20 of the most beautiful places in Portugal

Updated: February 12, 2020 | By | Reply More

Portugal is a country that will enchant you, a country that you will definitely want to visit again and again. If you like places laced with history dating back thousands of years, sometimes even more, going to Portugal will be really a good choice for you. Here is the list of the most beautiful places to visit in Portugal that you probably would not want to miss:

1. Lisbon

The capital of Portugal is the city of Lisbon which is home to more than half a million permanent residents. You will find the city on the Iberian Peninsula, situated along the banks of the Tagus River. It is here where the river flows into the Atlantic Ocean. There are countless historical sites which can be seen and visited throughout the city of Lisbon, one of the most famous is that of World Heritage Belém Tower, which you will probably see on every postcard from Lisbon.

Belém Tower, Lisbon, Portugal
Belém Tower, Lisbon by Chrismatos

2. Porto

As the second largest city in the country, Porto is home to more than two hundred thousand people. You can find the city situated within the estuary of the Douro River in the northern part of the country. Being one of the oldest cities in Europe, there are many world heritages sites that can be found in its historical town center.

Porto, Portugal
Porto by Sunny Ripert

3. Albufeira

The city of Albufeira is a popular tourist destination in Portugal. There are countless golf courses, hotels and restaurants that can be found in and around the city. Nearby you will also find the popular Paderne Castle which has attracted many visitors over the years. Parts of the original Roman aqueduct can also be found in the city itself.

Albufeira beach, Portugal
Albufeira beach, Portugal by Sberla_

4. Lagos

You will find the town of Lagos situated at the Bensafrim River mouth where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The town and surrounding area is a very well-known tourist destination on the account of the many fine beaches that can be found along the coastlines. There is even a historical shipyard which dates back to the days of Henry the Navigator that can be found in Lagos. However it is mainly rock formations at Ponta da Piedade that make this place very popular. It is located just 2km south of the city centre.

Ponta Da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal
Ponta Da Piedade, Lagos, Portugal by Romain MOREL

5. Funchal, Madeira

You will find the city of Funchal situated along the coast of charming Portuguese island of Madeira, rising up over the sea and offering some of the most breath taking views of the surrounding countryside and waters. It is a capital of Madeira, known among the locals as Little Lisbon. However Funchal is not the only place you should visit once you are in Madeira. It is green island, covered by mountains and is often called the Island of never-ending spring. So once you are here, make sure to spend some time hiking around the island.

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Funchal, Madeira by Ben Salter

6. Portimão

The town of Portimão can be found along the southern coastlines of Portugal. Thanks to the pristine waters and the beautiful sandy beaches in the area, the city has grown to become a popular seaside destination. It is also the home of the popular Mundialito de Futebol de Praia tournament which is held annually.

Praia do Alemão, Portimão, Portugal
Praia do Alemão, Portimão by Aires Almeida

7. Sintra

The beautiful architecture as well as landscapes that can be found in and around the town of Sintra is one of the biggest reasons the area has grown to become a major centre for tourism in the country. There are countless palaces and castles which date back to the 8th and 9th centuries which can be found throughout the town. One of the most beautiful is Pena National Palace often referred to as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.

Pena National Palace, Sintra, Portugal
Pena National Palace, Sintra by David Sim

8. Vilamoura

When it comes to spending a luxurious vacation along the Portuguese coastlines, there is no better destination than that of Vilamoura. It is considered to be one of the most popular destinations in all of Europe and also one of the most luxurious one. Here, you will find a magnificent resort which is complete with a marina which has seen many of the world’s most prestigious yachts over the years.

Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal
Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal by Sue Elias

9. Cascais

The town of Cascais can be found along the nation’s coastlines. There are many fine beaches around the town as well as a castle, sea museum and a beautiful historical town centre that is just waiting to be explored. There are many reasons why this sleepy little town has grown to become one of the most popular destinations in the country.

Centre of Cascais, Portugal
Centre of Cascais by Francesco Sgroi

10. Faro

You will find the city of Faro in the southernmost portion of Portugal. The city is situated near the edges of the Ria Formosa Lagoon which is a magnificent nature reserve that has attracted countless migratory bird species. There are countless stretches of quiet and secluded beaches that can be found throughout the city and lagoon areas.

