Portugal is a country with a fantastic history, an extraordinary culture, delicious food, magnificent landscapes, sensational beaches, mountains that make us feel small and a welcoming people that will make you feel at home.
Portugal is also one of the few countries in the world that, once visited, is never forgotten. This country awakens in us a very unique feeling, that of Saudade, when we are away from this wonderful paradise.
Here are the 10 places to visit in Portugal:
The Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (also known as the Sanctuary of Santa Luzia), built on the western end of Monte de Santa Luzia, in Viana do Castelo, is undoubtedly one of the most famous and emblematic monuments in the country.
Braga was founded by the Romans over 2000 years ago, under the name Bracara Augusta. It is the oldest Portuguese city and one of the oldest Christian cities in the world.
Braga is known as Portuguese Rome because of its many beautiful churches, but it hides other treasures that should not be missed, such as beautiful monuments, gastronomy, handicrafts, traditions and festivities.
During your visit to Portugal's third city, don't miss the opportunity to visit the historic centre, the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary, classified in 2019 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and the Sameiro Sanctuary.
Porto is the city that gave its name to Portugal (Portucale) and the famous Portuguese wine with the same name. But the city is not just that, and it is no wonder that in 2012, 2014, 2017 it was chosen as the best European tourist destination.
When visiting Porto, you will discover a city full of charm, where the old blends perfectly with the modern, a city that is cosmopolitan and intimate at the same time.
Porto is a source of inspiration, where those who visit always end up coming back!
Here are the places not to be missed during your visit to Porto:
Present in Águeda, from July 1st to September 30th since 2012, the Umbrella Sky Project is a project created by the agency Sexta Feira, which aims to bring color and joy to the city.
In addition to the beautiful umbrellas hanging in the streets of the historic center (Rua Luís de Camões, as well as in the adjacent streets), the benches, posts and facades are covered with beautiful works of urban art.
This project is such a success that the Sexta Feira agency was invited to reproduce it all over the world.
If you come to Águeda in winter, know that in December, the city is lit up with the colors of Christmas with your umbrellas!
The schist villages are located mainly in the Lousã and Açor mountains, mountains close to the cities of Coimbra and Castelo Branco.
These villages were built with local materials (schist) that give them a very special character. In addition to admiring the beautiful houses and streets, you will find numerous walking routes, mountain biking trails and river beaches.
The Natural Park of Serras de Aire e Candeeiros, with an area of approximately 35,000 hectares, was created in 1979, covering more than two thirds of the limestone massif of Extremadura, which is the most important limestone area in Portugal.
The park is made up of two mountain ranges, which give it its name, and the plateaus of Santo António and São Mamede.
As you stroll through the park, you will see several small stone walls, called “chouços”, which are used to divide properties or to gather herds. You can also find small houses in the middle of the fields, which were once used to protect shepherds from the elements.
In addition to the beautiful authentic landscapes, you can discover some of the park's 1500 incredible caves underground.
Here are the places you can't miss in the park:
Rio Maior saltpans
Porto de Mos Castle
Mira de Aire Caves
Beautiful Nazaré is a city unlike any other in central Portugal! From traditions that have lasted for many years and are intrinsically linked to fishing activity, to the giant waves that have made this city such a great tourist spot, there are many reasons why you should visit this place.
The Serra da Estrela Natural Park is the largest protected area in Portugal, covering 101,000 hectares. When visiting the park, you can go hiking in the midst of incredible landscapes, discover the highest point in mainland Portugal at 1993 m (Torre) and ski on the only ski slope in Portugal.
Be sure to taste the Queijo da Serra and discover the towns of Sabugueiro, Linhares da Beira, Loriga, the cities of Covilhã and Guarda and natural wonders such as Lagoa Comprida, Covão dos Conchos and Vale Glaciar do Zêzere.
The Arrábida Natural Park is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Portugal. It is no coincidence that I consider it a Portuguese paradise!
When visiting this park, you will discover idyllic beaches (no need to go to the Caribbean), viewpoints with irresistible landscapes and castles with hundreds of years of history.
If you prefer to see everything more closely, you can go from the north to the south of Portugal on the national road 2.
At 739 km long, Estrada Nacional 2 is the longest Portuguese road and the only one in Europe that crosses a country in its entire length (there are only 3 in the world: Route 66 in the United States, Ruta 40 in Argentina and N2 in Portugal).
Your route starts in the city of Chaves, near the Spanish border (far north of Portugal) and crosses the interior of the country to Faro, capital of the Algarve.
By following this route, you will be able to discover many places mentioned in this article, see the different landscapes of the north and center of Portugal, admire the plains of Alentejo and end with the interior of the Algarve.