Gothic-style elements in the 13th and 14th centuries.
12. 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.
Other Places To Visit in Portugal
Portugal is filled with amazing places that will lead to a perfect vacation if you are planning to visit. Here are some other options apart from the above-mentioned wonders.
1. A Snap At Torre, Portugal’s Highest Peak
Visiting Torre, mainland Portugal’s highest peak (1993m), is mandatory travel for many visitors.
In the winter, crowds swarm here, but visitors often come at other times of the year for a selfie near one of the old radar stations, which look like enormous “golf balls” from the 1950s.
2. Walk Around The Zêzere Valley
The Zêzere Valley is a magnificent U-shaped valley. It 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.