Top 13 Attractions in Portugal according to Lonely Planet
13. Living Like Royals
Pousadas de Portugal is a chain of luxury, traditional or historical hotels in Portugal. “he settings are historic and jaw-dropping: 300-year-old castles, atmospheric monasteries and cliff-top mansions are among the 40 different pousadas sprinkled across the country.
12. Castelo de Vide
Castelo de Vide is a mountain village in Alentejo. High above the rolling countryside and a brief crow’s flight west of the beautiful ancient village of Marvão, Castelo de Vide is one of the country’s most underrated villages. Head here for a hilly vantage point, quaint houses and flower-lined lanes.
11. Magnificent Megaliths
Spiritual, magical, historical, incredible – a visit to the many ancient megaliths around Évora will make your hairs stand on end. You must visit the Almendres Cromlech megalithic complex, an important megalithic monument in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the largest extant group of structured menhirs in the Iberian Peninsula, and one of the largest in Europe.
10. Parque Natural da Ria Formosa
Parque Natural da Ria Formosa is a nesting ground and as a stopping point in migrating routes: Flamingos, Milherango, Storks and so on. Spend some time in close contact with the nature, the wonderful world of the birds in its more natural state, and let yourself be fascinated for the enchantment of its sounds, its forms and its colors.
9. Tavira Island
Tavira Island lies south of the town of Tavira, just a few hundred metres off the coast. It is 11 kilometres long and varies between 150 m to 1 km in width. The island has 11 km of the best beaches in the Algarve, including areas where naturism can be legally practised. It is popular among tourists, people that like to swim and bird watchers.
Fado is a music genre which can be traced to the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. In popular belief, fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a characteristic sentiment of resignation, fatefulness and melancholia. However, although the origins are difficult to trace, today fado is regarded, by many, as simply a form of song which can be about anything, but must follow a certain structure.
7. Sipping the Douro
The exquisite Alto Douro wine country is the oldest demarcated wine region on earth. Its steeply terraced hills, stitched together with craggy vines that have produced luscious wines for centuries, loom on both sides of the sinuous Rio Douro. Whether you get here by driving the impossibly scenic back roads, or catch a train or boat from Porto, take the time to hike, cruise and taste.
6. The Cliffs of Cabo de São Vicente
This cape is the southwesternmost point in Portugal. Approximately six kilometers from the village of Sagres, the cape is a landmark for a ship traveling to or from the Mediterranean. The cape is a site of exuberant marine life and a high concentration of birds nesting on the cliffs, such as the rare Bonelli’s eagle, peregrine falcons, kites, rock thrushes, rock pigeons, storks and herons.
5. Historic Évora
Due to its well-preserved old town centre, still partially enclosed by medieval walls, and a large number of monuments dating from various historical periods, including a Roman Temple, Évora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Évora is ranked number two in the Portuguese most livable cities survey of living conditions published yearly by Expresso.
The city was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary, and its historical center was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th Century, when the Romans referred to it as Portus Calle. Porto has a semi-Mediterranean climate, although it’s strongly affected by the Atlantic ocean, which makes it’s cooler than other cities with this climate.
Less than an hour by train from the capital, Sintra feels like another world. Like a page torn from a fairytale, Sintra is a quaint village sprinkled with stone-walled taverns and with a whitewashed palace looming over town. Forested hillsides form the backdrop to the storybook, with imposing castles, mystical gardens, strange mansions and centuries-old monasteries hidden among the woodlands
2. Nightlife in the Bairro Alto
Lisbon is known for its lively nightlife. For going out, stroll around the old neighborhood of Bairro Alto for an after-dinner caipirinha or ginjinha and people-watching. Its small streets, full of people, are packed with a high variety of bars. On weeknights bars close at 2AM, weekends at 3AM. The party continues in a night-club after that. Just follow the hordes of people down the hill – people have been doing that for hundreds of years.
1. The Alfama
Alfama is the oldest district of Lisbon, spreading on the slope between the São Jorge Castle and the Tejo river. Its name comes from the Arabic Al-hamma, meaning hot fountains or baths. It includes the freguesias (parishes) of São Miguel, Santo Estêvão, São Vicente de Fora and part of two streets of Freguesia da Sé: Rua do Barão and Rua São João da Praça. It contains many important historical attractions, with many Fado bars and restaurants.