Vacation in Portugal
Whether you're kicking off the vacation with our wedding and then exploring the country, or the other way around, there are many reasons to fall in love with Portugal and its diverse landscapes.
This country is perfect for the beachgoers, the hikers, the nature-lovers, and those who embrace the dolce far niente* with stunning views (* an Italian concept, but profoundly embraced by the Portuguese).
We'll be the first to admit that the list of ideas below is quite long, but we truly want you to have a wonderful time in Portugal! And, of course, if you still need any extra advice while planning your trip, we're here for you.
ALENTEJO & COSTA VICENTINA
Perfect for a slow road trip, the coastline between the South of Lisbon and Sagres (where you'll find the "Last Bratwurst before America") is full of beautiful beaches and relaxing nature, perfect for a few days off. Drive along the national roads, stop and swim at one of the many beaches, take in the sun, eat something delicious and repeat. This area offers some great options for accommodation, from boutique hotels to camping and everything in between, and is great for those who love to stay away from crowds.
A ROADTRIP ALONG THE ATLANTIC
Below are some beaches you might want to include in your itinerary. A fair warning: the Portuguese sea water is colder than you might think. ;)
NOT INTO THE BEACH?
If the beach is not your thing, you can explore Évora instead, a historic town with ancient Roman ruins and old Portuguese flair.
AZORES & MADEIRA
Wanna step it up a notch? Hop on a flight to the Portuguese archipelagos of Azores (between Portugal and the US) or Madeira (along the African coast), beautiful gems in the Atlantic.
EXPLORING THE AZORES
São Miguel, the main island of this archipelago, is one of Sara's absolute favorite places. It is incredibly green, has wild nature and some delicious food... and the beaches have black sand! Get inspired:
Wanna head to Madeira instead? Here you'll enjoy even more dramatic mountains and green nature. A little sneak peak of what you can experience there:
Known for the dramatic cliffs and very red beachgoers, the Algarve has some of the best beaches in the country and is definitely a great place to relax and take in the sunshine.
So here are a few places that we love in the Algarve:
Farol do Cabo de São Vicente (for a windy, yet gorgeous sunset)
Praia e Grutas de Benagil (the famous beach cave)
As this region is by far the most touristic part of Portugal in the summer, we recommend booking a few months in advance, to make sure you can get a good price-quality. We usually also go for a place that is outside of town, as you'll be able to relax much more (known as "turismo rural").
PORTO & THE NORTH
The North of Portugal, even though less famous than the Algarve, has some equally stunning and much greener views. From the beautiful and more traditional city of Porto to the vineyards of the Douro Valley, there are lots of things you can see and do.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PORTO
Stroll through the neighborhood of Ribeira; cross one of the bridges to the side of Gaia, where you'll also find the Port wine cellars;
Marvel in the city's beauty from one of the many viewpoints, or take a small boat tour to see the city from the water;
Last, but not least, if you feel like a calory bomb like no other, try a Francesinha (literally translates as "little French woman").
IDEAS FOR THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH REGION
Road trip or cruise through the Douro Valley for a few days, known for gorgeous mountains and steep vineyards (the most famous area is around Lamego and Peso da Régua);
Head up to Peneda-Gerês, a national park with hiking trails, waterfalls, and lovely nature;
Visit Guimarães, the town known as the birthplace of Portugal and whose castle dates back to the 10th century.