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Top 5: Things to Do in Portugal

by Angelique Platas

Aug 12, 2019

Dão, with its high altitude, is notable for its reds, and is one of the oldest Portuguese wine regions. Follow the Dão wine trail to discover loads of new favorite vineyards. © Jorisvo | Dreamstime.com

Top 5 / Europe

 

You might be hearing and seeing a lot about Portugal recently, and with great reason. The European country sits between Spain and the North Atlantic Ocean, offering stunning coastal towns and island getaways, as well as urban culinary wonders, history and architecture, with plenty of wide-open rural, natural beauty and wine regions throughout.

 

World Heritage Sites

With nearly two dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites in Portugal, you’ll have your work cut out for you in visiting them all. Spend the day exploring the region’s many historic locales in a meaningful and memorable way, like a kayaking tour around Almourol Castle, which sits in the middles of the River Tagus.

 

Shopping

To shop in Portugal is to spend the day like a local, especially at flea markets in in-the-know spots like Feira da Ladra, a 17th-century market in Lisbon. Shopping in Lisbon is easily done with this list of go-to spots, but make the most of your time at the flea market and visit nearby churches, castles and museums while in the area.

 

Food and Drink

Explore Porto’s foodie side with a Parts Unknown-approved tour; Lisbon’s must-try establishments; or eat and drink your way through the Algarve. No matter what region you choose to visit, authentic Portuguese wine and cuisine is not to be missed. Even if you’re not party to a private, organized tour, take yourself on a self-guided journey through the city streets and local eateries.

 

History and Culture

Historic architecture, ancient relics and must-see cultural sites are easily found in Portugal, narrowing your options down will be the real challenge. A few top visits include the iconic Park and National Palace of Pena in Sintra; Jerónimos Monestary in Lisbon; neighboring Belém Tower; Parça do Comércioi; and Castelo dos Mouros — just to name a few.

 

Hit the Beach

Whether you’re closest to the stunning cliffs of Lagos; old town of Albufeira; iconic beaches and rock formations of the Faro District; wineries of Porto; historic palaces of Cascais; or capital city of Faro, make time to get on the beach. The vibrant colors of Madeira’s port towns and quaint fishing villages of Alvor alone are worth the trip.

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