Portugal Off The Beaten Path

  • Nazare's North Beach
    Nazare's North Beach
    by HORSCHECK
  • Casa de Ramalde - Porto
    Casa de Ramalde - Porto
    by solopes
  • Parque Dr. Manuel Braga (Coimbra, Portugal)
    Parque Dr. Manuel Braga (Coimbra,...
    by Redang

Portugal Off The Beaten Path

  • Day trips: Sintra, Cascais,...

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    Spend a day on the beach in Carcavelos or just have a great lunch/dinner in one of the beach restaurants. It's also a good option to take some Surf / bodyboard lessons. There's plenty of Surf Schools on the beach. I recomend Angel's Surf School (contacts below). It's very easy to get to Carcavelos, just pick the train in Cais do Sodré.

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  • Pena Park & Cruz Alta Point

    Sintra Off The Beaten Path

    Sintra has so many interesting points to visit, that most tourists visit the palace and skip the park. If you have time, don't do it. The park has a great botanical variety, and some views are great. Remember - the ticket to the palace includes the park, and you may also visit only the park. If you are visiting also the other monuments check for...

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  • Cromeleques dos Almendres

    Évora Off The Beaten Path

    March 17 - Temples of the Equinox The visit is as follows: Cromlech Vale de Maria do Meio - Symbology of cromlechs, Rites ofthe equinox in prehistory, Ancient Meaning of Easter Cromlech of Portela de Mogos - Prehistory of Portugal, prehistoric peoples of Évora, theories of migration of peoples. Menhir of Almendres - Meaning of Menhirs, dream...

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  • Monuments and structures

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    This peaceful little church is set on the huge, mostly-modern Largo Martim Moniz on the edge of the vibrant, multi-cultural Mouraria district. It is amazing how the noise of the busy square falls away once one is inside the church. It's one of the oldest churches in the city centre, first founded at the beginning of the 1500s and becoming the...

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  • Monserrate

    Sintra Off The Beaten Path

    This park was landscaped in the 18th century by a wealthy Englishman; William Beckford. Around half a century later, another rich Englishman; Francis Cook transformed the gardens and rebuilt a mansion. This looks like an Oriental palace. Here you can stroll among local and exotic plants. When I went there, this park was quite neglected, but lately...

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  • Outside Walls

    Évora Off The Beaten Path

    This convent produces everything it needs for its monks. They don't go out. There are two distinct monasteries. This is the one inside the walls of the fortress. The monks that live here are in "Clausura" system which means that they dont get out of the monastery. Women can't visit this monastery. To go here you have to go direction Arraiolos all...

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  • Neighborhood sights

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    One of the oldest traditions still in use in Lisbon is the "Volta Saloia" that consists in going out from Lisbon to the surrounding small towns and villages, from where the "saloios" - rural folks - used to feed Lisbon. It's a search of nature, and culturally unspoilt people. Well, things are changing, and the landscape evidences the hand of...

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  • Quinta da Regaleira

    Sintra Off The Beaten Path

    This estate was built between 1904 and 1910. It was designed by an Italian architect; Luigi Manini for a wealthy Brazilian merchant; Antònio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. Here you can visit a palace, built in neo-Manueline style, a chapel and a very beautiful garden with fountains, grottoes, turrets and a lake. Quinta da Regaleira is located about...

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  • University buildings-General

    Évora Off The Beaten Path

    In Evora you will find the 2nd oldest university in Portugal,dating back to the year 1559. This university-buildings are next to the Mercade Municipal and the Franziscan church. We did not enter the buildings, a big part of them was also modernized of course but it was really interesting to learn something about this part of Potugese history.

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  • Out-of-the-way museums and sights

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    Take the tram 15 and ride to Carris transport museum. A watman will accompany you after wisiting the artifacts and objects halls and he will get you in a tram which is built in 1910's and you will ride on a special track in through the historic tram depot and than you will see the old and great transport items like double decker buses older trams...

