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

Affordable prices and an alluring combination of sunny skies, glorious architecture, deep-rooted traditions, and thoroughly modern flair have...

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 was a mass of bright yellow fennel, or funcho in Portuguese. Today...

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...

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...

Lagos

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

Porto Santo

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

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...

Guimarães

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

Óbidos

The medieval village of Óbidos is a place to wander and wonder, both inside the city walls and out. Once a strategic seaport, Óbidos is now...

Braga

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

Tavira

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

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...

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...

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...

Peniche

In the lee of a rocky peninsula, Peniche is a major fishing-and-canning port that's also a popular summer resort known for its fine trimmed...

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...

Leiria

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

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...

Sintra

...

Setubal

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

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...

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...

Tomar

Tomar is an attractive town laid out on both sides of the Rio Nabão, with the new and old parts linked by a graceful, arched stone bridge. The...

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 small river port is a working town, and though not as scenic as its smaller neighbor Pinhão, it’s the true heart of portwine country, and...

Arraiolos

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

Amarante

Small, agreeable Amarante may be overshadowed by its more historic neighbor Guimarães, but the town still deserves an overnight stop. Straddling...

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...

Santarem

Present-day Santarém, high above the Tagus River, is an important farming and livestock center. It holds the largest agricultural fair in the...

Peneda-Geres

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

Batalha

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

Barcelos

Barcelos, a bustling market town on the banks of the Rio Cávado with a population of some 18,000, is the center of a flourishing handicrafts...

Almeirim

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

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...

Abrantes

Abrantes became one of the country's most populous and prosperous towns during the 16th century, when the Tagus River was navigable all the...

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...

Calheta

Although Calheta is a historic village with a 17th-century church, it has only really developed over the past decade or so, thanks to having...

Vila do Conde

Vila do Conde has a long sweep of fine sand, a fishing port, a lace-making school, and a struggling shipbuilding industry that has been making...

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...

Lamego

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

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 Nogueira de Azeitão

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

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....

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...

Espinho

Frequent trains and the N109 run past a string of quiet family beaches to Espinho, which has become an increasingly fashionable resort over...

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...

Porto Moniz

The island's northernmost village, Porto Moniz, was a whaling station in the 19th century, but these days, its natural pools, formed by ancient...

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...

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...

Santana

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

Ponte de Lima

Ponte de Lima's long, low, graceful bridge is of Roman origin. It's also open only to foot traffic; drivers cross a concrete bridge at the edge...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

São Vicente

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

São Cucufate

...

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 Pedro de Sintra

...

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...

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...

Curral das Freiras

...

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...

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...

Porto da Cruz

The little fishing village of Porto da Cruz is a charming spot on the northeast coast. Plenty of bustling cafés and restaurants gather round...

Lisbon

Affordable prices and an alluring combination of sunny skies, glorious architecture, deep-rooted traditions, and thoroughly modern flair have...

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 was a mass of bright yellow fennel, or funcho in Portuguese. Today...

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...

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...

Lagos

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

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...

Guimarães

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

Óbidos

The medieval village of Óbidos is a place to wander and wonder, both inside the city walls and out. Once a strategic seaport, Óbidos is now...

Braga

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

Tavira

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

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...

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...

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...

Peniche

In the lee of a rocky peninsula, Peniche is a major fishing-and-canning port that's also a popular summer resort known for its fine trimmed...

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...

Setubal

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

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...

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...

Leiria

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

Sintra

...

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...

Tomar

Tomar is an attractive town laid out on both sides of the Rio Nabão, with the new and old parts linked by a graceful, arched stone bridge. The...

Peso da Regua

This small river port is a working town, and though not as scenic as its smaller neighbor Pinhão, it’s the true heart of portwine country, and...

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...

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...

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...

Arraiolos

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

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...

Amarante

Small, agreeable Amarante may be overshadowed by its more historic neighbor Guimarães, but the town still deserves an overnight stop. Straddling...

Santarem

Present-day Santarém, high above the Tagus River, is an important farming and livestock center. It holds the largest agricultural fair in the...

Peneda-Geres

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

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...

Barcelos

Barcelos, a bustling market town on the banks of the Rio Cávado with a population of some 18,000, is the center of a flourishing handicrafts...

Batalha

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

Abrantes

Abrantes became one of the country's most populous and prosperous towns during the 16th century, when the Tagus River was navigable all the...

Almeirim

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

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...

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...

Vila do Conde

Vila do Conde has a long sweep of fine sand, a fishing port, a lace-making school, and a struggling shipbuilding industry that has been making...

Calheta

Although Calheta is a historic village with a 17th-century church, it has only really developed over the past decade or so, thanks to having...

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...

Lamego

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

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...

Vila Nogueira de Azeitão

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

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....

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...

Espinho

Frequent trains and the N109 run past a string of quiet family beaches to Espinho, which has become an increasingly fashionable resort over...

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...

Porto Moniz

The island's northernmost village, Porto Moniz, was a whaling station in the 19th century, but these days, its natural pools, formed by ancient...

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...

Ponte de Lima

Ponte de Lima's long, low, graceful bridge is of Roman origin. It's also open only to foot traffic; drivers cross a concrete bridge at the edge...

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...

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...

Santana

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

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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 Vicente

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

São Pedro de Sintra

...

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...

Curral das Freiras

...

Porto da Cruz

The little fishing village of Porto da Cruz is a charming spot on the northeast coast. Plenty of bustling cafés and restaurants gather round...

Porto and the North

Perched on the steep banks of the River Douro, Porto is Portugal's second-largest city and the heart of Portugal’s industrial north. A center...

The Algarve

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

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...

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 is rich in possibilities. A succession of attractive coastal resorts and camera-ready towns lie within a 50-km (31-mile...

The Coast and the Douro

...

Tras-os-Montes

...

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 packed with shops, restaurants...

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...

Western Madeira

...

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...

Queluz

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

Ofir and Esposende

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

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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