Portugal

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Portugal GALLERY
2019 2019 Fodor’s Go List Destination
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Nestled between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, it's no surprise that Portugal has abundant seafood and beautiful beaches. Yet the landscape unfolds in astonishing variety from the coastline to the lush vineyards of the Douro River Valley to a mountainous, green interior dotted with castles. Celtic, Roman, and Islamic influences are evident in the land and its people, whose apparent reserve belies a welcoming and friendly nature. From big cities to tiny villages, a popular pursuit is to meet with friends and family and linger over strong coffee and pastries as the hours glide by.

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Lisbon

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Porto

Portugal's second-largest city, with a population of roughly 280,000, considers itself the north's capital and, more contentiously, the country...

Funchal

When colonists arrived in Madeira in July 1419, the valley they settled in was a mass of bright yellow fennel, or funcho in Portuguese. Today...

Coimbra

Coimbra is a fascinating city that combines a tangible sense of history with all of the vibrancy and street life typically associated with a...

Évora

Dressed in traditional garb, shepherds and farmers with faces wizened by a lifetime in the baking sun stand around the fountain at Praça do...

Porto Santo

Beachcombers have long loved the tiny, parched, and barren island whose golden beach is famous for its therapeutic properties. By packing themselves...

Lagos

Breezy and cool in every sense of the word, Lagos has an infectious energy and a laid-back feel. This bustling fishing port has many buildings...

Guimarães

Guimarães is a town proud of its past, and this is evident in a series of delightful medieval landmarks. The old town's narrow, cobbled thoroughfares...

Óbidos

As you enter town through the massive, arched gates of Óbidos, it seems as if you've been transported to Portugal in the Middle Ages, when the...

Estoril

Having long ago established its reputation as an affluent enclave, Estoril is still the place to go for glitz and glamour. In the 19th century...

Faro

The Algarve’s provincial capital combines a smattering of history and ample leisure opportunities in one lively package. It is one of the few...

Fatima

On the western flanks of the Serra de Aire lies Fátima, an important Roman Catholic pilgrimage site that is, ironically, named after the daughter...

Braga

Braga is one of northern Portugal's nicest surprises. Founded by the Romans as Bracara Augusta, it prospered in earnest in the 6th century—under...

Tavira

With its castle ruins, riverfront gardens, and atmospheric streets, Tavira—at the mouth of the quiet Rio Gilão—is immediately endearing. Many...

Peniche

In the lee of a rocky peninsula, Peniche is a major fishing-and-canning port that's also a popular summer resort. There are several beaches...

Caldas da Rainha

Caldas da Rainha (Queen's Baths), the hub of a large farming area, is best known for the fantastical, colorful ceramics produced in local factories...

Alcobaça

Alcobaça is a town that still shows its old-world roots in its downtown architecture—pretty red-tile roofs and French chateau turrets. The town...

Viana do Castelo

At the mouth of the Rio Lima, Viana do Castelo has been a prosperous trading center since it received its town charter in 1258. Many of its...

Torres Vedras

A bustling commercial center crowned with the ruins of a medieval castle, Torres Vedras is best known for its extensive fortifications—a system...

Ericeira

Ericeira, an old fishing town tucked into the rocky coast, is a popular seaside resort. Its core fans out from the sheer cliff, beneath which...

Peso da Regua

This is the true heart of port wine country, and all the bottles from the vineyards of the Upper Douro Valley pass through on their way to Porto...

Leiria

Leiria is a pleasant, modern, industrial town at the confluence of the Rios Liz and Lena, overlooked by a wonderfully elegant medieval castle...

Pinhão

Pinhão is heaven on earth for oenophiles, who can visit quintas (vineyards), tour the facilities, and sip port and wine to their hearts' content...

Tomar

TOn both sides of the Nabão River, Tomar is linked by a graceful, arched stone bridge. The river flows through a lovely park with weeping willows...

Sesimbra

Sesimbra, a lively fishing village surrounded by mountains and isolated bays and coves, is a popular day trip for Lisboetas. And, despite high...

Benavente

Benavente is a small, country town in the heart of rural Ribatejo and of the Lezíria, which is Portuguese for the rich and fertile landscape...

Santarem

Some historians believe that Santarém's beginnings date to as early as 1200 BC and the age of Ulysses. Its strategic location led several kings...

Vila Real

The capital of Trás-os-Montes is superbly situated between two mountain ranges, and much of the city retains a small-town air. Although there...

