The most beautiful places in Portugal to visit

Jenny Cahill-Jones

written by
Jenny Cahill-Jones

updated 17.04.2024

Lisbon is one of the most beautiful places in Portugal. But it's not the only one. We’ve rounded up some of the other best places to visit in Portugal. Take a look. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Portugal, your travel guide for Portugal.

1. For serious history visit Evora

Evora is easily one of the most beautiful places in Portugal. Find it in Alentejo. It's fascinating. And the entire centre is a World Heritage Site.

  • Dates back more than 5,000 years.
  • Known for medieval city walls.
  • Visit 16th century Capela dos Ossos or Chapel of Bones.
  • See imposing Roman temple honouring Emperor Augustus.
  • Head to Evora Museum for more about the Roman past.

Evora's also good for Alentejan restaurants, the local wine's some of Portugal's finest and it's also where you'll find number 6 in our round up of 9 of the best pousadas in Portugal.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Portugal or Portugal Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Portugal expert.


Evora old town is one of the most beautiful places in Portugal © RossHelen/Shutterstock

2. For big wave surfing hit Nazaré

Nazaré sits north of Lisbon. It's a small town on the Atlantic coast. Yet it holds the world record for highest wave ever surfed.

In 2011 Garrett McNamara broke records riding a 78ft wave here. Then Rodrigo Koxa surfed an 80ft wave at Nazaré in 2017. Astounding surf is caused by an underwater canyon offshore. This disrupts waves and creates monsters. Surfers have visited Nazaré since the 1960s. And it's hosted several World Surf League (WSL) championships.

Best time for record breaking surf action is November to February. North Beach leads for surf. To chill, choose Nazaré Beach. Nazaré has a fishing village vibe. Don't miss traditional restaurants. Catch of the day is unloaded at the harbour every morning. So local seafood's excellent.

Immerse in Nazaré surf spirit. Stay at Tipping Point on North Beach.


Nazaré is one of the best places to visit in Portugal for surfing © Albert Russ/Shutterstock

3. For a fun city break pick Porto

Porto has long been on the travel radar. And it's a great city break choice.

  • Close to Douro wine region.
  • Buzzy restaurants and good hotels.
  • Summer music festivals like Primavera Sound.
  • Romantic wine bars for cosy winter afternoons.
  • Easy drive into Douro valley for wine tours.
  • Don't miss Livaria Lello. It's probably Europe's most famous bookshop now.

If you are planning your trip to Porto don't forget to check our detailed list of the best areas to stay in Porto.

Short on time? Do a Douro Valley wine tasting cruise from Porto.


Porto is perfect for an easy city break in Portugal © Benedikt Saxler/Shutterstock

4. For incredible seafood head to the Algarve

The Algarve now has several Michelin-starred restaurants. Its reputation for seafood is flawless. And it's ideal for a gourmet road trip.

Start with Henrique Leisin in Almancil, The chef's Brazilian. The food's French with a twist. And it's in a Swiss chalet.

Leis is a giant on the Algarve food scene. His restaurant has two dining rooms. One for winter and one for summer. So visit any time. Just don't forget to book.

Want to hang on in Almancil? Book Quinta dos Amigos for its pretty garden and pool.

You will find even more attractive Portugal destinations in our guide of the best things to do in Portugal.

Ready for a trip to Portugal? Read more about the best places to visit and best things to do in Portugal. For inspiration use the Portugal Itineraries from The Rough Guide to Portugal and created by our local travel agents in Portugal. A bit more hands on, check out the map of Portugal and learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay in Portugal once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Jenny Cahill-Jones

written by
Jenny Cahill-Jones

updated 17.04.2024

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