Portugal is quickly becoming the new IT country to visit. Maybe it’s the increase in nonstop flights or maybe word’s out on the quiet Mediterranean beaches and unforgettable food. Whatever the reason, you’re going to want to check out Portugal before the rest of the world catches on. Here’s a list of the country’s coolest towns to inspire you.
Get your dose of Vitamin D along the beautiful southern coast of Portugal. Seaside charm, glorious beaches, and majestic mountains are reason enough to visit Tavira. Up and coming bougie resorts, epicurean bounties in the likes of Michelin starred restaurants, and temperate climate makes Tavira an appealing alternative to the crowds of Porto. Enjoy this beautiful region before its season of obscurity flees.
Dubbed the Venice of Portugal for its many canals, you can’t help but be mesmerized by the winding waterways and vibrant, colorful gondolas. Be sure to grab a tour on one of the famed Moliceiro boats which were initially made to harvest seaweed or “molico” from the lagoon. As cultural as it is romantic, the city is brimming with architectural masterpieces like the Aveiro Cathedral, reflecting the traditional Baroque style, and the Museu de Aveiro.
The small hilltop town peering down to the river Mira, offers a beauty that stops you in your tracks. If you are looking to escape the bigger city crowds, Odemira provides a laid back vibe. Whether relaxing on the beaches of Praia das Furnas or hiking the mountains of Farol do Cabo Sardao, Odemira is worth a visit. If you want more excitement, the village of Zambujeira do Mar is home to the five-day Festival do Sudoeste, one of the biggest rock festivals in Europe which runs every August.
For such a small town, Sintra is bursting with ancient castles, majestic mountains, and pastel-colored homes. This lovely little city is a great day trip from Lisbon. You may be surprised at the array of architectural styles dotting the town; from gothic to neo-Renaissance. A few of the palaces to put on your list include: Palacio Nacional e Jardins de Queluz, Palace of Sintra and Pena Palace.
Oenophiles, this one is for you. The enchanting Douro Valley is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, and a UNESCO World heritage-protected the landscape. A quick trip from Porto, you can easily access the Duoro Valley by train, cruise or car, all of which offer dramatic views. The wines that come from the Douro Valley are sophisticated, balanced, and colorful. The region is known for its Ports and table wines which pair famously with the area’s renowned meat dishes such as Cozido a Portuguesa (boiled meat, sausages, and cabbages) and Partridge on a Skewer.
Don’t take our word for it, explore the best towns in Portugual on your own; you never know which captivating village will be your new favorite.