Portugal Things to Do Tips by cachaseiro
Portugal Things to Do: 744 reviews and 1,155 photos
Cruising the Douro River.
If you come up to the borthern part of Portugal and have the time for it then you should try and take a cruise on the Douro river.
They come from short cruises of less than an hour to several days onboard small cruise ships.
The scenery on the Douro river is quite varied and has everything from an urban scene with historic bridges to mountain scenery and vinyards in the Douro valley.
I am putting a link to a compamy doing the tours on the river, but that is just one of several companies.
I have done a few cruises on the Douro river and they have all been really fine.
Casa de Mateus is one of the prettiest excamples of baroque architecture in Portugal.
It's an 18th century manor house with some very pretty gardens.
The manor house is world famous for being the on the bottle of the portuguese rose wine of the same name, even if the Mateus wine was never made on the estate.
The place has been national monument since 1911 and is open to visitors.
It's not just the manor house that is pretty.
The gardens surrounding it are very nice too.
Directions: It's located just outside the town Vila Real in northern Portugal.
Obidos is one of the prettiest and most historical towns in Portugal.
It´s situated in between Lisbon and Porto and is a doable daytrip if you are in Lisbon and very worth it.
It´s an old town with small winding romantic streets and a castle on top of it to perfect the romance.
It´s a big tourist town because of that too, but i tell you it´s worth a visit no matter how many tourists come there.
Obidos has a nice moorish castle sitting on top of town aswell as an old templar church just outside the old town and it´s worth a visit.
Directions: In between Lisbon and Porto next to a fairly big town called Caldah da rainha.
Cabo Sao Vicente.
Cabo Sao Vicente is the southwestern most point of Europe and generally the last piece of Europe the explorers saw when they left to discover the new world.
It´s an incredibly scenic spot and if you are in southern Portugal then you should certainly make your way out there and enjoy the wild beauty of Cabo Sao Vicente.
The cape is located about 5 kilometers outside of the town Sagres.
The old part of Guimaraes.
Guimaraes is called the cradle of Portugese history and it´s one of the prettiest cities of the nation.
It has a very unique historical center and it has the castle where the first king of Portugal (Alfonso henriques) was born.
There are several other sights in Guimaraes and i think it´s one of the biggest musts to visit when you are in Portugal.
Directions: Guimaraes is way up north in Portugal inbetween Porto and the border to Spain.
Bom Jesus Do Monte.
Bom Jesus Do Monte is located 6 kilometres outside Braga and is a mountain with a church on and most important thee is a walkway up to the church that is really spectacular.
It´s in baroq style and made like a copy of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem where you have 12 parying stations along the way before you get to the church.
It was originally created because most portugese could not afford a trip to Jerusalem to see the holy city so they created this thing to satisfy the people of north Portugal who have traditionally been more religious than the rest of the country.
The church and monestary of Alcobaca.
The monestary of Alcobaca is one of the most important historical monuments in Portugal.
It was a monestary that was build to celebrate the voctory over the moors at the battle of santarem in 1147.
It´s a huge monestary with what is also the biggest church in Portugal.
Alcobaca is also the site of the most dramatic love story in portugese history.
In the 14th century the portugese prince fell in love with a galician woman called Ines but his father opposed the marriage.
They fled to Coimbra and got married secretly, but then started to live openly together.
When Pedros father heard of that he send people down to Coimbra who assacinated Ines.
When Pedros father died a couple of years later, Pedro had the dead and decomposed body of Ines taken out of the coffin and had her remains crowned as the queen of Portugal and forced all portugese royalty to kiss her hand.
Today the bodies of Pedro and Ines are both resting in very impressive coffins in the church in Alcobaca and in my opinion these coffins are the most important thing to see in Alcobaca.
Directions: Alcobaca is situated inbetween Lisbon and Porto about 2 hours drive from both cities.
Cascais is a small town just outside Lisbon and kinda like a wealthy Lisbon suburb.
It is in my opinion the perfect place to stay if you plan to explore Lisbon as you have a pleasant little town without all the hustle and bustle of Lisbon, but you can get in there in half an hour by public transport.
And Cascais has excellent places to dine aswell, so you don´t need to starve while you are there.
Figueira da foz.
Figueira da foz is a fairly big town on the portugese coast with a big industrial harbour and a huge beach.
I had heard a lot of bad about it before i got there and was positivly suprised about the place.
I really liked the place and the beach there is execellent and so is the choice of hotels in town in all price ranges.
I would say that it´s a good place to have as a base while exploring central Portugal and all the historic sites you have there.
Directions: Figueira da foz is situated. in between Lisbon and Porto.
Coimbra is to Portugal what Oxford is to England.
It´s the big university town with the biggest and most prestigious university in Portugal.
Out of the 140 000 inhabitants in Coimbra, a little more than 20 000 are university students, so the town has a very young feel to it.
It´s a historic old town and a very pleasant place to spend a few days.
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