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Portugal is more accessible to visitors than ever before thanks to numerous openings of hotels and restaurants.
Whether you love what the urban centers can offer or want a rustic retreat that lets you find some solitude, Portugal offers grand squares, expansive fields, and hundreds of kilometers of shoreline to explore. Good things come in small packages here in this nation and you can choose any city and still explore almost everywhere with a simple day trip or two.
Thanks to its presence as the Western point of Europe, the weather in Portugal is almost always beautiful. It might rain a little more in the north, but even that seems like something expected and special. Only Athens predates Lisbon as the oldest capital on the continent and there are hidden gems to find everywhere, whether you’re looking for a cove, a cave, or a special little cafe with something incredible to offer.
If you want to get really get away to explore, the highest point in Portugal isn’t on the mainland. It’s Mount Pico, on an island of which it shares a name, and some of the tallest mountains in the world are found in the Azores. This island group is so isolated that it is virtually halfway between the US and Europe. You won’t find resorts out there, but you will find magical vistas that will take your breath away.
From a whale watching adventure to a leisurely afternoon stroll with some coffee around some of the nation’s historic sites, Portugal offers an amazing experience that is full of warmth. The consistent sunshine isn’t bad either.
Best of Portugal
Despite its immense popularity as a holiday destination, you’ll find that Portugal is still an excellent value. It is a country that has everything one could want on a holiday: fantastic art, stunning landscapes, a rich culture, and friendly communities.
Here are the best places to visit if Portugal is your destination of choice.
If you find yourself along the coast of this country, then you’ll discover that surfing is a way of life. Make your way to this small fishing village to find some of the best waves to surf. There is arguably no better location for a consistent curl to enjoy. At the same time, you’ll discover the restaurants offer world-class dishes that work perfectly with the world-class surfing.
If you enjoy plenty of sunshine, some nightlife options, and long trails to hike, then you’ll love this destination. The cliffs look out over the blue waters and take care breath away with the view. Several beaches are sprinkled in here and there to enjoy some down time. Then you can find a club that offers a favorite beverage and music that makes your feet move.
The Chapel of Bones is located here in the capital of the Alentejo region. The walls of the church are actually filled with thousands of human skeletons. You’ll find the city to be mysterious in other ways as well. There are plenty of historic landmarks to discover, wine to enjoy, and small retreats where you can hide away to relax.
The forests in the stories written by Hans Christian Andersen are based on the woods in this community. As you hike along to see the various fortresses and palaces the city offers, you can still find the house in the woods where Andersen lived. Color seems to come from everywhere, no matter where you happen to look. Make sure that you see the Castle of the Moors during your stay here, as well as the beautiful Pena Palace.
With clusters of whitewashed homes, small flower gardens, and the occasional souvenir shop to browse, this stunning city is located within a set of castle-based defensive walls. Everything feels compact and cozy as you explore, which makes the experience feel perfect. Enjoy the local specialty called Ginja de Obidos, which is a cherry liqueur traditionally served within a small chocolate cup.
#6. Serra da Estrela
If you love skiing, then this is the mountain peak you’ll want to climb. It’s the tallest on the mainland and the only place where skiing is realistically good. There are several small villages that provide you with access to the mountain. Honey is made locally during the warmer months and a local cheese is excellent, though its odor may not be for the faint of heart.
The best of Portugal brings out the best in each one of us. Whether you choose to explore Lisbon, Porto, or one of the destinations listed here, you will find that the warm days found in this country help to warm the heart.