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Portugal: Insider's guide to 5 must-see places on your trip

Portugal Algarve Rock Cave Travel
Portugal is the perfect travel country when the trip must include cultural cities, beautiful nature and delicious beaches.
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Portugal: Insider guide to 5 places to see On the trip is written by Paloma Fjord.

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The Portugal trip can include it all

Therefore, it can be difficult to know where to start and end in Portugal, and here you will therefore get a guide to 5 places that you must experience, when traveling to Portugal.

The country is relatively unspoilt, and it is a perfect alternative to the more classic southern European travel destinations – both as a weekend trip and for a longer trip.

Traveling is easy and safe around Portugal; the portugals speak excellent english and are always helpful, there is plenty to experience and the prices are really reasonable.

So take an adventure to the best Portugal destinations here.

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Portugal Madeira travels

Experience the many facets of beautiful Portugal on the journey

Portuguese gastronomy is super delicious and varied.

It is Mediterranean cuisine of the best kind and the desserts are very diverse and always worth trying. Portugal is a country of coffee, and the locals especially drink small strong espressos, a so-called bica. All this can be recommended to explore at the local restaurants, tascas, where prices are fortunately at a level where most can join.

In addition to the mainland, Portugal is also an island kingdom consisting of the volcanic island Madeira and about rocky realms Azores.

If you are traveling to mainland Portugal, we recommend that you fly to Porto instead Lisbon, as flights to Porto are often cheaper.

From Porto you can easily catch a bus to Lisbon. It takes about four hours. You can also rent a car in Porto, drive around the small country and experience all the Portugal destinations that this article recommends.

When you finally end up on the Algarve coast in the south, you might as well stay a bit, as the beaches and coastline are some of the most beautiful.

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Lisbon Alfama Street Travel

Lisbon: High on life in Portugal

The capital of Portugal Lisbon is in many ways a wonderful city to be a tourist in.

It has also been praised for this in recent years, winning the 'Best City Destination' award World Travel Awards. For the same reason, the city can feel a bit overrun, and it is therefore recommended that you search a little away from the classic tourist destinations.

We recommend you to experience Lisbon both on land, at sea and from the top.

On land, the capital must be experienced from the windows of a bumbling tram. Speaking of Lisbon, trams are absolutely inevitable. They are a really nice way to be transported up and down the cobbled hills and get an insight into city life from the first floor. Tram number 28 covers the most photogenic route as it runs through the steep, narrow streets of the Alfama neighborhood, as seen in the photo above.

At sea, Lisbon is to be experienced from the river Tagus. Here you can get on a fantastic boat trip that sails along the city and out to the historic district of Belém. The beautiful light that Lisbon is always adorned with comes into its own when you experience the city's colorful buildings from the water 'side on a sunny day.

From the top, Lisbon must be experienced from the many hilltops. It is said that Lisbon is built on seven hilltops or high. Therefore, there are also many beautiful viewpoints where there is always life and from which you can, for example, enjoy the amazing sunset.

Viewpoint is called 'miradouro' in Portuguese.

I would recommend the viewpoints Miradouro Santa Catarina, Miradouro da Senhora do Monte and Miradouro Monte Agudo.

Porto River Travel locations

Small and lively Porto in northern Portugal

Porto is located in the north of Portugal and is the country's second largest city and certainly one of the Portugal destinations you must not miss on your trip.

You could say that Porto is a bit like Lisbon's relaxed little brother: where Lisbon can feel a bit crowded, Porto is still less known and less hectic. However, the city is reminiscent of the capital, as it is also full of steep hills, old houses with tiled facades and a large, beautiful river: the Douro.

The Douro River is a wonderful place to settle down. A glass of port or local 'green' wine is especially recommended - vinho verde - in the sun.

Everyone who visits Porto should stop by the world-famous bookstore Livraria Lello. The bookstore's old mahogany interior and bulging bookshelves are said to have inspired JK Rowling to the Hogwarts Castle Hogwarts School Library known from Harry Potter.

If you visit Porto, do not deceive yourself to walk around and explore the winding streets with old historic buildings and the ubiquitous scent of grilled sardines.

In the city's oldest quarter, Ribeira, which is next to the river, you can really feel that Porto is an old and somewhat dilapidated city. However, it is aged with grace and charm, which is only underlined by the fact that the locals are known for being very smiling and helpful.

