7 Most Beautiful Regions in Portugal

by Manuel Gabriel

7 Most Beautiful Regions in Portugal

While the majority of Portuguese land is located on the western side of the Iberian Peninsula, the country also claims the Atlantic Ocean’s Madeira and Azores archipelagos.

Consequently, the country’s geology and geography are very diverse, with the long Atlantic coastline being quite distinct from the mountainous interior, which is home to rolling hills, plateaus, and river-filled valleys. Portugal, with its magnificent landscapes and plenty of historic towns and cities, is a favorite vacation spot because of its mild Mediterranean climate.

Portugal’s many regions each have their own distinct character, so visitors have a lot to choose from. We’ve explored all of Portugal’s regions, revealing the best sights in each one, to make it easier for you to plan your trip to this stunning country.

7-Northern Portugal

A breathtaking view of the Cavado River and Peneda-Geres National Park in northern Portugal, with rolling hills and lush greenery.

the natural beauty of the Cavado River and Peneda-Geres National Park in northern Portugal. Image source: Sergey Peterman/Shutterstock.com

Northern Portugal, which comprises the top half of the country, is often regarded as the country’s birthplace and hence its oldest region. Thus, it is the site of several significant historical attractions, numerous well-known cultural sites, and breathtaking natural beauty.

The medieval castle and majestic palace in Guimaraes and the wonderful architecture and monuments in Viana do Castelo are just a few of the great destinations that are well worth checking out, along with the beautiful and vital cities of Porto and Braga.

The gorgeous and untamed landscape of northern Portugal is another one of its many gifts. In Peneda-Geres National Park, the only national park in the country, you can enjoy the stunning mountains and lovely beaches that dot the country’s rocky coastline. Take a cruise in the Douro Valley and explore the charming vineyards and wineries that dot its lush slopes; this is a favorite activity among tourists.

6-Central Portugal

The beautiful central square of Ribeira Grande in Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal, surrounded by historic buildings and a blue sky.

the beauty of the central square of Ribeira Grande in Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal. Image source: DaLiu/Shutterstock.com

The central region of Portugal, between the two major cities of Porto and Lisbon to its north and south, has a wide range of topographical features, from the long Atlantic coast to the mountainous interior.

The cities and towns in the area are both intriguing and attractive. Coimbra, the capital, has a number of notable landmarks, including a world-famous university and a wealth of beautiful historic structures.

Central Portugal is home to Coimbra (the region’s hub), the enchanting city of Tomar (the former seat of the Knights Templar), and Aveiro (known as the “Portuguese Venice”). Many of the region’s cities and towns are situated in picturesque locations, making it a great place to see the area’s rich history, diverse culture, and pristine natural beauty.

5-Lisbon and around

the stunning skyline of Lisbon, Portugal. Image source: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, is an obvious must-see, but the area just outside the city, along the Tagus River, is just as fascinating. However, before venturing out, you should spend at least a few days in Lisbon, soaking in the city’s many cultural and historical attractions.

Sintra, with its picturesque castles and palaces straight out of a fairy tale, is another favorite destination. Also, the area’s natural beauty is rather varied, with mountain peaks providing excellent vantage points for taking in the stunning coastline and resort towns like Cascais and Setubal.

The untamed and mountainous Arrabida Nature Park boasts some stunning landscapes and is a great spot to visit. The Atlantic is framed by cliffs, deserted beaches, and forested slopes.


the beauty of the vineyards in Alentejo, Portugal. Image source: Sopotnicki/Shutterstock.com

Even though much of Alentejo is rural, its varied landscapes include a number of different types of terrain, including hills, farms, fields, and forests.

Roman ruins, ancient aqueducts, and megalithic structures can all be found in the capital city of Evora, along with several museums and other historical buildings. It is one of the three so-called “marble towns” in the area, so called for the beautiful marble buildings that line their streets and make the towns seem like they’re made of marble.

Moreover, the gorgeous landscape is dotted with charming castle towns such as Marvao, Monsarez, and Castelo de Vide. It is true that the relaxed region of Portugal is rich in history, with the historic center of Beja being a famous attraction. However, there are also natural reserves and gorgeous beaches in the area.


the beauty of a stunning bay near Lagos town in Portugal’s Algarve region. Image source: Kite_rin/Shutterstock.com

The Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal, is a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful beaches and mild weather. The Algarve’s long, gorgeous Atlantic coastline is dotted with charming towns and villages.

Barlavento is located in the western part of the area, whereas Sotavento is in the eastern part. No matter where you travel, you can count on enjoying beautiful weather, pristine beaches, clear water, and breathtaking landscapes. Gorgeous hiking trails and mountain bike tracks wind their way down the shore, adding to the region’s already impressive selection of watersports, boat cruises, and dolphin-watching tours.

Tourists should not miss out on seeing Faro, the regional capital, the charming city of Lagos, the majestic red castle at Silves, and the lovely Monchique Mountains, which provide breathtaking panoramas of the beautiful coastline of the Algarve.


the stunning beauty of Ponta do Sol village during sunset on Madeira Island, Portugal. Image source: Lukas Bischoff Photograph/Shutterstock.com

The subtropical archipelago of Madeira is a stunningly gorgeous destination, earning nicknames such as “Garden Island” and “Pearl of the Atlantic,” despite only two of the islands being inhabited (Madeira and Porto Santo).

Being so far out in the middle of the Atlantic, closer to Morocco than Portugal, has surely helped safeguard and maintain the islands’ pristine environments, allowing the natural treasures to remain intact. Thus, you can choose from a plethora of exciting outdoor activities, like the ever-popular hiking, scuba diving, sailing, and surfing.

Funchal, Madeira’s capital, is a fantastic vacation spot and a convenient jumping-off point for day trips to other islands in the archipelago. Looking out over the Atlantic Ocean from the city is a breathtaking sight. It’s hard to choose between Porto da Cruz and Paul do Mar if you’re seeking a beach vacation in a stunning natural setting.


the beauty of the Seven Cities Lake in São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal. Image source: Nido Huebl/Shutterstock.com

The Azores archipelago, even farther from mainland Europe or Africa than Madeira, is situated in the middle of the Atlantic and is home to stunning volcanic islands.

The calderas of Lagoa das Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo are a sight to see when hiking or walking around them. There are breathtaking vistas of the islands and the Atlantic Ocean wherever you look, but the view from the peak of Mount Pico is unparalleled.

The Azores are a terrific site for going dolphin or whale watching, and the surrounding waters are just as beautiful as the land. The Azores are an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, what with their abundance of opportunities for scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, yachting, and even bird watching.

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