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  • Sao Bento's Hill

    Évora Off The Beaten Path

    Wonderful place where you can see a full view of this city. This place has some old wind mils. take the road to Malagueira and as soon as you get to the Municipal Swiming Pool garden turn left. Straight ahead until road that goes up the hill. Enjoy.

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  • Little things to notice in Lisbon

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    Well, not quite a view..but the public toilet outside the Se cathedral does have some rather interesting ancient remains exposed inside it. It's also very clean and pleasant. I revisited in 2014 (this tip dates from 2009) and it is still equally clean and equally pleasant, although the lady in charge is somewhat more insistent about her tip. Fair...

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  • Street scenes

    Évora Off The Beaten Path

    Late in the afternoon, after we had done our touristy things in Evora, we took a walk, both for a "rest" from the day and also with an eye open for a good place to eat dinner. As we approached the town square, we heard singing and saw a group of people surrounding a group of troubadors. We joined them and enjoyed watching a group sing, dance and...

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  • Belém sightseeing

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    Very few people know, but Lisbon (near Belém) has some windmills you can visit! It's called "Santana Windmills", and they’re found in a neighborhood park in the Ajuda district above Belém. The entrance is through Rua Tristão Vaz and you can enter until 6PM in winter and 8PM in spring and summer.

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  • Bairro da Malagueira

    Évora Off The Beaten Path

    Made by the famous architect Alvaro Siza Veira, its has this arabish look. Go for a walk. Be careful cos some of the houses are habited by gipsies that some times could be not very friendly. Malagueira has 1 or 2 bad areas, the one near the Cruz da Picada district. Even tough don't worry.

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  • Shopping

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    This could be one of the best areas of Lisbon, but it is one of the worst. Not recommended at night, even during the day it may have problems, because of the ethnic and religious minorities that dispute the place for all kind of deals. If you want some really cheap shopping and accept all the inherent risks, however, this may be your best...

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  • Medieval Paintings

    Évora Off The Beaten Path

    This is really a very nice ip that you'll thank me after. Nobody knows about this place. Ask in the Turism Office for more details or just go to the after of Eugenio de Almeida building (same building just follow the road towards the museum and temple square, first door on the left after the Fundaçao Eugenio de Almeida's main entrance). The door is...

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  • Lisbon for kids

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    Parents - Monsanto - Get the No.2 or 13 to Monsanto park and as well as a nice day you'll also find Alto de Serafina (or Indian Park) as it may be known. A grand childrens play area which you will be hard pushed to get them away from. Open everyday 0900-2000 (summer) and 0900 to 1830 (winter).

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  • Sports, entertainment, and culture

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    There lies a 1000 hectare park in the hills in Lisbon called Monsanto. It is one of the only forested areas in the city. It is frequented by outdoor recreationalists. There is camp grounds available here for the budget-minded (or adventuresome) traveler. During the summer, the park hosts a variety of free outdoor concerts. The view of the city is...

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  • Take to the road: driving out of Lisbon

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    Some 40kms south of Lisbon and a few kms west of Sesimbra is the remote, windswept Cabo Espichel and Santuario de Nossa Senhora do Cabo. Sheer cliffs drop away from the 17th century church (built with its back to the ocean) providing a dramatic location for this place of pilgrimage, and a place of lodging for the pilgrims forms a long line on...

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  • On the water

    Lisbon Off The Beaten Path

    Lisbon’s answer to the Golden Gate Bridge is this, the Bridge of the 25th April or Ponte 25 de Abril to give it its Portuguese name. Dating to 1966, and constructed by the same company who built its arguably more famous cousin in Califfornia, it is the 20th largest suspension bridge in the world. It was originally named “Salazar Bridge”, after...

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  • Teatro Nacional D Maria II, Lisbon

    located at Praça Dom Pedro Iv, Lisbon, tel +351 21 325 0800. This is a wonderful building and even better to see a play here.A bit of history I like.The National Theater opened its doors on April 13, 1846, during the celebrations of the 27 anniversary of Queen Maria II (1819-1853), therefore it displays her name. The history of the Teatro Nacional...