Nazare

Not so long ago you could mingle on the beach with black-stocking-capped fishermen and even help as the oxen hauled boats in from the crashing...

Setubal

A colorful sister city to polished, cosmopolitan Lisbon, Setúbal lacks the tourist hordes of the capital but has plenty to offer the visitor...

Batalha

Batalha, which means "battle" in Portuguese, is the site of another of the country's religious structures that memorialize a battle victory...

Bragança

This ancient town in the northeastern corner of Portugal has been inhabited since Celtic times (since about 600 BC). The town lent its name...

Amarante

Straddling the Rio Tâmega, the two halves of Amarante are joined by a narrow 18th-century bridge that stretches above the tree-shaded banks...

Barcelos

A bustling market town on the banks of the Rio Cávado, Barcelos is the center of a flourishing handicrafts industry, particularly ceramics ...

Peneda-Geres

The northeastern corner of the Minho is quite unlike most of this densely populated, heavily cultivated region. Here several forested serras...

Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela

A region of stunning beauty, this natural park covers approximately 1,011 square km (390 square miles) and is home to the highest mountain in...

Montemor-o-Novo

Driving east from the Portuguese capital, the first hilltop castle settlement you’ll hit is also one of the most impressive. Montemor-e-Novo...

Calheta

Not so long ago this was a quiet village huddled around a 17th-century church, but Calheta has exploded in popularity because it has the island...

Almeirim

Almeirim, a pretty country town just across the river from Santarém, is surrounded by vineyards and cork-oak forests. Many people from nearby...

Vila do Conde

Vila do Conde has been making wooden boats since the 15th century. The shipyards are probably Europe's oldest, and the traditional boat-making...

Palmela

The small town of Palmela lies in the center of a prosperous wine-growing area, and every September the community holds a good-natured Festa...

Chaves

Chaves was known to the Romans as Aquae Flaviae (Flavian's Waters). They established a military base here and popularized the town's thermal...

Espinho

A string of quiet beaches lead to Espinho, an increasingly fashionable resort. The long, sandy beach is extremely popular in summer, but you...

Povoa de Varzim

Póvoa de Varzim has a long beach, but the town has little of Vila do Conde's charm—except, perhaps, for the many shops and roadside stalls that...

Arraiolos

Arraiolos, dominated by the ruins of a once-mighty walled fortress, is a typical hilltop village of whitewashed houses and narrow streets. What...

Abrantes

A stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets of Abrantes is a perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon, especially if it winds up at the hilltop...

Vila Nogueira de Azeitão

The region around the small town of Azeitão, on the western side of the Serra da Arrábida, retains a disproportionately large number of fine...

Santana

The village of Santana is famous for its A-frame, thatch-roof palheiros (wooden houses), which are unique to the island. Traditionally painted...

Guincho

The wide beach at Guincho is one of the most famous—and most visited—in the country. Atlantic waves pound the sand even on the calmest of days...

Ponte de Lima

Giving the town its name, Ponte de Lima's long, low, graceful bridge is of Roman origin. The main square by the old bridge has a central fountain...

Monte

The village of Monte sits above Funchal at a height of 1,804 feet. The cool mountain air and dramatic views made it a healthy retreat for the...

Vila Franca de Xira

Vila Franca de Xira is an excellent place to see Portuguese bullfights, known as the tourada, which are held from Easter through October....

Lamego

A prosperous town set amid a fertile landscape carpeted with vineyards and orchards, Lamego is also rich in baroque churches and mansions. It...

São Vicente

The little town of São Vicente is nestled in a narrow gully just inland from the dramatic north coast. Most of the central streets are pedestrianized...

Curral das Freiras

The views of the valley itself is the main reason to visit. This was where the sisters of the Convent of Santa Clara took refuge from bands...

Constancia

Peaceful little Constância is at the confluence of the Zêzere and the Tagus. It's best known as the town where poet Luís de Camões was exiled...

Machico

Come to the second-largest town on the island after Funchal to wander through the old quarter, attractively situated in a crescent bay with...

Porto Moniz

The island's northernmost village was a whaling station in the 19th century. These days its natural pools, formed by ancient lava flows, make...

Camara de Lobos

On coastal route N101, you'll pass many banana plantations on the way to Câmara de Lobos—a former fishing village made famous by Winston Churchill...

Bitetos

Crawling up the cliffs of the Douro, this quaint village dates back to Roman times and was historically a key docking point for rebelos , the...

Guadalupe

The tiny village of Guadalupe takes its name from a 17th-century chapel that is dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Gaudalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe...

Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica is a 20-km (12-mile) stretch of beach on the northwestern coast of the Setúbal Peninsula. White sand and a laid-back holiday...

Caniçal

Multicolored boats bob in water flanking this village with a long history as a whaling station—the industry ceased operation in 1981. In 1985...

Vila Nova de Foz Coa

The higher reaches of the Douro are known for their harsh terrain, with baking hot summers and cold winters. Yet this apparently inhospitable...

São Cucufate

...

Ribeira Brava

This pleasant village, with a pebbly beach and bustling seafront fruit market, was founded in 1440 at the mouth of the Ribeira Brava (meaning...

Monção

The riverside town of Monção is a fortified border settlement with a long history of skirmishes with the Spanish. In town there are the remains...

Valença do Minho

Valença do Minho is the major border crossing in this area, with roads as well as rail service into Spain. Valença's Old Town is enclosed by...

Ribeiro Frio

The landscape grows more lush on the northern side of the island, and the road is full of waterfalls. Ribeiro Frio (Cold Brook) is known for...

Vila Nova de Cerveira

Granite hills border one side of Vila Nova de Cerveira, and the Rio Minho and Spain border the other. The town dates from the 13th century,...

Porto da Cruz

The little fishing village of Porto da Cruz is a charming spot on the northeast coast. While sights are few, the town still makes a pleasant...

Pico do Arieiro

It’s a 45-minute drive from Funchal to the soaring peak of Madeira’s third-highest mountain, when on clear days visitors are rewarded with panoramic...

Serra de Água

North from Ribeira Brava the N104 snakes through a sheer-sided canyon. In every direction you can see high waterfalls tumbling down canyon walls...

Sintra

...

São Pedro de Sintra

...

Lisbon

...

Porto

Portugal's second-largest city, with a population of roughly 280,000, considers itself the north's capital and, more contentiously, the country...

Funchal

When colonists arrived in Madeira in July 1419, the valley they settled in was a mass of bright yellow fennel, or funcho in Portuguese. Today...

Coimbra

Coimbra is a fascinating city that combines a tangible sense of history with all of the vibrancy and street life typically associated with a...

Évora

Dressed in traditional garb, shepherds and farmers with faces wizened by a lifetime in the baking sun stand around the fountain at Praça do...

Lagos

Breezy and cool in every sense of the word, Lagos has an infectious energy and a laid-back feel. This bustling fishing port has many buildings...

Guimarães

Guimarães is a town proud of its past, and this is evident in a series of delightful medieval landmarks. The old town's narrow, cobbled thoroughfares...

Óbidos

As you enter town through the massive, arched gates of Óbidos, it seems as if you've been transported to Portugal in the Middle Ages, when the...

Faro

The Algarve’s provincial capital combines a smattering of history and ample leisure opportunities in one lively package. It is one of the few...

Estoril

Having long ago established its reputation as an affluent enclave, Estoril is still the place to go for glitz and glamour. In the 19th century...

Braga

Braga is one of northern Portugal's nicest surprises. Founded by the Romans as Bracara Augusta, it prospered in earnest in the 6th century—under...

Fatima

On the western flanks of the Serra de Aire lies Fátima, an important Roman Catholic pilgrimage site that is, ironically, named after the daughter...

Tavira

With its castle ruins, riverfront gardens, and atmospheric streets, Tavira—at the mouth of the quiet Rio Gilão—is immediately endearing. Many...

Peniche

In the lee of a rocky peninsula, Peniche is a major fishing-and-canning port that's also a popular summer resort. There are several beaches...

Caldas da Rainha

Caldas da Rainha (Queen's Baths), the hub of a large farming area, is best known for the fantastical, colorful ceramics produced in local factories...

Viana do Castelo

At the mouth of the Rio Lima, Viana do Castelo has been a prosperous trading center since it received its town charter in 1258. Many of its...

Alcobaça

Alcobaça is a town that still shows its old-world roots in its downtown architecture—pretty red-tile roofs and French chateau turrets. The town...

Torres Vedras

A bustling commercial center crowned with the ruins of a medieval castle, Torres Vedras is best known for its extensive fortifications—a system...

Ericeira

Ericeira, an old fishing town tucked into the rocky coast, is a popular seaside resort. Its core fans out from the sheer cliff, beneath which...

Pinhão

Pinhão is heaven on earth for oenophiles, who can visit quintas (vineyards), tour the facilities, and sip port and wine to their hearts' content...

