How many times do we dream of exotic destinations on the other side of the world when we don’t even have to leave the Iberian Peninsula to enjoy dream landscapes. Its friendly climate, 3,000 hours of sunshine a year and 850 kilometers of beaches bathed by the Atlantic Ocean make Portugal a perfect destination for getaways in all seasons of the year. However, there is a lot of life beyond the famous Lisbon and Porto. These three destinations that we present below are essential to get to know the Portuguese country more thoroughly.
Lagos is a city that is located in the western Algarve. famous for its rocky beaches and their cliffsalso has a marked historical character with its beautiful walled historic center (dating from Roman times). And it is that it is a place that lends itself to both weekend getaways and nightlife.
The most important attraction of Lagos is Ponta da Piedade: an area of cliffs and rocks more than 20 meters high that is covered following a stone path that reaches the water. Although, in addition to hiking, you can also book a boat trip through the caves or take a kayak tour.
Sintra is a Portuguese town, very close to Lisbon, which was declared World Heritage Site in 1995. It is their palaces that are to blame. Especially one that looks like a Disney story, surrounded by beautiful gardens and the protagonist of romantic legends. This is the Pena Palace, a true mix of architectural styles and colors located on top of a leafy hill.
Of Celtic origin, Sintra is located in the middle of a natural park and it is an essential excursion to do if you are visiting Lisbon. Even if you are only going to spend a weekend in the city, it is worth dedicating a day to this area with its characteristic architecture and which perfectly integrates palaces and gardens, castles and forests.
On the banks of the Mondego River, Coimbra was the medieval capital of Portugal for over a hundred years. It is also famous for having the oldest university in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe. So, over time, it has modeled its identity around it, becoming “the city of students.” During the day life flows smoothly but at night the sunset brings endless partying.
Its historic center is made up of picturesque buildings spanning almost a millennium of history: from the Moorish Arco de Almedina, located at the foot of the city, to the Clock Tower, which crowns the patio of the old university. While in the modern part of the city you will find parks with terraces, bars and restaurants by the river, a fantastic pedestrian bridge, large shopping centers and, in short, everything you would expect from a major European city.
Cover photo | Thibault Mokuenko
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