Faro, Algarve, Portugal
Faro, Algarve by Greg Pye

11. Fátima

The parish of Fátima is home to many small villages that are associated with the 1917 Cova da Iria apparitions. At 300 meters above sea level, the parish can be found encompassing much of the Estremenho Limestone Massif. The area is a popular pilgrimage site in the country and has attracted many visitors in the last century.

The Basilica of Fátima, Portugal
The Basilica of Fátima, Portugal by hugo esteves

12. Tavira

The city of Tavira can be found along the southern coastlines of Portugal, nestled snuggly along the mouth of where the Gilão River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The area has been known to have been settled back in the 8th century B.C. by the Phoenicians who built a large center in the area. There are countless archaeological sites that can now be found within and around the city today.

Tavira, Portugal
Tavira, Portugal by Cayetano

13. Braga

In the northwestern part of the country is where you will find the city of Braga. The city is considered to be one of the oldest Christian archdioceses in the world. Originally settled by the Romans, the city flourished over the millennia and today is the third largest in the country. There are many historical sites that one can visit throughout the city.

Braga Cathedral, Portugal
Braga Cathedral, Portugal by Jose Goncalves

14. Coimbra

During the middle ages, the city of Coimbra was the capital of Portugal. Today it is home to one of the oldest universities in the European Union. There are many fine sites throughout the city to visit as well as the 16th century University. Many tourists make their way to the city every single year.

Coimbra, Portugal
Coimbra, Portugal by Dennis Jarvis

15. Évora

The city of Évora is most well known for its beautiful and fully intact town center. Many of the original fortified walls which had once guarded the old town are still standing today. Situated along the banks of the Tagus River, the ancient city of Évora has attracted many visitors over the years. The most important sights of the city include Roman Temple, Igreja da Graça Church, Cathedral, or University.

Roman Temple at Evora, Portugal
Roman Temple at Evora, Portugal by ho visto nina volare

16. Ponta Delgada, Azores

In the Azores archipelago, you will find the city of Ponta Delgada situated along the shores of the São Miguel Island. The city is a historical one and while most people make their way to the area for the pristine beaches, it would be impossible to spend one’s entire holiday in Ponta Delgada without also visiting the many historical buildings that can be found throughout the city.

Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal by Christophe.Finot

17. Sagres Point

Situated in the southern part of Portugal, not too far from Cape St. Vincent, you will find the area known as Sagres Point. Over the centuries, Sagres Point has been a popular resting point for countless expeditions before travelling through the rocky cape. It is also one of the oldest settled areas in Portugal which dates back to the Neolithic Era.

Sagres Point, Portugal
Sagres Point, Portugal by Curtis Foreman

18. Setúbal

You will find the city of Setúbal nestled snuggle along the banks of the Sado River just south of the nation’s capital. The city is a historical one and over the years has attracted many visitors who come to visit the fine historical buildings that can be found throughout Setúbal. There are also a number of archaeological sites that can be visited just outside of the city.

Monastery of Jesus of Setúbal, Portugal
Monastery of Jesus of Setúbal, Portugal by Georges Jansoone

19. Aveiro

A small port city of Aveiro located in central Portugal, in the region that is full of bays, rivers, canals and bridges, is among the most pleasant Portuguese towns. Local tourist attraction is a sailing through channels on colourful boats, it is quite similar to Italian city of Venice and therefore it is often called Venice of Portugal.

Aveiro, Portugal
Aveiro, Portugal by unhappy by design

20. Guimarães

City of Guimarães is considered a cradle of the Portuguese nation and lies in the north-western part of the country, 15 km south-east of Braga and 42 km northeast of Porto. Its main jewels include Castelo de Guimarães, Igreja da Oliveira a Padrão do Salado or Paço dos Duques de Bragança.

Guimarães, Portugal
Guimarães, Portugal by paul Barker Hemings

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Category: Portugal

About Europe Explored

This website should serve as the list of the best travel destinations in the countries that are part of the European Union, including natural attractions, cities, sights, museums, amusement and theme parks, and much more. I hope it helps you to choose the right holiday destination for you and travel easier within the European Union. If you would have some questions, or suggestions, please comment on below and I'll do my best to answer you.



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