Portugal is quickly becoming a highly popular expat destination, thanks to its location, low crime, and rich culture. Not only does that make it an important stop on your overseas travel list, but it raises the question of what the best parts of Portugal to see and experience are? Here are Portugal’s most popular travel destinations.
Portugal’s capital city is a great first-stop on your trip. It stretches along the banks of the Tagus River, and it’s the largest city in the country. It’s made up of steep hills, Gothic cathedrals, bridges, shops, and alleys. The neighborhoods are colorful, and the streets are made of cobblestone. You can take vintage trams around the town to see gardens, historic quarters, and main attractions.
Considered the capital of the north, Porto is most popular for its famous alcoholic drink: Port. Enjoy the sightseeing in this city – there are beautiful churches, historic buildings, and charming beaches – but take note of the port tasting tours and leisurely river cruises that set this city apart from the rest.
The Algarve, which is Portugal’s southernmost destination, is best known for its beaches and golf resorts. It’s lined with fishing villages, villas, hotels, bars, and restaurants, and it’s the perfect place for a beach vacation. Don’t be fooled, though. There are also castles and historic villages, flowery hillsides, and hiking trails. There’s something for everyone in this location.
Lagos is a resort located on the Algarve coastline, and it blends the lively resort culture with a historic culture. There are beaches and cliffs to be seen here and there are boat tours to be enjoyed. You’ll also find ancient city walls and small forts.
Obidos is a walkable town, and it’s located on a hilltop and encircled by an old fortified wall. You can admire the medieval castle and historic center here while enjoying the city’s cobblestone streets, quaint shops, and whitewashed houses. The castle itself still has its huge gates and towers and battlements, but it is now a luxury hotel. Perhaps you’d want to spend a night there?
Sintra is located in the hills of Serra de Sintra, and it has a slightly cooler climate that makes it great for summer getaways. Here, you’ll find extravagant palaces and stately homes because it’s where Portugal’s nobility would escape for summer vacation. Sintra also serves as a good starting point for tourists who wish to visit the gothic National Palace, the ruins of the Moors castle, and the Pena Palace.
Madeira has gained the nickname “Floating Garden of the Atlantic.” It’s located in the Atlantic Ocean between Portugal and North Africa, and it’s known for its lush green landscape, flower gardens, and wines. If you visit this little oasis, be sure to check out the Orchid Garden and Laurissilva Forest. This is where you can find the world’s largest concentration of green laurel plants.
Vila Nova de Milfontes
Another beachy resort town, Vila Nova de Milfontes is a much more low-key destination in which to relax. That is, unless it’s August, which is surf season. It’s located in the middle of the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, which is a good place to visit in itself.
A small town in the Alentejo plains of southern Portugal, Evora comes with a history dating back more than 2,000 years. It was once a Roman city and is known for its preserved Old Town, which has more than 4,000 historic structures for viewing. Some of these include old Roman walls and temples. While there, be sure to see the 13th century gothic Cathedral of Evora.
Archipelago of the Azores
This archipelago consists of nine volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Travelers love to visit these islands for whale watching, hot mineral springs, and seaside towns. The largest island of the archipelago is called São Miguel, also known as “The Green Island.” Another island, Pico, is home to Portugal’s highest mountain peak.
This city is where the first king of Portugal was born and where the country was first established. Cobbled plazas and gothic buildings, along with traditionally styled homes, come together to create this city’s appeal. There’s an ancient stone castle here and a cable car that transports visitors to the top for the best views from the highest point of the city.
Portugal is quickly becoming more and more noticeable to travelers and expats alike, thanks to its rich culture and all it has to offer those looking for an escape. Make sure to include it in your next travel abroad plans!
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALagos%2C_Portugal.jpg