Posted on 11/01/2022

#Guide

There is so much more in Portugal than Lisbon

Despite the immense popularity of Portugal and being one of the most valued vacation spots in Europe, Portugal remains relatively unexplored. As it's locals say, Portugal is more than just Lisbon. A country with a rich history, art and mesmerizing views has so much more to offer than just Lisbon. Let's explore some less visited but beautiful locations in Portugal.

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1. Lagos

The town in Algarve is surrounded by twin crescents of golden sand. One can see the cape of caramel coloured cliffs in the background. Unlike other towns in Algarve, Lagos hasn't lost its original charm. Tourists can enjoy visiting the old centre of the town along the Bensafrim river. It's full of 18th century townhouses and Baroque churches instead of skyscrapers. The old town also has tens and hundreds of bars and restaurants in the back alleys of the old town which feel extremely warm and welcoming to tourists.

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2. Sintra

One can't miss this if you visit Portugal. Sintra has been recognised by UNESCO for its breathtaking cultural landscape. You might feel that a day is enough to visit everything but once you're there, you are bound to change your mind. 


Situated under the Serra da Sintra hills, the town is known for the Palácio Nacional. It's an extremely famous landmark where two chimneys look over houses painted in a pale pink palette and a little shade of yellow. 


Tourists can also visit the summer retreat of the Portuguese royal family, Palàcio da Pena. It is situated on the highest hill of the town. 


If you are interested in some adventure, then, the town of Sintra offers a lot of hiking trails and some mesmerizing views over the Atlantic coastline.

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3. Porto

Portugal's second largest city, Oporto , commonly known as Porto, offers a very different experience from Lisbon. 


It is located at the mouth of the river Douro and boasts of a UNESCO heritage site, the Ribeira. The town is blessed with multiple Baroque churches and Neoclassical buildings like Torre dos Clérigos and Sé. 


The Douro river offers a magnificent view to the Douro Valley, filled with hamlets and villages. Tourists love to take a cruise right through the valley to soak in the beauty.

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4. Parque Natural da Ria Formosa

The region of Algarve is immensely popular for its spectacular coastline. One of the natural wonders along its coastline is the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, a 60 kilometer long stretch. It consists of marshland, saltpans and shallow water lagoons and runs from Quinta do Lago and goes on until Cacela Velha. 


Abundant flora and fauna, full of nature trails and some animals that are associated specifically with this region make it worth a visit. There are plenty observation hide outs built by the lakes and tourists can bird watch comfortably. The rare purple gallinule and flocks of flamingo are most admired in this region.

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Coimbra

Tourists often visit Coimbra to enjoy the views of the historical hilltop University, Velha Universidade, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the town is full of other sightseeing attractions that are worth a visit. 


One can start with the tour of the university campus and visit the stunning Biblioteca Joanina, followed by a climb to the top of the 18th century clock tower to get a glimpse of the entire city. 


The old town boasts of several historical buildings like Igreja de Santa Cruz, built in 1131. It contains the tomb of Portugal's first king and is a must visit tourist attraction.

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