For tourists with a penchant for history, Portugal remains a very popular destination, with 17 UNESCO world heritage sites and thousands of years of history to discover. Whether you are spending time in the bustling metropolises or venturing further off the beaten track, there are plenty of prominent historic sites for you to discover right across the country. Here are 3 of the best places in Portugal for history lovers.
Since I’ve been to Lisbon more times than I can count (and lived there!), I wanted to share some of my favorite things to do that are a bit more off-the-beaten-path. I still recommend visiting all the popular sites like St George’s Castle, the Jeronimos Monastery, or wandering around the Alfama neighborhood, but here are my personal favorites if you have visited previously or like to get off the beaten path a little bit – or want suggestions for a rainy day!
Central Portugal is one of the most visited areas on day-trips from Lisbon, but it deserves much more than a cursory eight hour tour in just one day. History and church lovers will delight in visiting the monasteries, cathedrals, and castles that abound in this lush, beautiful area. If you’re interested in the history of the Knights Templar (and their Portuguese successors, the Order of Christ), this area is rife with locations built by/for the Templars – your imagination will sure to be inspired! I’ve visited this area more times than I can count, and there’s still something new to be discovered each time.
Northern Portugal is a region that is perfect for travelers who are interested in adventure activities, winemaking, hot springs, and history. Here are my itinerary suggestions for this magical region of Portugal.
The Alentejo is one of Portugal’s best kept secrets, often referred to as “Tuscany before the tourists arrived.” You’ll fall in love with its rural scenery, farm to table cooking experiences, sweeping plains of olive groves and cork trees, horse riding on traditional ranches, and stays on gorgeous estates with wine-tasting, bird watching, hiking, and other activities included.
How we spent a week in Portugal to see a variety of scenery and activities.
The opportunity to view such a beautiful and remote part of Portugal was a privilege, and I can’t wait to go back again soon!
10 days in fairytale Portugal, staying in boutique hotels and castle-hotels, covering most of Portugal’s major areas and taking you from beaches to mountains, palaces, national parks, medieval towns, castles, and bustling cities!
If you’d like to see as much of the Douro as possible, and want to take a beautiful scenic train ride along one of the most stunning vistas in Europe, here’s how you do it!