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All About Portugal | July 28, 2014

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A guide to 8 unusual / unknown destinations in Portugal

8 unusual destinations in Portugal
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This article focuses on 8 unusual destinations in Portugal. Read this article to learn more about attractions off the beaten path in Portugal.

Portugal is popular with travellers for the beautiful beaches and tourist-friendly haunts of the Algarve. However, if you like your holidays a bit more off the beaten track there’s plenty of unique experiences for you to enjoy in this beautiful country. This article provides information on 8 unusual destinations in Portugal; investigate some of these options for cheap holidays in Portugal.

Vila Nova de Gaia

A modern town on the banks of the river Douro, Vila Nova de Gaia provides a picture postcard view of Portuguese life.

While in town, you can visit the Port Wine cellars which offer tours and a fascinating insight into how Portugal’s national drink is made. You’ll also have the chance to sample some of the local tipple, which shouldn’t be missed!

The monastery at Amarante

Amarante, situated about 60km south of Porto, is a pretty little town on the banks of the river Tamega. In the town, the main highlight is the monastery of Saint Goncalo, which dates back to the 16th century.

Saint Goncalo, the patron saint of Amarante, was known for his promotion of love and marriage, and a visit to his sarcophagus at the monastery is said to guarantee marriage within the year. Why not visit and see if it improves your marriage prospects?!
Monastery at Amarante

Photo by jsome1

Meet the symbol of Portugal at Barcelos

Wherever you go in Portugal, you will see the famous symbol of the country – the crowing cockerel. Hear the many versions of the legend from which it arises on the streets of Barcelos, where the cockerel in question is said to originate. An otherwise quiet town, it’s a pleasant place to spend an afternoon if you’re staying nearby.

The castle of Leiria

Located about 130km outside Lisbon, Leiria was conquered by the Moors in 1135. From that point on, the town found itself under siege and changed hands several times between the Moors and the Christians. The castle, built in the late 15th century, is situated on top of a hill with stunning panoramic views over the town.
Leiria castle

Source: wikipedia

The original castle fell into ruins only to be partially rebuilt in the 20th century. Today the castle hosts a range of cultural attractions, including Portugal’s only museum of the moving image, and is well worth a visit.

Visit the famous Cafe Majestic in Oporto

A beautiful echo from the Belle Époque, Cafe Majestic was a famous meeting place for writers and artists in the 20th century. One of only three of its kind is remaining; the other two being in Prague and Budapest, it’s a perfect place to sit with a cup of coffee and a pastel de nata and soak up the atmosphere and history.

Wander through Roman ruins near Vigiuiera

Seeing very few visitors, the Roman ruins of São Cucufate are largely unspoilt. The site has a convent that dates back to the Middle Ages and boasts a stately monastic altar decorated with murals thought to be painted in the 13th century.

Open from 9am-1pm and 3pm-6pm every day except religious holidays, you can take a wander at leisure through Portugal’s ancient history.

Rich archaeological history on offer at Castro da Cola village

Castro da Cola, in the Ourique province of Portugal, gives the chance to see life from the Neolithic period to the present day all in the space of a few hours. Guided tours offer an experience covering 15 archaeological sites including Bronze Age settlements and Iron Age necropolises, all set in beautiful countryside.

See one of the tallest castles in Portugal in the town of Marvão

A drive through the tree-lined São Mamede Mountains brings you to the spectacular Marvão Castle. Famous as the tallest castle in Portugal, its high walls and dramatic position overlooking the valley below are breathtaking.

In the town, the Church of Santa Maria has been converted into a museum of the area’s history. A quaint, elegant place with small, winding streets, Marvão is peppered with Gothic windows and elegant wrought iron verandas.
Marvao

Conclusion

There’s more to Portugal than drinking Port on the Algarve. Maybe on your next visit, you’ll take a trip to experience some of the historical, beautiful and dramatic sights on offer.

Photo by zone41

Comments

  1. Wow! These pictures sure look beautiful. I did love to visit Portugal one day. Hope it happens soon.

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