What to see in Portugal
The most western and perhaps the least developed by Russian tourists in continental Europe is, of course, Portugal …
This country is located in Europe, to the west of Spain, in the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula, on the coast of the Atlantic.
Due to its geographical and cultural isolation from its “big” Spanish neighbor, Portugal has its own unique and rich culture. This country, by the way, is already more than 900 years old, and although it has a relatively small area, it has played a decisive role in world history.
Today, Portugal is the oldest state in Europe with borders that have not changed for many centuries.
The rich historical heritage, famous wine-making traditions, good hotels with excellent European service, plus a low crime rate, warm climate and a variety of leisure activities are the main tourist “lures” for tourists.
Perhaps only the need to obtain a visa to Portugal is a fly in the barrel of its many tourist advantages.
In this article we will briefly describe the main sights of the continental part of this country (as is known, the Azores and Madeira Island also belong to Portugal, but we will tell about them another time), which travelers should see here first of all.
What to see in Portugal: Lisbon
In the first place of our list, of course, Lisbon, and above all its historical center (Baisha, Bairru-Alto, Alfama districts) with beautiful squares, castles, palaces and numerous ancient buildings, cathedrals and churches.
Another historic area of the Portuguese capital, Belem, is worthy of tourists’ attention; many of its landmarks, such as the Belém Tower and the Hieronymus Monastery, are on the UNESCO Heritage List.
In the vicinity of Lisbon, along the coast of the Atlantic, an entire strip of fashionable resorts stretches – Estoril, Cascais (Cascais), Costa de Caparica (Costa-da-Caparica) and Carcavelos. This is the so-called Lisbon Riviera – a resort area, popular with tourists who love to combine beach holidays and sightseeing. The best time for rest is from May to the end of September.
25 kilometers west of Lisbon is the famous city of Sintra, on the territory and around which there are important historical sights of the region – the Palace of Sintra, Pena Palace, the Castle of the Moors, the palace and park complex Quinta da Regaleira and the Capuchin Monastery.
Cape Roca (Cabo da Roca)
Further to the west, about 38 km west of Lisbon, is the equally famous Cape Roca (Cabo da Roca) – a 140 meter cliff rising above the Atlantic. It is considered the westernmost point of our continent.
Approximately 80 km north of the Portuguese capital is the ancient town of Obidos (Óbidos), known primarily for the fact that in its history several times acted as a dowry of the Portuguese queens. In addition, it is very interesting in architectural terms, and is one of the important tourist centers of the country. The visiting card of the city is the Obidos castle of the same name, founded in the 12th century.
Evora is a small museum town located about 119 kilometers east of Lisbon. The main local attractions are the ancient palaces, churches, ruins of the ancient Roman temple of Diana, as well as a very cozy city square surrounded by beautiful buildings. The historic center of Évora is protected by UNESCO.
Around 130 north of Lisbon is the small town of Tomar, which grew up around the famous Tomar Castle of the Templars, founded in the distant 1160s and turned into a royal monastery called Convent de Crista over time.
Aveiro (Aveiro) – this wonderful city is located about 250 km north of Lisbon, and is attractive for its canals with painted boats, because of which it is often called the Portuguese Venice.
Faro City (Faro)
And 275 kilometers south of Lisbon is the southernmost city of continental Portugal – Faro. This cozy city with a beautiful historic center in the Moorish style with cobbled streets and old buildings is a popular summer destination.
Porto, the second most populous city in Portugal, is located three hundred kilometers north of the capital. By the way, it is sometimes called the northern capital of the country, and is also considered the capital of port wine. Porto’s beautiful historic center is protected by UNESCO and deserves close attention of tourists.
Guimaraes City (Guimar & atilde; es)
Guimarães is located about 360 km north of Lisbon.