author photo
Mani Ramaswamy
11/27/2019

#01 Algarve beaches

The region has some of Europe’s finest beaches and there are few more impressive than Praia da Bordeira.

#02 Monsaraz

Many of the medieval houses in the fortified hilltop village of Monsaraz have been converted into atmospheric guesthouses.

#03 Canal trip, Aveiro

Float through the canals and lagoons of fascinating Aveiro on a brightly coloured boat.

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#04 Évora

A golden-stoned university town complete with Roman temple, Moorish alleys and medieval walls.

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#05 Mountain biking in the Algarve

There are some great cycling opportunities along the entire Algarve coast.

#06 Óbidos

A picture-book walled town that was once the traditional bridal gift of Portuguese kings.

#07 Rio Douro valley

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Take a train ride or boat trip from Peso da Régua up one of the loveliest river valleys in Portugal.

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#08 Velha Universidade, Coimbra

This historic city boasts Portugal’s most famous university and a vibrant student nightlife.

#09 Mosteiro da Batalha

The “Battle Abbey” is one of the greatest achievements of Portuguese architecture.

#10 Kayaking on the Mondego river

Even novice kayakers will be enchanted by this gentle float down a verdant valley.

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#11 Alfama, Lisbon

A village in the heart of the capital, with streets so narrow and precipitous that few cars can enter.

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#12 Sintra

The hilltop retreat near Lisbon is one of the most scenic in the country, surrounded by opulent palaces and country estates.

#13 Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês

The country’s only national park offers alluring trails past gushing streams and alpine scenery.

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#14 Pastéis de nata

These delicious flaky custard tartlets are served warm with cinnamon and icing sugar sprinkled over them at Lisbon's Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, where they've been baked for more than a century.

#15 Mosteiro Palácio Nacional de Mafra

Gigantic monument to religious devotion or obscenely over-the-top royal frippery? You decide at João V’s mighty monastery-cum-palace.

#16 Guimarães

The first capital of Portugal is a beguiling place of cobbled streets and historic buildings.

#17 Dolphin-watching in the Sado estuary

Take a boat trip to see the playful bottle-nosed dolphins that live in this attractive estuary near Setúbal.

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#18 Lisbon clubbing

Lisbon’s nightlife is legendary – chic Lux has long been the top place to dance until dawn.

#19 Rota Vicentina

You’d be hard pushed to find a better long-distance footpath – it encompasses picturesque villages, wild surf-lashed beaches and vertiginous cliffs.

#20 Convento de Cristo, Tomar

Tomar’s extraordinary “Convent of Christ” is the former headquarters of the Knights Templar.

#21 Surfing

Peniche offers consistently good surfing in a country that is blessed with rolling Atlantic waves.

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#22 Feira de Barcelos

The country’s liveliest and most colourful market shows that rural traditions are alive and well.

#23 Serra da Estrela

The highest mountains in Portugal conceal windswept uplands, remote villages and challenging hiking trails.

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#24 Porto’s riverfront

The historic riverside bairro of Ribeira is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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