Undiscovered Portugal Dropdown content is remarkably easy to find. Head east instead of west from Lisbon Dropdown content Airport. Drive over the Vasco da Gama bridge. And in no time you're in a landscape of cork trees, vineyards and nesting storks. Matthew Hancock, co-author of The Rough Guide to Portugal Dropdown content reveals his favourite places to get off the tourist trail and into undiscovered Portugal. All information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Portugal Dropdown content, your travel guide for Portugal.
Less than three hours drive from Lisbon,
It perches on a rocky outcrop close to the Spanish border. First fortified by Moors over 1200 years ago, it's surrounded by 17th century walls.
The original village was designed for views over Spain and
Watch sunsets over the mountains here. Or head down the Roman road to swim in the river.
Parts of the coastal Trilho dos Pescadores are deserted. You can walk for hours and see no one. In fact, wildlife and occasional surfers are more common than walkers.
These historic routes along the coast divide into sections. You can easily walk one in a day. And most end at seaside villages where you can stay overnight.
The Trilho start in the village of Porto Côvo. The route then meanders over clifftops and river valleys. Before it dips down to beaches at
Drive west of
Stay in laidback
Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both
Start at Penacova and paddle 25km along the river. Pine trees and vineyards line the banks. Grapes dangle over the water, if you fancy a snack. You'll see kingfishers and soaring birds of prey.
The river's usually calm year round. Watch out for a few small rapids. And in summer you can stop at river beaches.
The river runs into the centre of
Prefer to paddle with experts? Kayak down the Mondego to Coimbra with local guides.
Peaceful Sortelha is truly undiscovered Portugal. The village is tucked beyond the
For real escapism consider staying over. Book Casa Da Lagariça, a traditional village house minutes from Sortelha centre.
It covers wooded valleys and granite mountain peaks. You'll find waterfalls and viewpoints. There are even places to swim.
Marked trails network the park. So it’s easy to hike off the beaten track here.
Want to really explore Peneda-Gerês? Stay at Quinta do Bárrio, surrounded by its mountains and lakes.
Iberian wolves still roam wild in this park. But you're more likely to see deer, boar or golden eagles.
In the north, Rio do Onor straddles Spain's border. It's a village so remote, it developed its own dialect.
How do you know you've crossed the border? There are cobbles on the Portuguese side and tarmac in Spain.
Ready for a trip to Portugal? Read more about the
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