By Anna Fishman
Portugal is a country full of fantastic scenery, modern cities, alluring small villages, beautiful beaches and landmark sites and attractions. These features of the country have endeared many tourists; according to the National Statistics Institute over 10 million international tourists visited Portugal in 2015. Most of these tourists visited large cities such as Lisbon or Porto. However, the country has a lot more to offer than the big cities and if you are willing to explore a little, you will find some amazing gems outside of the large cities. We will explore five of these hidden gems that will provide you with fulfilling and enjoyable experiences.
Visiting The Surf Village of Nazare
Nazare is a small traditional fishing village that has maintained its aura as an unspoiled destination. This village is known for its surfing, and there are numerous surf camps available in the village. If you are keen on surfing, a day trip to the town of Nazare would be a great option. You will also not be forced to compete with many people for space since this village is a little off the radar. You can surf for the entire day with little hassle and also enjoy some of the best fish dishes in the country! This village is surely one that you consider visiting when road tripping in Portugal.
A Trip To The Unspoiled Sao Miguel Nature Island
If you are a lover of the wonders of nature, the Sao Miguel nature island would be particularly appealing. This island located in the Azores archipelago is home to exotic hot springs, enchanting cliffs, and breathtaking lakes. Sete Cidades which is a quaint settlement located in the volcanic crater of Agua de Pau and Lagoa do Fogo which is a crater lake within the Agua de Pau Massif volcano on the island, are two attractions not to miss on Sao Miguel Island. There are trails for walking and admiring the scenery of the exotic island and several restaurants serving delectable cuisines. By and large Sao Miguel Island is a great option for people seeking to explore and enjoy an off the beaten track experience.
The Alluring Comparta Beach Village
The Comparta Beach Village is a 13 km stretch of pristine beach, leading to extensive rice fields and dense forests, located approximately an hour away from Lisbon. The population of the area is a little over 1000, and the vibe of the village is relaxing and exclusive – you might feel like you have your own beach! The village is surely one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets, and it is said that Monaco’s Royal family and football coach Jose Mourinho owns properties in the area and uses the area as a getaway from time to time. This region is prime for development, so you are encouraged to take a trip for the experience as soon as possible.
The Peneda – Geres National Park
The Peneda – Geres National Park, located on the north east of Portugal is home to over 70,000 acres of natural vegetation, multiple rivers, and scenic waterfalls. This massive unspoiled area provides you with the opportunity to partake in outdoor adventures such as rock climbing, rafting, canyoning, zip lining or just simply enjoying a nature walk. You will surely enjoy the serenity of this National Park without feeling too cluttered since the area is not very touristy.
Southwest Alentejo – Portugal’s Best-Kept Secret
Southwest Alentejo is one of the hidden gems in Portugal. You will find Europe’s largest coastal natural park, fabulous Atlantic beaches, charming fishing villages and stunning rocky cliffs in the region. It is a perfect place to take the family, because of the variety of interesting things available – you can picnic with the family on the beach, go surfing in the pristine waters, go on a boat ride with the local fishermen or dine at one of the local restaurants. You will feel as if you have been transported about thirty years back in time due to the relaxing and slow-paced nature of Southwest Alentejo and you will see very little tourist!
These are five of the hidden gems in Portugal, and you should consider these alluring sites if you are looking for off-the-beaten-path experiences on your trip through Portugal.
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