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So the Summer season is coming soon, which is a perfect reason to go on vacation, duh! And if you’re planning to go to Europe – I highly recommend to choose Portugal as your next Summer destination! Below you will find a list of 7 must-see cities and the reasons why you should absolutely visit Portugal.
This post includes photos from my personal collection of Portugal, which I visited with my Mom in the Summer of 2014. Global Storybook was created so that we could all share our photos and travel stories on its website – so if you have some old photos and want to keep the memory of your trip alive – send them over and we will publish them!
1. Lisbon (Lisboa)
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a beautiful, metropolitan city where you will probably land on your first visit. The city is gorgeous and is definitely worth a stopover as it has a lot of sights to see. The minimum time you should stay here is 3-4 days.
This charming, magical town is famous for its ‘out of this World’ Castle located right on top a hill, offering some outstanding views from above. The Castle is actually called “Pena National Palace” (Palácio Nacional da Pena) and it should be on everyone’s bucket list. Sintra has also made it to the UNESCO World Heritage List and as you can see from the photos below – for a very good reason!
Sintra is conveniently located on about 30 minutes drive from Lisbon.
This popular seaside beach town offers some unbelievable views from the hilltop located next to its famous, and fabulous shore. You can stay here for a week (or a month) if you are looking to spend some time away from large cities and just relax – we all need that type of vacation at least once a year, you know.
Óbidos is a small fairytale, medieval town that is located some 80 kilometers from Lisbon (Portugal is actually quite a small country and you can drive, take a bus, or a train anywhere you’d like to go and be there by lunchtime). Once you will step inside of this place you will literally feel like you have just landed in a movie – as everything here looks simply unreal.
Évora – is another fairytale city of Portugal that you absolutely don’t want to miss, trust me. This magnificent place includes a gorgeous Gothic church, narrow cobble stone streets (ladies – leave your high-heels at home please), and some other interesting architecture… like the beautiful Roman Temple that you sort of expect to find in Rome, or Athens, and not in Évora for sure. Bottomline – this city is full of charm and surprises, and you should plan to spend at least 1 day here. You can reach Évora by a public bus – one way journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
6. Porto (Oporto)
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and is one of my favorite cities on Earth. Once you visit this place it just stays in your heart forever; it is simply too gorgeous for words. The tiny gallery below really doesn’t do it any justice.
You can reach Porto from Lisbon by a bus or a train, and the entire one-way journey takes about 3 hours. If you do not have too much time in Portugal you can definitely visit Porto in one day – just leave your hotel early in the morning, arrive to Porto by 10-11am. Then walk the streets or use a hop-on-hop-off bus to see the city, have a good seafood lunch, see some more, and then catch the evening train back to Lisbon – you’ll be tired as hell but the trip is definitely worth it.
7. Lagos, Algarve
Okay, so I saved the best for last! Algarve (so-called entire South coast region of Portugal) is the true “heaven on Earth”. Algarve has many beautiful cities, and one city in particular that I really like is Lagos, which is full of breathtaking beaches – one of them (Praia de Dona Ana) you can see on my photos below. You can reach the region of Algarve by a public bus – one way journey takes about 5 hours. The road leading to Algarve is probably the most gorgeous road that I’ve ever rode on. Plan to spend at least 2-3 days in this amazing destination and you will never want to visit any other place on Earth.
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Do you have your own favorite destination in Portugal that I haven’t mentioned in this post? If so – please share in the comments, or even better – send us your story or photos and we will publish them next to mine.