One of the most sought-after and well-liked destinations on the renowned “Eurotrip” is Portugal. You must visit several areas in Portugal while travelling there because it is on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The landscape has everything you might want for a dream vacation, from mountains and vineyards in the north to farmlands and mediaeval villages in the centre, and gorgeous beaches along the southern coastline!
Lisbon’s picture-perfect landscape of cobbled alleyways, white-domed cathedrals, and vast civic squares is framed by seven recognisable hills; it is a scene that has captivated people for ages. The capital city of Portugal offers a wealth of activities, from exploring castles like the hilltop Castelo de So Jorge to browsing art galleries like the Museu Nacional do Azulejo with its collection of ceramic tiles, to indulging in the city’s world-famous pastel de nata (custard tart). Lisbon’s party people take over at night, packing venerable bars, brassy jazz clubs, and open-all-night clubs that come to life as soon as the sun sets.
A Romanticist castle built near Sintra, the Pena Palace was finished in 1854. On a clear day, Lisbon residents may see it because it is perched atop a hill above the town of Sintra as per facts of Pena Palace. Every year, thousands of people travel to this national monument, recognised for its distinctive architectural elements and huge woodland park. Before you visit, continue reading to learn more about the Pena Palace’s history, sights, things to do, and much more. The castle was constructed with the intention of being the King’s summer home. But following his passing, his second wife Elisa Hensler, Countess of Edla, received ownership of the palace, and she later sold it to King Luis. It was acquired by the Portuguese State in 1889, and after being designated as a national monument, it was turned into a museum which you must explore on your Pena Palace guided tour.
Just east of Porto is one of the best Portugal wine regions. Here, Europe’s oldest wine area is delineated by sharply terraced vineyards as the flowing Rio Douro runs through towering slopes covered in them. Whether you arrive in the Douro Valley by boat, train, or automobile, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking views at every turn, especially as you get closer to the charming village of Pinho in the centre of the area.
Sintra is a fantastic choice for a day excursion away from the hustle and bustle of the city and is only a short train ride from the capital. This mediaeval hillside township, which is dotted with taverns with stone walls and is ruled by a multicoloured palace, appears to be from a fairy tale. In this picture-perfect scene, forested slopes serve as the backdrop to majestic castles, ethereal gardens, odd houses, and centuries-old monasteries tucked away amid the trees. Another dimension of mystery is added by the nighttime fog.
At any time of year, exploring the maze of mediaeval streets in the historic town of bidos is charming, but if you visit during one of its festivals, you’ll be in for a real treat. You couldn’t ask for a better setting, whether you’re interested in participating in a mock jousting contest at a mediaeval fair or exploring the written word at Folio, Portugal’s largest international literature festival.
Long considered the weekend playground of Lisboetas (those who live in Lisbon), the Setbal Peninsula is located south of Lisbon. You may reach the Costa da Caparica via ferry, followed by a brief bus or bicycle ride. As you travel further south, the beachfront becomes more rugged and uninhabited. This is the place to go if you want a surf instruction, some relaxation on the dunes, or a lunch with a view of the crashing waves.
Go to the Parque Natural da Arrábida near the tip of the peninsula if you want a little more privacy. You may find gorgeous coves, cliffs covered in dense vegetation, and beaches like Praia do Portinho da Arrábida, which has fine sand, clear waters, and the remains of a Roman-era archaeological site.
There probably isn’t a more romantic city than Porto. The second-largest urban area in Portugal is filled with cafes, baroque churches, and alleyways that lead to the Douro River and its famous bridges. There are obviously plenty of wonderful experiences to be had here. Start in the Unesco World Heritage Site of Ribeira, then cross the bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia to visit centuries-old port vineyards and sample some of the best port in the world.
At the World of Wine, a vast complex of museums, restaurants, and pubs overlooking the city, you can learn more about Porto’s history, the history of the drink as well as the city, as well as other parts of Portuguese identity. Although Porto is known for its air of respectable past, contemporary buildings, global cuisine, a thriving nightlife, and creative activity are giving the city fresh life.
The Minho, a lush region with vineyard-covered valleys, rugged wilds, remote beaches, and charming river villages that appear little changed by time, is particularly beloved by the Portuguese. Braga, a city with Roman ruins, a legendary mediaeval cathedral, and serene flower-trimmed plazas studded with outdoor cafes and restaurants, serves as the region’s entry point. Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, a vast, mountainous wilderness with spectacular peaks, meandering streams, and stone settlements frozen in time, is located further north. The reserve is crisscrossed by dozens of hiking routes that lead visitors past ancient Roman roads, crumbling castles, and glittering waterfalls.
One of Portugal’s best-preserved mediaeval towns, Évora is the centre of the Alentejo region and a charming destination to spend a few days. Narrow, meandering roads inside the 14th-century walls lead to impressive monuments, such as an exquisite mediaeval cathedral, Roman ruins, and a charming town centre. But Évora is also a vibrant university town, and its many restaurants dish up some good, hearty Alentejan cuisine, so this isn’t just a musty museum piece.
One of Europe’s oldest universities is located in Coimbra, Portugal’s dramatic college town, which climbs sharply from the Rio Mondego. The lyrical traditional music of Portugal, fado, floats through the Moorish town gates and into the stained-glass windows of the old Café Santa Cruz as students wander the winding alleyways wearing black capes.