Sesimbra

Sesimbra, a lively fishing village surrounded by mountains and isolated bays and coves, is a popular day trip for Lisboetas. And, despite high...

Leiria

Leiria is a pleasant, modern, industrial town at the confluence of the Rios Liz and Lena, overlooked by a wonderfully elegant medieval castle...

Peso da Regua

This is the true heart of port wine country, and all the bottles from the vineyards of the Upper Douro Valley pass through on their way to Porto...

Tomar

TOn both sides of the Nabão River, Tomar is linked by a graceful, arched stone bridge. The river flows through a lovely park with weeping willows...

Vila Real

The capital of Trás-os-Montes is superbly situated between two mountain ranges, and much of the city retains a small-town air. Although there...

Nazare

Not so long ago you could mingle on the beach with black-stocking-capped fishermen and even help as the oxen hauled boats in from the crashing...

Setubal

A colorful sister city to polished, cosmopolitan Lisbon, Setúbal lacks the tourist hordes of the capital but has plenty to offer the visitor...

Santarem

Some historians believe that Santarém's beginnings date to as early as 1200 BC and the age of Ulysses. Its strategic location led several kings...

Benavente

Benavente is a small, country town in the heart of rural Ribatejo and of the Lezíria, which is Portuguese for the rich and fertile landscape...

Bragança

This ancient town in the northeastern corner of Portugal has been inhabited since Celtic times (since about 600 BC). The town lent its name...

Batalha

Batalha, which means "battle" in Portuguese, is the site of another of the country's religious structures that memorialize a battle victory...

Amarante

Straddling the Rio Tâmega, the two halves of Amarante are joined by a narrow 18th-century bridge that stretches above the tree-shaded banks...

Barcelos

A bustling market town on the banks of the Rio Cávado, Barcelos is the center of a flourishing handicrafts industry, particularly ceramics ...

Peneda-Geres

The northeastern corner of the Minho is quite unlike most of this densely populated, heavily cultivated region. Here several forested serras...

Almeirim

Almeirim, a pretty country town just across the river from Santarém, is surrounded by vineyards and cork-oak forests. Many people from nearby...

Calheta

Not so long ago this was a quiet village huddled around a 17th-century church, but Calheta has exploded in popularity because it has the island...

Montemor-o-Novo

Driving east from the Portuguese capital, the first hilltop castle settlement you’ll hit is also one of the most impressive. Montemor-e-Novo...

Vila do Conde

Vila do Conde has been making wooden boats since the 15th century. The shipyards are probably Europe's oldest, and the traditional boat-making...

Espinho

A string of quiet beaches lead to Espinho, an increasingly fashionable resort. The long, sandy beach is extremely popular in summer, but you...

Palmela

The small town of Palmela lies in the center of a prosperous wine-growing area, and every September the community holds a good-natured Festa...

Abrantes

A stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets of Abrantes is a perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon, especially if it winds up at the hilltop...

Arraiolos

Arraiolos, dominated by the ruins of a once-mighty walled fortress, is a typical hilltop village of whitewashed houses and narrow streets. What...

Povoa de Varzim

Póvoa de Varzim has a long beach, but the town has little of Vila do Conde's charm—except, perhaps, for the many shops and roadside stalls that...

Chaves

Chaves was known to the Romans as Aquae Flaviae (Flavian's Waters). They established a military base here and popularized the town's thermal...

Guincho

The wide beach at Guincho is one of the most famous—and most visited—in the country. Atlantic waves pound the sand even on the calmest of days...

Vila Nogueira de Azeitão

The region around the small town of Azeitão, on the western side of the Serra da Arrábida, retains a disproportionately large number of fine...

Santana

The village of Santana is famous for its A-frame, thatch-roof palheiros (wooden houses), which are unique to the island. Traditionally painted...

Ponte de Lima

Giving the town its name, Ponte de Lima's long, low, graceful bridge is of Roman origin. The main square by the old bridge has a central fountain...

São Vicente

The little town of São Vicente is nestled in a narrow gully just inland from the dramatic north coast. Most of the central streets are pedestrianized...

Lamego

A prosperous town set amid a fertile landscape carpeted with vineyards and orchards, Lamego is also rich in baroque churches and mansions. It...

Vila Franca de Xira

Vila Franca de Xira is an excellent place to see Portuguese bullfights, known as the tourada, which are held from Easter through October....

Monte

The village of Monte sits above Funchal at a height of 1,804 feet. The cool mountain air and dramatic views made it a healthy retreat for the...

