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Charming Quaint Towns in Portugal

da: Cityseeker
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29359

Portugal is home to many beautiful small towns, with winding cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and stunning views of the countryside. Many of these towns are steeped in history and culture, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the past. From quaint fishing villages to hilltop fortresses, Portugal's small towns are a must-see for any traveler.


Lamego

Encased within the lush hills of Alto Douro, Lamego is a quaint old town that has long standing history dating back to the 6th Century. Step into the awe-inspiring church, Nossa Senhora dos Remédios through the mysterious Baroque stairs that are sure to capture your attention. The town is dotted with several medieval monuments, cathedrals and vineyards that will make you feel as though you have travelled back in time. You must treat your palate to exquisite Port wine whose origins can be traced back to the city. History and culture enthusiasts must plan a visit to this quaint town.

Lamego, Lamego, Portogallo
Nazaré

Nestled on a sandy bay, Nazaré is truly a surfer’s paradise. While most of the beaches here have harsh waves, it makes one’s surfing experience even more thrilling. One of the most famous fishing villages in Portugal, here, you will get a chance to witness some of the oldest fishing traditions of Portugal. The pristine beaches of Nazaré feature ivory sandbanks and are perfect for a beach vacation. During your visit, sunbathe on the golden sands, go surfing, visit the historic Sitio district and the famous Forte de São Miguel Arcanjo which was built in the 17th century. This town is great for those who wish to hit the waves and even for those who just wish to relax and rejuvenate.

Nazaré, Nazaré, Portogallo
Tavira

Popularly referred to as the Venice of the Algarve, Tavira is a pristine fishing town that boasts awe-inspiring Renaissance architecture. Being ruled by the monarchs of several ethnicities, it features a mélange of architectural elements native to the Romans, Christians and Arabs. During your visit, navigate through narrow and intertwined lanes to reach the iconic chapels and marvelous castles and bridges. If you are not into art and culture, sunbathe at an ivory beach or go river cruising at the picturesque Tavira Riverfront. The blue lagoons, medieval architecture and ivory sandbanks of the quaint old town are sure to give you a Venetian vibe.

Tavira, Tavira, Portogallo, 8800
Óbidos

Perched on a hill, Óbidos is a quaint town that is dotted with several castles, museums and squares. Encased within towering walls, this town attracts several tourists every year. Since several Roman settlers inhabited the town, the architectural elements feature a huge Roman influence. If you happen to visit Óbidos in July, don’t miss out on the famous Medieval Market.

Óbidos, Óbidos, Portogallo
Sintra

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sintra lies nestled amid rolling hills, a contrast between untamed forests drenched in a misty dew and gardens laid upon meticulous designs. Opulent palaces and Moorish castles cascade down the hillsides, wrapped in verdant foliage; its walled gardens backed by a prismatic collage of manors awash in pastel hues. Although best known for its 19th-century, Romantic architecture, Sintra's lavish palaces are a mix of the Moorish, Gothic and Renaissance styles, with a few Manueline and Baroque touches thrown in for good measure. This eclectic aesthetic is best observed at the stunning Pena Palace, its pink and gold facade topped with graceful domes, with a panoramic view over Sintra from its hilltop perch. A place of such beguiling beauty, Sintra is known to have inspired numerous literary artists, including the likes of Hans Christian Anderson and Lord Byron. Today, tourists flock to the town of Sintra to partake of its enchanting allure and is a popular day-trip destination from Lisbon.

Sintra, Sintra, Portogallo, 2710-616
Monsanto

The village of Monsanto, nestled in Idanha-a-Nova, is a historically rich place. The classic village is preserved as a historic district and a living museum, which explains the lack of modern structures around. Boasting a unique architectural style, the abodes in the village appear tucked in or sandwiched between huge rocks. Some of the houses are even carved into neighboring boulders. Apart from these classic boulder-incorporated homes, the village is also home to some Manueline and Romanesque buildings that stand out. Serving as exemplars of the town’s heritage are unmissable attractions such as Castelo de Monsanto, Torre de Lucano and Igreja Matriz de São Salvador.

Monsanto, Monsanto, Portogallo, 2380
Monsaraz

The historic town of Monsaraz is stretched along the Guadiana River in Portugal. This medieval hamlet retains its old-world charm, luring history buffs and culture enthusiasts to its enchanting lands. The white washed abodes, with their tiled roofs, trace the heritage of the town. This hilltop haven is steeped in rich history, having served as a military stronghold in the prehistoric times. Landmarks such as Castelo de Monsaraz and Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Lagoa trace the history of the region, while attraction such as Lake Alqueva Observatory and Praia Fluvial de Monsaraz promise to delight families.

Monsaraz, Monsaraz, Portogallo, 7200-175
Pinhão

The wine town, Pinhão, is nestled at the confluence of Pinhão and Douro River. This town is dotted with several wineries and vineyards and hence it is a sin to leave Pinhão without trying port wine. In addition to exploring vineyards, you can also go river cruising to witness the picturesque beauty of nature.

Pinhão, Pinhão, Portogallo, 5085-032
Costa Nova do Prado

Situated on the West coast of Portugal, Costa Nova do Prado is a famous coastal resort town that attracts several tourists every year. This town has a long-standing history dating back to 1808. Initially a fisherman’s village, the town now attracts several surfers to its golden sand beaches. Palheiros (striped houses) are the main highlight of this quaint old town. These houses feature vibrant colored stripes and are built with canes and straws. Palheiros were used by fishermen for protecting their fishing apparel. Costa Nova do Prado is a great option for a beach vacation.

Costa Nova do Prado, Costa Nova do Prado, Portogallo, 3830-454
Fátima

Renowned for the legendary Marian apparitions of 1917, the quaint town of Fátima boasts a special place in the history of Portugal. This civil parish witnesses a steady stream of discerning tourists annually. The town is naturally endowed with a bevy of holy attractions. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, Basilica of the Holy Trinity and the Chapel of the Apparitions are some of the unmissable landmarks of the town. The fascinating Wax Museum of Fátima is yet another touristy spot of the town. If you find yourself curious about the rich history of Fátima, do plan a short sojourn here.

Fátima, Fátima, Portogallo, 2495
Cascais

When touring across the cities and towns of Portugal, a visit to the coastal town of Cascais is an absolute must. This quaint fishing village welcomes discerning tourists looking to enjoy the eccentricities of a small beach town. Having served as a stomping ground for Portuguese royalty, the town welcomes tourists with an array of recreational opportunities. Praia da Ribeira and Praia da Rainha invite you for leisurely evenings spent lounging on the sands, while unmissable attractions such as Boca do Inferno and Cascais Marina promise to leave you feeling enriched with local culture. Art connoisseurs and history buffs are also in for a treat with landmarks such as the Citadel Art District and Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães.

Cascais, Cascais, Portogallo, 2750
Ericeira

Ericeira is a quaint fishing village in Portugal. Dating back to the 12th Century, the village is a historic getaway. Replete with narrow cobblestone streets, boutique stores and locally run restaurants, the town exudes quintessential old-world charm. Overlooking the dramatic visage of the Atlantic, the town proffers an array of recreational opportunities. A haven for beach lovers, the town is home to pristine beaches such as Praia dos Pescadores, Praia do Matadouro and Praia da Baleia. The town is also boasts a bevy of cozy restaurants, which serve delectable seafood aplenty.

Ericeira, Ericeira, Portogallo, 2655
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