When it comes to vacationing, Portugal has it all. First, the people of this beautiful country are warm and friendly. The Portuguese are very punctual, well-dressed, and welcoming. Second, there is lots to do in this country. There are many interesting sites to see and enjoy; for example, the gardens at the Alfama

While it’s easy to travel extensively around this small yet diverse country many travelers make a beeline for the capital and never cross the city limits. Though I would highly recommend exploring the winding streets of this beautiful city and checking out Lisbon’s mouthwatering food scene I’d also encourage travelers to venture beyond the city limits, Delightful Portugal has so much more to offer.

As you climb the rugged cliffs overlooking the beautiful beaches and visit the village surrounded by Roman vineyards, you will know why this small country is worth taking a closer look at.

Want to learn more about the top 10 European destinations? Here’s your guide to the best places to visit in Portugal (that aren’t Lisbon).

Porto

One of the most beautiful cities in Portugal is the city of Porto. The capital of the country, Porto is surrounded by an extensive coastline with fine beaches and a variety of different landscapes. It is recognized for its cultural heritage as a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Porto is a dream destination for exploring the wider region. This is one of those places where you can choose your own adventure.

Explore the many architectural wonders of the city then go on a wine-tasting tour. Hike around the rugged coastline then enjoy a day at one of the countless golden beaches. Whatever your pleasure, you can find it here!

Feeling inspired already? Pack your hiking shoes and Porto Travel Guide then hit the ground running.

Madeira

This archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa is famous for its unique wine variety, tropical climate, and dreamy scenery. You’ll often hear the islands compared to Hawaii, so it’s easy to see why.

Madeira is a unique place with four main islands.

Go on a journey to the beautiful city of Funchal and hike its lush green hills and dramatic cliffs. Surf the waves at the Jardim do Mar or go for a family-friendly stay in Santa Cruz. Planning to live in your bikini? Look to other locations such as Machico and Calheta.

Faro

Faro is a great destination for travelers thanks to its excellent airport. Airports are often the most important transport links in the world, and this one serves as an example.

Fortunately, far too many sun-hungry tourists take the first bus out of town to lounge in the Algarve. While the nearby beaches are beautiful and you could easily spend your entire trip there, Faro is a destination in its own right.

Go to the heart of this old town for a taste of Western Europe. You can find some fantastic seafood restaurants, as well as nightclubs and lots of other great things. I’d recommend at least one overnight stay here if not an entire weekend.

Lagos

The Algarve is a picturesque destination for those who enjoy coastal walks and sandy beaches. The region’s dramatic cliffs overlook the Atlantic Ocean and its golden sands.

Lagos and Albufeira are the two major cities to call home in the Algarve. They serve as the bases for most travelers, and there is plenty of space for living and shopping.

Both Lagos and the beach are worth exploring. I especially adore Lagos because it has much more to offer than your average beach town. Once you’ve explored the sea arches and hidden grottos take in the culture of the buzzing old town. There’s always something going on, whether it&rsqu a great place to sit and people watch.

Planning tip: If you’ve got an itinerary packed with outdoor activities, be sure to check out my guides for the best time of year to visit Portugal.

Sintra

A thriving city in the heart of Portugal, this charming town is a short train ride from Lisbon. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site and should not be missed by any traveler.

Take a stroll through the Pena Palace in Portugal. The museum, gardens, and palace are all part of this amazing area that is home to the park of the same name. The castle also includes a small museum dedicated to Portuguese aviation history. Should you wish to enjoy some free time, take a quick walk over to Quinta da Regaleira

If you have only one afternoon to get out of Lisbon, head to this beautiful, hidden town. You will feel like you are wandering through a Disney movie!

Estoi

Faro is a quaint little village located in the north of Portugal. You’ll find cobbled streets and whitewashed houses scattered throughout the area.

Get to know the main square of the village, then head over to Palacio de Visconde de Estoi and explore this famous 19th-century palace.

While standing in front of the ruins of Milreu, you may notice some mosaics that surround the former baths. Take your camera along and snap a few snaps to recall this amazing place.

Old Town of Obidos, Portugal

Obidos

Another beautiful village in the countryside this is home to some of Portugal’s most impressive architecture: the Moorish Castle of Obidos. Climb the castle walls and wander amongst the whitewashed cottages.

I promise, it is well worth the trip.

Fun Fact: The Obidos was a medieval village that was considered very beautiful. King Alfonso II offered it as a gift to his wife in 1210. And this Instagram-worthy place is just as impressive today as it was way back then!

The Douro Valley

This region of Portuguese Northeast is a mecca for foodies and wine lovers.

In fact, this UNESCO World Heritage Destination was the very first place on the planet to be officially designated as a wine region. Also known as Alto Douro, this destination has been producing impressive vintages since all the way back to Roman times.

Sample the port wine and enjoy a leisurely cruise down the Douro River. Experience all of the charming villages and stunning wineries that dot this land.

Made a few interesting discoveries today? Take a bite!

Portuguese food is an unusual cuisine that many of us forget about. In this guide, I have compiled a list of ten local foods you should try to eat while you’re in Portugal.

Aveiro

The Venice of Portugal (without the trite throngs of tourists!) Aveiro is one of my favorite hideaways. You might have already seen my post on How to Spend a Day in Aveiro Portugal, but that barely scratches the surface.

The Ria de Aveiro is a city within the city of Porto. It has beautiful gondolas and art nouveau architecture, all mixed together in one place. There are also plenty of museums to visit, including museums dedicated to religious history and art. Finally, there’s always seafood on the menu, which makes it

The Azores

These islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean are a popular destination for adventurers. In fact, they’re famous for their beautiful natural wonders, such as hot springs and whale watching.

The award-winning network of parks and reserves is home to three biospheres. A biosphere is an area where plants and animals can live in a certain environment without worrying about being hunted or eaten by other species.

A leader in sustainable tourism, this is the kind of place you’ll only step indoors to sleep. Whether you are sailing, hiking, diving, surfing, riding horseback biking or paragliding you’ll never want to leave the fresh air of this gorgeous archipelago.