Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic is the westernmost country of mainland Europe. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and Spain in the north. Established during the Christian Reconquista in the 711 AD Portugal is blessed with great biodiversity and climate which favors resplendent natural beauty.
Here are the top places to visit in Portugal:
Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. It is the westernmost capital city in Europe and lies in the Western Iberian peninsula. Lisbon is the only Portugal city apart from Porto to be recognized as a global city. Unfolding over seven hills, the Portuguese capital indulges its visitors with viewpoints aplenty. The rugged landscapes, secluded courtyards, medieval quarters and terraces fill the tourists with a different wanderlust altogether!
The whole city can be glimpsed like a king witnessing his empire from the rooftop of the Amoreiras Shopping mall. The Jardim do Torel garden adds an unusual, quirky yet playful vibe owing to its lush green spaces and majestic views. Museu dos Alijube blends history and gives this city an architectural feat. The city looks alive under a blue hue, kudos to the Atlantic!
Sintra is located in the Portuguese Riviera and is famous for its picturesqueness and its numerous palaces and castles which have a divine combination with the rippling mountains, dewy forests, exotic gardens. Palacio Nacional de Sintra, Palacio Nacional de Pena, Castelo dos Mouros are the best castles that give this city great architectural feats.
The forests juxtaposing the castles add a perfect balance of natural beauty and manmade creations. Such picturesque castles, majestic villas and churches, and lush vegetation make this city a page from a fairy tale!
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and is one of the most urban areas of this country. Opening up like a pop-up book from the banks of Rio Douro, Porto is famous for its historic heritage and food.
Porto has medieval relics, soaring bell towers, extravagant gardens, historic churches alongside stately beaux art buildings. This city is blessed with a rich food culture. With the Atlantic on its doorstep and the finest wine rolling in from Douro vineyards combined with countryside meat, this city offers the finest dining experiences to tourists and the locals alike.
Lagos is one of the most visited cities in Portuguese due to its tourist-friendly beaches, hotels, bars and is renowned for its summers. It is surrounded by the 16th-century walls which give his city a historic appeal. Lagos has picturesque piazzas and churches.
Ponta da Piedade, Igreja de Santo Antonio, Parque Zoologico de Lagos, Museu Municipal, Castelo dos Governados, Fortaleza da Ponta da Bandeira are some of the most visited places in Lagos.
This lies in the central region and the Baixo Mondego subregion of Portugal. This city has archaeological structures from the time period of the Roman era. This city has seen a phenomenal transition and has now evolved into a major cultural center.
This city has the greatest universities in Portugal which makes it the educational hub of this nation as well. Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro, Biblioteca Joanna, Museu da Ciencia, Se Velha, Capela de Sao Miguel, Igreja de Santa Cruz are some of the most visited and popular tourist destinations.
Algarve is the southernmost region of continental Portugal which has blessed this city with this nation’s best beaches. This city has high and breathtaking cliffs, golden beaches, scalloped bays, and sandy coasts.
Algarve is about salt, sun, and surf. Museu do Trade, Museu de Portimao, Parque Natural da Ria Formosa are some of the most visited tourist attractions in this city. The true beauty of the Atlantic can be grasped through this city in the south! A blissful experience indeed!!
This lies in the greater Lisbon region of Portugal and is located on the Portuguese Riviera. Cascais has been a home to all the royal families of Portugal since the very beginning.
All royal families living in Portugal have called this city a home which has made this place the wealthiest in this nation. Most majestic castles of Portugal are present in this city and are the major tourist attractions.
It is present in the wide plains of Portugal and is bordered by the Targus river to the north and Algarve city to the south. Evora is Portugal’s one of the most beautifully preserved medieval cities.
Evora highlights the culture and history of this nation. Visiting this city the tourists delve into Portugal’s past and are left bedazzled after witnessing the evolution of this city into the present. Evora bridges the ancient origins and present life of this nation.
9. MADEIRA ISLAND
This is a Portuguese island, located in the Madeira archipelago. It is at the top of a shield volcano, formed atop an east-west rift. The geography of this island is mainly consisting of mountain ranges which are formed as a result of volcanic activity.
The tourists visiting here fathom serenity in the coasts of the sapphire blue Atlantic ocean which borders the island, peculiar lush green island vegetation, unending mountain ranges mainly characterized with the mountain peaks which provide a luring experience to all hikers.
It is located in the transitional region between the east and west, between mountains, fields, forests and natural spaces molded by human intervention. Braga has a large number of churches and the ringing bells are a reminder of this city’s ancient devotion and contribution to the spiritual world.
A religious festival called “Semana Santa” is famous throughout Portugal. In 2012 it was pronounced European youth capital.
Guimaraes is located in the north in the district of Braga. This historic town is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site since 2001. It is the birthplace of Afonso Henriques, the first independent king of Portugal.
This quaint town is a labyrinth of plazas framed by 14th-century edifices. The tourists grasp not only the nation’s culture but also Europe’s culture in this town which has made this place the European capital of culture.
Portimao is a town present in the southern Algarve region of Portugal. It is the largest fishing and shipbuilding center of this country.
The southern coast has given this town a number of serene beaches. This place has a number of ports, a pleasant waterfront, and the best fish restaurants in Portugal.
13.SAO MIGUEL ISLAND
This is one of the largest and most populated islands present in the Portuguese archipelago. This island has best lakes including the most tourist visited Lagoa do Fogo.
The island is a result of volcanic activity and yet has a number of lush green pastures, due to which this place is named as “Green Island” and no doubt some of the best beaches owing to the Atlantic! An experience like no other!!