Take a trip to Portugal
Portugal’s tourist attraction is no longer to be proven. Its mild and pleasant climate throughout the year allows multiple escapades. Each region has its own specificities and everywhere you will find a quality of welcome and a sought-after gastronomy. Lisbon, the city of 7 hills, is worth a visit. On the Algarve coast in the South you will appreciate the seaside resorts and the beaches of turquoise water. In the North, the famous Porto and its small villages in periphery offering varied and unique landscapes. Accessible to all budgets, you will find a multitude of affordable restaurants and picturesque markets that will offer you all sorts of refined specialties, including the famous pasteis de nata.
Five ideas for guided tours in Portugal
The villages of the Beiras
The region of the Beiras villages in the center of the country, between the Douro River in the north and the Tagus River in the south, is sometimes neglected by the classic itineraries. However, it would be a shame to miss out on its spectacular scenery. The large sandy beaches along the coast, the exceptional vineyards, the colorful villages, the castles and the spas are all places that testify to the cultural richness of this region. The main city is called Coimbra. It has one of the oldest university complexes in Europe as well as a rich heritage (cathedrals, monasteries and museums…) A real architectural jewel, the Venice of Portugal, Aveiro is famous for its canals and its walks. Also leave for the serra of Buçaco surrounded by its majestic forest. It is in all 12 villages which each year make the happiness of the visitors of the countryside of the Beiras in search of authentic villages. A Portuguese private guide will be your best companion to make you discover this fascinating region.
Serra da Estrela Natural Park
This park was the first natural park created in Portugal. It is the highest point of the country and the only ski slopes. The major interest of the park lies in the prodigious diversity of its flora and fauna. You can find all kinds of animals: wolves, wild boars, foxes, wild rabbits as well as a great variety of birds like the buzzard, the golden eagle or the peregrine falcon. While walking through the Serra da Estrela Park, you will be amazed by the beauty and diversity of nature, combining green meadows, lakes where the mountain is reflected, as well as its magnificent waterfalls. Let yourself be tempted by long walks through the silence of the magnificent mountains, especially by taking the route from Covilhã to Manteigas, which will take you to the highest point called Torre. The activities vary according to the season. You can also taste local products such as Queijo da Serra cheese, visit the small regional museums or simply admire the numerous landscapes such as the glacial valleys of Zêzere, Unhais da Serra and Loriga.
Located in the extreme south of Portugal in the Algarve region, Faro has a wide variety of tourist attractions. Its pedestrian historic center is surrounded by ramparts and contains a magnificent episcopal palace and a beautiful cathedral called the Sé. From the top of its bell tower you will have a breathtaking view of the old Faro and the Marina. Nestled on top of the buildings, you will see the storks quietly installed in their nests. The city is a perfect base for visiting the whole region and especially the Ria Formosa Park. Accessible by sea, it extends over 18,000 hectares and is composed of a myriad of canals, sandbanks, pine forests and salt marshes, all crossed by exotic and varied walks where an absolutely unique fauna lives.
The fishing village of Benagil is located on the southern coast of the Algarve. Among the sights not to be missed, the Benagil cave is a must, a real natural cathedral with an open ceiling in its center, known as the Eye of Benagil, which can only be reached by boat or by swimming for the most courageous. A marvel! The discovery of the cavities is an enchantment. For maximum safety you can go there on board the many boats that shuttle to this magical place from the port or a little further (Carvoeiro, Ferragudo and Portimão). The trip takes about an hour along the coast. On the other side you can stop at isolated beaches.
Here we are in the region of Estremadura in the center west near Alcobaça. Nazaré is the most typical fishing port of Portugal. The sea front is made up of a wide crescent of white sand with on its right side the small hill of Sítio that overhangs the horizon at 325 meters of altitude. At the top of the hill you will reach the small church of Ermida da Memória which was built at the end of the 12th century. From there you can continue to the Pedralva Park and reach the Pederneira Lookout (Miradouro da Pederneira) with a magnificent view of the coastline. Continuing further downtown, the beautiful walks through the narrow streets will lead you to the most lively and emblematic intersection of the city.
Near the port on Avenida Manuel Remigio, come and watch the drying of the fish. This tradition, which dates back centuries, consists of placing the fish on a drying rack and sprinkling them with salt to preserve them.
The Mercado Municipal is the only place where you can find all the authenticity of the region, with all kinds of fresh food for sale. First of all the fish that the famous “varinas” (saleswomen) will advise you in their traditional costume made of seven skirts.
It should be noted that Nazaré is also a spot known worldwide by all the great surfers who come to beat world records and challenge the biggest waves.