Cheap Flights

40 Photos of Portugal That Will Make You Want to Pack Your Camera and Go

Portugal occupies a pint-sized portion of Europe, but nothing else about the country is small. The golden beaches allow you to leave big footprints in the sand, the capital city boasts life-changing culture, the Algarve is home to expansive ocean views  and Sintra sits among towering tree-covered mountain peaks.

Those who travel to this westernmost country on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula never see its small size as a disadvantage. In fact, these 40 photos will make you realize that it’s time to start making some big travel plans.

1. The Algarve

Photo credit: OliverC999

Photo credit: OliverC999

The southernmost region of Portugal is known as the Algarve. It’s famous for its pristine beaches, ideal Mediterranean climate, renowned golf courses, sea caves and sandy coves.

2. Sintra

Photo credit: Cris

Photo credit: Cris

Sintra is one of Portugal’s most visually stunning towns, colourfully perched in the tree-covered hills of the Sintra Mountains.

3. São Miguel Island

Photo credit: Ravi Sarma

Photo credit: Ravi Sarma

The Azores is a region of Portugal made up of nine volcanic islands resting in the North Atlantic Ocean. This view is from the Mata do Canário Trail on São Miguel Island.

4. Downtown Lisbon

Photo credit: IK's World Trip

Photo credit: IK’s World Trip

The capital city of Lisbon is known for its Gloria Funicular railway line, connecting the Bairro Alto district of the city with the Pombaline Lower Town area.

5. The Parque Nacional de Peneda-Gerês

Photo credit: xovesphoto

Photo credit: xovesphoto

The Parque Nacional de Peneda-Gerês, or Peneda-Gerês National Park, is Portugal’s only official national park. It’s located in the northern region of the country near the districts of Vila Real, Braga and Viana do Castelo.

6. Rabelo Boats on the Douro River

Photo credit: Rick Ligthelm

Photo credit: Rick Ligthelm

The Rabelo boats pictured above are traditional Portuguese vessels that have been used to transport goods and people along the Douro River for centuries.

7. Mole Island from Madeira

Photo credit: David Stanley

Photo credit: David Stanley

Mole Island can easily be seen from Madeira’s northwest coast. Madeira itself is known as an island paradise for its jaw-dropping landscapes and ideal subtropical climate. 

8. Lisbon at Dusk

Photo credit: Céline Colin

Photo credit: Céline Colin

As the capital of Portugal and the country’s largest city, Lisbon (or Lisboa) serves as the country’s center for commerce, the arts, media, education, tourism and more.

9. Lagos

Lagos - arch

Photo credit: Deirdre Skol

Lagos is one of the most scenic towns in Portugal’s Algarve region. It’s famous for its ancient buildings and towering cliffs that overlook sandy coves.

10. Rooftops of Porto

Photo credit: Pedro

Photo credit: Pedro

Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city, and it is conveniently located on northern Portugal’s Douro River estuary. It’s one of the oldest cities in Europe, and no tourist should miss an opportunity to wander the winding streets of its historic core.

11. The Alentejo Province

Photo credit: Fabrizio Sciami

Photo credit: Fabrizio Sciami

The Alentejo Province is a cultural and historical region in southern Portugal. The region is known for its vast countrysides, and the area’s major towns rely on forestry, livestock and agriculture to this day.

12. The Monastery of Batalha

Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis

Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis

The Monastery of Batalha is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the civil parish of Batalha. It was constructed to commemorate the Portuguese victory over the Castilians in 1385.

13. A Madeira Island Beach

Photo credit: Jens karlsson

Photo credit: Jens karlsson

This view from the mountains of Madeira Island shows just how serene the archipelago’s beaches and Atlantic waters can be.

14. Lisbon

Photo credit: K. Kendall

Photo credit: K. Kendall

This charming street in Lisbon runs downhill to the Tagus — the longest river on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula.

15. Lagos

Photo credit: Deirdre Skol

Photo credit: Deirdre Skol

Lagos is one of the most popular cities among tourists in Portugal’s Algarve region. Its swimmer-friendly beaches and picture-perfect rock formations make exploring the coastline an unforgettable experience.

16. The Porto Waterfront at Dusk

Photo credit: manjerix

Photo credit: manjerix

This photo of Portugal’s famous Rabelo boats was taken from the city of Vila Nova de Gaia at dusk. Known simply as “Gaia,” the city lies south of Porto and across the Douro River.

17. Peniche

Photo credit: Bengt Nyman

Photo credit: Bengt Nyman

Peniche is an oceanside city in Portugal’s Oeste Subregion. It’s known for its natural beauty and ideal surfing waves, which attract surfers from around the globe.

18. Braganza

Photo credit: M.Peinado

Photo credit: M.Peinado

Braganza, or Bragança in Portugueseis a historic city in northeastern Portugal. The quaint old town grew around the iconic 12th-century castle, which now houses a military museum.

19. The Douro Valley

Photo credit: Rosino

Photo credit: Rosino

Northern Portugal’s Douro Valley is known for its wine production and the postcard-worthy scenery that has been sculpted by the winding Douro River.

