8 Breathtaking Spots To Add To Your Portuguese Bucket List

Portugal is perhaps one of the most underappreciated and underrated spots for a trip anywhere in the world. Filled with outstanding natural beauty and a culture that is still steeped and engrained in this country’s long history, a traveller is truly spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a spot to visit.

We reached out for insights and opinions on where the best spots to truly find the magic in Portugal are…

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#1 The Azores

This past summer I visited the Azores, a group of islands off the coast of mainland Portugal, that are slowly becoming one of the next travel hot spots. The Azores are filled with must-do attractions - from dramatic viewpoints to epic hikes to Portugal's highest mountain (Mount Pico!).

Contributor: Charles Breitbart from

#2 The Green Valley

Portugal is, of course, already well-known forits port produced in the Douro Valley. However, in a small region nearby– known locally as the Green Valley – a different kind of wine is produced: “green wine.” While I couldn’t tell you the exact technicalities of the wine production myself, what I can tell you is that this slightly effervescent wine ranges from a straw color to as light green with a creamy to flowery finish – incredibly refreshing and distinct! The grape cultivation, harvest, and processing differ for green wine, and most producers are small, family-owned operations with an organic or even biodynamic vineyard.

Contributor: Ashley Blake from

#3 Graca, Lisbon

No visit to Lisbon would be complete without a thorough exploration of its street art that tells the story of many neighborhoods, such as Graça. The best way to have the experience is with a walking tour to understand the dynamics of why graffiti has played such a historical role as a socio-political voice in Lisbon, and also to see some incredible works from artists such as Obey Giant and Vhils.

Contributor: Ashley Blake from

#4 Belem

I absolutely loved Portugal. This history, the cobblestone roads, the cherry liquor shots, and the diversity you would see walking around. The trams running through town made for a great ride through history. The one place that I was surprised was so amazing was Belem. Belem is a small town just outside of Lisbon, but with so much to do. I was surprised at how much there was to do with the historical buildings, museums, cathedral, and more. This place is a hidden gem that those going to Lisbon should take a day to go to.

Contributor: Jen Fry from

#5 Peneda-Geres National Park

Peneda-Geres is the only national park in Portugal and it has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. For those who love hiking and nature, this is the perfect spot, with waterfalls, trails, woods, traditional community villages, ruins, castles...

It's an amazing place to get away.

Contributor: Jorge Bastos from

#6 Coimbra University

The oldest in Portugal has elements from the time of the Romans to the present day. One of the oldest universities in the world and the oldest in all of Portugal. Up until the early part of the 20th century, it was also the only Portuguese-speaking university in the world. Built in the grounds of a former palace, its 16th-century campus is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Contributor: Jayme H. Simões from

#7 Cacela Velha

Perched on a low cliff facing the estuary, the whitewashed village of Cecelia Velha is a reminder of how the Algarve might have looked half a century ago. Apart from a few café-restaurants, there are no tourist stores, just a pretty church and the remains of an eighteenth-century fort– and even that houses a maritime police station and is closed to the public.

Offering exhilarating views from its clifftop, Cacela is highly picturesque and, it's not overrun by visitors. The only time the place gets busy is during the Moorish Nights in July, a four-day festival of Arabic food and Moorish-inspired events, including a souk.

Contributor: Jayme H. Simões from

#8 Monsaraz

The walled medieval village of Monsaraz, maintains the magic from ancient times like few others in the world. Made of lime and schist, this place whispers us, between the echo of our footsteps in its streets. A lot of magnificent stories could be told about its courageous kings, Knights Templar, brave people and dames of simple beauty.

Suspended in time, the historic village, one of the oldest in Portugal, is a mandatory destination to add to your list of places to visit in Alentejo. Especially after, in 2017, it won the category “Monument Villages” in the competition 7 Maravilhas de Portugal – Aldeias (7 wonders of Portugal – Villages). Today, Monsaraz is a museum village which you must add to your list of what to do in Alentejo.

Contributor: Jayme H. Simões

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Written by James Metcalfe

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