Curral das Freiras

The views of the valley itself is the main reason to visit. This was where the sisters of the Convent of Santa Clara took refuge from bands...

Constancia

Peaceful little Constância is at the confluence of the Zêzere and the Tagus. It's best known as the town where poet Luís de Camões was exiled...

Machico

Come to the second-largest town on the island after Funchal to wander through the old quarter, attractively situated in a crescent bay with...

Porto Moniz

The island's northernmost village was a whaling station in the 19th century. These days its natural pools, formed by ancient lava flows, make...

Bitetos

Crawling up the cliffs of the Douro, this quaint village dates back to Roman times and was historically a key docking point for rebelos , the...

Guadalupe

The tiny village of Guadalupe takes its name from a 17th-century chapel that is dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Gaudalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe...

Caniçal

Multicolored boats bob in water flanking this village with a long history as a whaling station—the industry ceased operation in 1981. In 1985...

Camara de Lobos

On coastal route N101, you'll pass many banana plantations on the way to Câmara de Lobos—a former fishing village made famous by Winston Churchill...

Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica is a 20-km (12-mile) stretch of beach on the northwestern coast of the Setúbal Peninsula. White sand and a laid-back holiday...

Vila Nova de Cerveira

Granite hills border one side of Vila Nova de Cerveira, and the Rio Minho and Spain border the other. The town dates from the 13th century,...

Vila Nova de Foz Coa

The higher reaches of the Douro are known for their harsh terrain, with baking hot summers and cold winters. Yet this apparently inhospitable...

Valença do Minho

Valença do Minho is the major border crossing in this area, with roads as well as rail service into Spain. Valença's Old Town is enclosed by...

Porto da Cruz

The little fishing village of Porto da Cruz is a charming spot on the northeast coast. While sights are few, the town still makes a pleasant...

Monção

The riverside town of Monção is a fortified border settlement with a long history of skirmishes with the Spanish. In town there are the remains...

Ribeira Brava

This pleasant village, with a pebbly beach and bustling seafront fruit market, was founded in 1440 at the mouth of the Ribeira Brava (meaning...

Serra de Água

North from Ribeira Brava the N104 snakes through a sheer-sided canyon. In every direction you can see high waterfalls tumbling down canyon walls...

Sintra

...

São Pedro de Sintra

...

Porto and the North

Perched on the steep banks of the River Douro, Porto is many people's favorite part of Portugal. A center for the arts, culture, and cuisine...

Coimbra and the Beiras

While frequently sidestepped by tourists, this region is arguably the most unspoiled and quintessentially Portuguese part of the country. Even...

Évora and the Alentejo

The Alentejo, which means "the land beyond the Rio Tejo" (Tagus River) in Portuguese, is a vast, sparsely populated area of heath and rolling...

The Algarve

The Algarve is deservedly popular, with millions of annual vacationers thronging here to enjoy sandy beaches, superb golf, and all the other...

Estremadura and the Ribatejo

Estremadura and the Ribatejo are the two historical provinces north and northeast of Lisbon. Estremadura, with its green rural valleys, is...

Madeira

Floral scents fill Madeira's sea-washed air. Bird-of-paradise flowers grow wild, pink and purple fuchsia weave lacy patterns up pastel walls...

Side Trips from Lisbon

The capital’s backyard offers some seriously enticing side trips. A succession of attractive coastal resorts and camera-ready towns lie within...

The Coast and the Douro

...

Cascais and Boca do Inferno

Once a mere fishing village, the town of Cascais—with three small, sandy bays—is now a heavily developed resort town packed with shops, restaurants...

Tras-os-Montes

...

Western Madeira

...

Side Trips from Évora

A trip through the countryside surrounding Évora will take you to some of the earliest-inhabited sites in Portugal, the country’s carpet- and...

Barca d'Alva/Castelo Rodrigo

These two small villages, a stone's throw from the Spanish border, make good jumping-off points for visiting the other Douro River villages...

Peninsula de Troia

Across the estuary from Setúbal is the Peninsula de Tróia—a long spit of land blessed with clean water and fine beaches on both the Sado and...

Ofir and Esposende

On the south bank of the Rio Cávado, Ofir has a lovely beach with sweeping white sands, dunes, pinewoods, and water sports—a combination that...

Queluz

Halfway between Lisbon and Sintra, the otherwise rather unremarkable town of Queluz is dominated by its magnificent palace and gardens, located...

Montemor-o-Velho

The small town of Montemor-o-Velho is most notable for its impressive ruined castle which sits high on a hill, overlooking the surrounding huddle...

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