14 Aug Wanderlust Wednesday: Portugal
If you’re looking for a vacation destination that includes friendly locals, affordable prices, a rich culture, a thriving urban scene, gorgeous seaside resort towns, exotic architecture, stunning castles, and fresh seafood – then Portugal is perfect for you! Perched on the Atlantic on the far edge of Europe, there is much to explore and several notable cities to include in your itinerary. Let’s take a look at all of the best places to visit on your trip to Portugal.
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. This lively, hilly port city is full of charming neighborhoods, grand squares, fine art and amazing restaurants. You’ll want to admire the gorgeous views from both Miradouro da Senhora do Monte and Miradouro da Graça while you’re here. Start at Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, then walk towards the nearby St. George Castle. On the way to the castle you’ll also pass the Graça church and monastery, where you’ll find Miroudro de Graça.
While in Lisbon, you should also make time to explore the historic Alfama district. This is one of the most authentic districts in all of Lisbon. You can explore on your own or join a walking tour with a local. Ask your Enchanted Travel agent to book this for you.
More can’t-miss areas of Lisbon include:
- The Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio)
- Cais das Colunas
- Rua Augusta Arch (Arco Triunfal da Rua Augusta)
- Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa)
- Rossio Square (Praça Dom Pedro IV)
Algarve is located on Portugal’s sunny southern coast. It is one of the most scenic coastlines in the world, thanks to the natural erosion that created gorgeous beaches, cliffs, drops, pinnacles, and arches. Here you’ll find the simple fishing village of Salema. In addition, the historic “end of the road” of Cape Sagres, the party town of Lagos, and family-friendly Tavira.
One of the best examples of the natural and beautiful erosion in Algarve is at Ponta da Piedade. It is located West of the Lagos. The erosion here created gorgeous sea caves, arches, and pinnacles to admire and explore. It’s location also offers wonderful views of the coastline in both directions, making it a great spot for both sunset and sunrise.
Another great place to see in Algarve is Beangil Cave. This is one of the most famous places in the area. Unlike many of the sea caves on the coast, Benagil has only small entrances and are is not open to the sea. This creates a true cave experience unlike any other.
More can’t-miss areas of Algarve include:
- Três Irmãos Beach (Praia dos Tres Irmaos)
- Marinha Beach (Praia da Marinha)
- Falesia Beach (Praia de Falesia)
- Tres Castelos Beach (Praia dos Tres Castelos)
- Evaristor Beach (Praia do Evaristo)
- Albandeira Beach (Praia da Albandeira)
- Algar Seco
Sintra is located just a short drive away from Lisbon. This charming little town is full of playfully colored buildings and small cafe-lined streets. It is a great place to people watch! In addition, the city itself is a UNESCO World-Heritage Site.
Some of the best places to see and things to do in Sintra include the Palacio Nacional de Sintra (The National Palace). It is located in the heart of old town and easily recognizable by its unique, conical chimneys.
More can’t-miss areas of Sintra include:
- Castelo dos Mouros
- Palacio da Pena
- Historic Town Centre
Cascais is another town located near Lisbon. If you choose to take a day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, we suggest you make a stop in Cascais as well. You can follow the scenic road that runs along the rugged coast into the charming seaside town. Although it was once just a sleepy fishing village, it is now considered to be one of Lisbon’s most sophisticated destinations.
The most popular thing to do in Cascais is to explore it’s many beaches. The Marina in Cascais is also quite impressive, with room for over 650 boats. Make time to take a stroll along the marina to admire the impressive yachts. In addition, you cannot leave Cascais without sampling some of the very best fresh seafood in all of Europe. There are tons of amazing seafood restaurants all over the town.
More can’t-miss areas of Cascais include:
- Cidadela de Cascais
- Largo Luís de Camões
- Free museums
Other Cities in Portugal to Visit
While this list really only breaks the service of the best areas to visit in Portugal, there are plenty of other gorgeous towns to explore. These include:
- Duoro Valley
Want to learn more about all that Portugal has to offer? Call us today in order to speak to one of our Europe Travel Specialists. You can reach us at 402-390-9291. In addition, you can get started here.