Portugal is more than 900 years old, and despite its relatively small size, it has played an important role in world history due to its strategic location on routes from Europe to the Far East. Currently, Portugal is considered one of the oldest countries in Europe, the borders of which have remained virtually unchanged throughout history. Inside these ancient borders you can find evergreen mountains, golden sandy beaches, cities filled with history, along with modern amenities, and many amazing little villages.
1. National Palace in Pena, Sintra
Lord Byron, one of the greatest English poets, poetized this wonderful place. Like many good things that improve with age, Sintra, which is currently on the UNESCO World Heritage List, has only become more beautiful over the years. In Sintra, you can buy a huge variety of souvenirs, eat at famous restaurants such as A Piriquita, find the best Travesseiros pastries in the region, or head to Fbrica das Verdadeiras Queijadas and enjoy their famous Queijada (traditional cheesecake).
While in Sintra, do not miss the Pena National Palace, a spectacular sight, especially at sunset. If you are planning a hike, climb Serra de Sintra to get to the palace and enjoy the stunning views that surround it.
2. Porto - the historical center
An old local saying goes: “Porto works, Braga Price, Coimbra studies, and Lisbon receives money.” Indeed, this ancient shopping center in the Douro River Delta is the most authentic and rustic place that can only be found in Portugal. The local port industry is booming - the best port is in Porto. Taste wine, take a stroll through the city streets and see how masterfully new buildings are combined with ancient ones. Winding streets rise and descend to old cathedrals, fascinating museums, local fashion shops and great local restaurants.
3. Enjoy the beauty of the Peneda Geres National Park in Braga
Located near the northern border of Portugal, the national park, mainly known as Geres, is a place that any nature lover should visit. It was officially declared a national park in 1971 and contains a unique nature reserve where the endangered Iberian wolf lives. You can take short excursions in the park and enjoy the turquoise lakes and green mountains that surround it. During a tour of the park you will see several archaeological sites of the Bronze Age.
4. The vibrant nightlife of Lisbon Bairro Alto
Lisbon has a beautiful nightlife. This is a kind of Mecca for those who love the shopping and cultural heart of Portugal. The Bayrru Alto quarter in Lisbon is quiet and calm during the day, but with the onset of night, the streets come to life and each district has its own party. If you are young at heart, do not miss this place, and if you prefer silence and tranquility, you can visit the following two observation platforms, which are located beyond the river of the city - Tagus - the observation deck of San Pedro de Alcantara and Miraduro de Santa Catarina.
5. Back to medieval times in Monsaraz, Évora
Monsaraz is undoubtedly the best place to experience life in the Middle Ages. This city overlooks the Guadiana River, one of the largest rivers on the Iberian Peninsula. From the big castle of the city you can see Spain. The narrow cobbled streets that cross the old buildings will lead to sleepy local taverns. If you want to make a pottery hike, visit the nearby village of San Pedro do Corval, famous for its expertly crafted pottery.
6. City walls of Obidos
It is clear that attracts so many tourists to Obidos. Imagine a fabulous city filled with white houses with blue and yellow shades, paved sidewalks and streets fragrant with flowers. Just walk around the city, feel its fabulous atmosphere, try the local cherry liqueur called Ginjin. The city is also the place where the large impressive castle is located, which now serves as a hotel. If you are a lover of walks, you can make a trip along the city walls - 1.5 km from the city.
7. Lagoon Ria Formosa
Ria Formosa will leave you amazed when you see the sand dunes and the beautiful coastline. This lagoon extends for about 60 km along the beach of Manta Rota and all the way to Vale do Lobo. While there, you will see beautiful lakes, many wild animals and plants, as well as tiny islets that make the lagoon an ideal place to see sunrise and sunset. Walking enthusiasts are advised to rent a bike and explore the surroundings.
8. Costa Vincentina National Park
Want to enjoy a romantic evening? You can head to Cabo de San Vincent, a place famous for one of the most beautiful sunsets on earth. This beautiful bay is an amazing sight - 60 meter high rocks cut by the waves will make you feel on the edge of the European continent. Cliffside is also the habitat for many species of birds and the many marine creatures that inhabit this area. For true thrills, it is recommended to climb to the top of the local lighthouse.
In addition, there are many other places worth visiting in Portugal, so you just need to rent a scooter, motorcycle or car and ride, visiting various cities and villages. No matter where you go, Portugal can always offer many incredible and unique attractions.
Foto: Granito, Pixabay