BY: Maria Valencia
Exploring underrated places in Portugal offers a remarkable travel experience, unveiling hidden gems that are often overlooked. One such gem is Quinta Da Regaleira, an enchanting estate in Sintra with its mystical gardens and captivating architecture.
The serene beauty of Arrabida Natural Park beckons with its stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and opportunities for hiking and outdoor adventures. Piodao, a picturesque village nestled in the Serra do Açor, enchants visitors with its traditional charm and timeless stone houses.
Monsanto, known as the “Most Portuguese Village,” boasts a unique blend of houses integrated into giant boulders, creating an unforgettable sight. Culatra Island, a hidden paradise in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, offers pristine beaches and a tranquil atmosphere for those seeking serenity and natural beauty.
Discovering these underrated destinations in Portugal allows for an authentic and off-the-beaten-path exploration, providing a deeper understanding of the country’s rich history, culture, and natural wonders.
Santana, North of Madeira
Santana is located in the northern part of Madeira and is known for its iconic triangular and lively houses, which earned it worldwide recognition. Although the village is prone to a bit more rainfall compared to the southern region, it remains a picturesque destination. However, Santana is not entirely representative of the island’s typical architecture, as only one house is inhabited, while others have been converted into souvenir stores. Nevertheless, it offers a charming backdrop to take unforgettable photos and discover the local handicrafts.
Arrabida Natural Park, Setubal
You will fall in love with Setubal. Setubal, which is only a 40-minute drive from Lisbon, has it all: the sea, beautiful beaches, a picturesque and authentic city center, covered markets, classic restaurants, hip cafés and bars, hotels in a natural reserve and the joy of life in the sun.
Piodao, Serra do Açor
Piodao is a town in Portugal’s “Serra do Açor” and is considered one of the most picturesque settlements in the country. Piodao proves the extraordinary ability of the Portuguese to adapt to nature. The town is a part of this magnificent terrain and the houses are naturally embedded in this peaceful, unobtrusive environment.
Monsanto, Centro de Portugal
Monsanto, a famous Portuguese town, was named the “most beautiful Portuguese village” in 1938. The Templars built many of the historical and religious structures in this small community, including the castle. This is not a problem if you are not particularly interested in history; the panorama is reason enough to visit.
Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel – Azores
Located off Sao Miguel, the main island of the Azores archipelago, the small island of Vila Franca do Campo is a delightful addition to your Azores adventure. Located just 1 kilometer offshore, this tiny island is the visible tip of a fascinating underwater volcano. Dive into the crystal clear waters and discover a small beach in this extraordinary and idyllic paradise.
Sistelo, Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gêres
Dubbed as “The Little Portuguese Tibet”, this village of 300 inhabitants is considered one of the 7 wonders of Portugal. Similar to the Douro Valley, the Sistelo’s verdant terraces have been meticulously crafted by human labor, with the flat sections used for various crops, including corn.
Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra
Here you will find the most breathtaking castles and palaces throughout Europe. They fascinate tourists, celebrities and crowned heads and seem to come straight out of a fairy tale. Madonna, who lived in Lisbon for three years, also bought a “quinta” in Sintra after being enchanted by the beauty of this place north of Lisbon.
Do not miss visiting the “Pena Palace”. Reserve your tickets online right away to avoid queues.
Culatra Island, Olhao – The Algarve
You may have seen it on the flight to Faro. The island of Culatra is a tiny, undiscovered jewel that you can reach from the city of Olhao only by boat or catamaran. There are no cars on the island, clean air and a tranquil way of life. The crystal clear sea of Culatra Island invites you to swim and dive.
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