On top of Portugal in the Serra da Estrela

Serra da Estrela is the highest mountain area in Portugal and is located in the northwestern part of the country, and most of the year the mountain peaks are snow-capped, although the temperature is comfortable.

It is obvious to go on active hikes and explore the beautiful views on your own. If you only have a single day or two, you can also easily rent a car in Porto, for example. From there you can drive to Serra da Estrela and have the beautiful landscape and the snow-capped views served on a silver platter.

Serra da Estrela has a strong local culture, and don't be fooled into passing by the many small villages.

Local ham and cheese, a particularly delicious bread, homemade slippers and soft woolen socks are sold here. In addition, the area has a special breed of dog that thrives in the cold, and which you meet in all the villages. It is extremely sweet, plush and cuddly.

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Portugal Places Alentejo Vineyards Travel

The rural Alentejo region - Portugal's cork and wine country

The Alentejo is the region south of Lisbon. It is known for having really beautiful flat natural areas adorned with cork trees, vineyards and a rich bird life. For example, you can not drive for many minutes without seeing a stork sitting in a tree by a large stork nest.

I would recommend that you rent a car in Lisbon and drive around the Alentejo. That way you can experience the small local villages, the beautiful landscapes and the beaches in the west.

On your road trip do not deceive yourself to eat in the most local places you can find, as the gastronomy of Alentejo is recognized throughout Portugal as the very best.

In recent years, many foreigners have also settled in the Alentejo region. They have opened up many types of alternatives retreats and yoga places. If you're into that sort of thing, it's definitely worth seeking out, because there are plenty of them.

Every other year, a large alternative festival run by volunteers called the 'Boom Festival' is also held. Here goes electronic music, yoga and psychedelia up in a higher unit.

Alentejo's largest town, Sines, also hosts a major annual world music festival, 'FMM Sines', every year in July. It is one of the Portugal destinations that are worth visiting on a trip to the country.

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Visit the scenic Algarve - Portugal's beach paradise

One of the other great places to visit is the south coast, which is a favorite tourist destination - and rightly so. The entire coastal area, which includes boats Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean coast, adorned by large golden cliffs and clear turquoise water.

The major cities in the area are called Lagos, Albufeira and Faro. However, I would say that all three are characterized by mass tourism and are not very exciting in themselves. The exciting thing is to find a hotel in a remote nature area and rent a car or scooter and drive around from there.

With a little GPS to help you can explore the area on your own and find fantastic, unspoilt beach areas. As the Algarve coast is not very big, you can easily drive around and experience a lot. Nature also invites to walks with stunning views and to explore the large caves in and under the beach cliffs.

It is recommended to visit the small town of Sagres at sunset. Sagres is said to be the westernmost point of Europe. For the same reason, the outer part of the city's harbor is surrounded by an old fort and a large lighthouse. Here you clearly see how the Atlanteanshavets and Mediumhavets crashing waves meet in the middle. This sight, with the deep orange glow of the sunset in the background, is absolutely magical.

See much more about wonderful Portugal destinations here

Have a great trip to Portugal! Good trip to Portugal!

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Portugal Algarve Beach Cliffs Travel

You must see this on your trip to Portugal - Sights and attractions

Which Portugal destinations, attractions and sights should you experience? Read along below.

  • The capital Lisbon
  • The city of Porto with its winding streets
  • River Douro
  • The world-renowned bookstore Livraria Lello
  • The Serra da Estrela mountain range
  • The beautiful Alentejo region
  • Algarve coastal area

Did you know: Here are the 7 cities in Europe with the most hours of sunshine

7: Nice in France – 342 hours/month
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About the author

Paloma Fjord

Paloma's desire to travel started early, as her parents did not wait long to take her on countless trips to Brazil. The passion for the country's amazing nature and huge cultural diversity remains great and has made Paloma educated in Portuguese and Brazilian studies. Since then, it has been several years in Lisbon, and the rest of the Portuguese-speaking world is high on her wish list.
Paloma is also not shy to admit that she loves chaotic big cities. Whether it's called New Delhi, New York or Mexico City doesn't really make much difference - as long as there are lots of people to look at, small neighborhoods to get lost in and freshly prepared street food to taste, Paloma is perfectly happy.

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