20. Zambujeira do Mar

Photo credit: Toprural

Photo credit: Toprural

This hotel in the former civil parish of Zambujeira do Mar in Portugal’s Alentejo region offers picture-perfect scenery minutes from the area’s fine sand beaches, coves, valleys and cliffs.

21. Ancient Marialva

Photo credit: Pedro

Photo credit: Pedro

The ancient village of Marialva was once a military stronghold. The complex of ruins has existed since pre-history, and visitors can still explore the castle, remains of the old fortress, a 17th-century jail, the Nossa Senhora dos Passos Chapel and a number of other historic sites.

22. Coimbra

Coimbra, once the capital of Portugal, is now the fourth-largest city in the country. It’s known for its ancient buildings that were classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.

23. Sintra

Photo credit: Deirdre Skol

Photo credit: Deirdre Skol

Sintra is part of the Portuguese Riviera, which includes the municipalities of Cascais and Estoril too. The region is often called the Costa do Sol, or Sunny Coast.

24. Rio Formosa Natural Park

Photo credit: Steve Slater

Photo credit: Steve Slater

The Rio Formosa Natural Park is known as one of the most scenic areas in Portugal’s Algarve region. The unique coastal lagoon includes roughly 18,000 hectares of barrier islands, tidal flats, islets, dunes, freshwater lagoons and more.

25. The Costa Vicentina

Photo credit: Paulo Valdivieso

Photo credit: Paulo Valdivieso

The Costa Vicentina, or Vicentina Coast, lies between Burgau and Odeceixe and is known for its rugged natural scenery that has been carefully preserved.

26. Azenhas do Mar

Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

The seaside town of Azenhas do Mar is located within the municipality of Sintra. Those who visit enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from nearly everywhere in town.

27. Durraes e Tregosa

Photo credit: Pablo Nieto

Photo credit: Pablo Nieto

Durraes e Tregosa, known among locals as Durraes, is a picturesque civil parish in Barcelos, Portugal.

28. Costa Nova

Photo credit: Thomas Depenbusch

Photo credit: Thomas Depenbusch

The Costa Nova village is located just 100 meters from the pristine coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. The town, once known as a small fishing village, has now grown into a seaside resort. Freshly-caught seafood can still be purchased every day of the week at the famous Fishing Market.

29. The Douro River

Photo credit: Harshil Shah

Photo credit: Harshil Shah

The Douro flows from the Soria province of central Spain across northern Portugal to its outlet in Porto. It’s one of the most prominent rivers on the Iberian Peninsula.

30. Lagos

Photo credit: f. ermert

Photo credit: f. ermert

This pristine Lagos beach is framed by the area’s iconic rock formations.

31. Porto

Photo credit: Gregorio Puga Bailón

Photo credit: Gregorio Puga Bailón

The famous Dom Luís I Bridge is a double-decked, metal arched structure that crosses the Douro from Vila Nova de Gaia to Porto.

32. Porto’s Waterfront Apartments

Photo credit: Gregorio Puga Bailón

Photo credit: Gregorio Puga Bailón

Porto’s waterfront shops and apartment buildings offer some of the best views of the Douro River from sun up to sun down.

33. A Lisbon Sunset

Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Watching the sun set behind sailboats on the Atlantic Ocean is one of the many magical sights that can be experienced in Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon.

34. The Porto Côvo Village

Photo credit: Harold Navarro

Photo credit: Harold Navarro

The Porto Côvo village, located just 13 kilometers south of Sines, is a popular vacation destination in the summer months. The seaside town is famous for its white and blue painted buildings and beaches backed by towering rock cliffs.

35. Praia do Magoito

Photo credit: pedrosimoes7

Photo credit: pedrosimoes7

There is no shortage of postcard-worthy beaches in Portugal. This one, located just north of Sintra, is known as Praia do Magoito.

36. Óbidos

Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

 The Portuguese municipality of Óbidos is home to the historic Óbidos’ Castle, which was first occupied in the fourth century B.C. by the Lusitanos.

37. Sintra

Photo credit: Edna Winti

Photo credit: Edna Winti

The Cultural Landscape of Sintra was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its numerous examples of 19th-century European Romantic architecture.

38. The Algarve

The Porto Bay Falesia hotel and resort in Portugal’s Algarve region provides luxurious accommodations overlooking some of the country’s most sensational Atlantic Ocean views.

39. Madeira’s Village of Seixal

Photo credit: David Stanley

Photo credit: David Stanley

The charming village of Seixal can be found on Madeira’s north coast within the municipality of Porto Moniz. Seixal is known for its agricultural fields, pebbly beaches and panoramic views of the sea.

40. Aveiro

Photo credit: Gabriel Gonzalez

Photo credit: Gabriel Gonzalez

Aveiro is a Portuguese city located in the country’s Centro Region. The industrial city, located on the Atlantic Coast, is home to an important seaport and is a popular destination for tourists seeking rich history and architecture just steps from the sea.

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