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  • Amarante.

    Amarante is situated 56 km east of Porto. It is set along the banks of the river Tamega.The highlight of Amarante is the monastery of Saint Goncalo. It dates back to 1540. The legend says that if you touch Saint Goncalo' sarcofagus you will marry within a year. I did it but I' m still single.

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  • Leiria.

    Leiria could be chosen as a base to visit Batalha, Alcobaca and Fatima. It is located 129 km north of Lisbon and is on the road to Coimbra.The main sight of this town is the castle. It was conquered to the Moors by king Alfonso Henriques in 1135. Five years later it was reconquered by them. It returned to the Christian' s hands again in 1142. The...

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  • The Almourol Castle.

    This castle is situated on an rocky islet in the middle of the Tagus river.It was built by the Templars in 1171 and is well preserved.I don' t think you can visit it inside, but sail around it. There are motor boats with driver on the shore of the river.You can go there by train from Abrantes or from Tomar. It is advisable to stop at the station of...

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  • Leiria Coast

    The coast in Leiria area is wild, with several nice beaches, allowing different programs only with a few minutes driving or just walking. Around the touristy destinations of Nazaré and S. Pedro de Muel, the landscape is beautiful, with a few endemic vegetal species

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  • Quinta dos Loridos

    Bombarral is not a top destination, but it is located close to Lisbon, in a touristy route that leads to Obidos, Alcobaça, Nazaré and the other main attractions int the centre of Portugal. Thus, it may be an option to a brief stop, and a look "of the beaten path", for instance visiting "Quinta dos Loridos". My Bombarral page may help.

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  • Dornes

    Advertised as a medieval village, Dornes is a common village with a couple of medieval remains, but with a great landscape, in a place suitable to calm vacation by the dam. It has a hotel and a restaurante, but I didn´t try them. It was, however, a very nice stop.

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  • Amieira do Tejo

    This small settlement, so small that VT lists only the main village nearby, Vila Flor, is a sort of castle in nowhere land. Atop the hill a small chapel is a good sightseeing point, but the general look of the village is not too appealing, For those who prefer to skip the touristy places, Amieira do Tejo may be a perfect option. "Do Tejo" means by...

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  • Belver

    A nice castle, " lost" in the interior of Portugal, in a nice landscape enhanced by the reflexions in the waters of the local dam, Belver is a nice detail for a good detour while travelling inland Portugal,

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  • Holy Cross Church in Braga

    The Holy Cross Church or Igreja de Santa Cruz in Braga is one of the finest churches in that lovely city. As an attraction it tends to be overlooked by the magnificent Se and the nearby Bom Jesus de Monte. Built in the 17th century, it is the best example of baroque architecture within the city. Much of the church fell into disrepair in the 18th...

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  • Ilha de Tavira

    Ilha de Tavira or Tavira Island, is a vacation spot accessible only by boat off the Tavira dock in Tavira, Algarve. The boat ride to the island will cost you a little over one euro. The island has camping grounds, restaurants, bars and of course, a beach. People from all over Europe go there to enjoy the summer sun, food and festivities. There is a...

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  • Naturalist Beach near Tavira

    If you are near Tavira, Algarve, and you are one of those people that detest tan lines, you have come to the right place. There are two places near Tavira where you can find official "naturalist" or nude beaches. One of them is on the far west Praia do Barril. The scenic trip to the beach is lovely on its own. To get to the beach you can either...

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  • Birthday Cake.

    Someone at the confrence had the same birthday as me and Diane brought a huge piece of the leftovers from Melhor Bolo de Chocolate do Mundo” (“The World’s Best Chocolate Cake”).It’s located away from the beaten tourist path, but it’s easy to reach if you step off tram 28 at its final stop in the neighborhood of Campo de Ourique/Prazeres.Rua Coelho...

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  • Portugal's Walled City of Óbidos

    Óbidos is a great stop you only need a couple of hours to explore the whole city, as you're walking through the walled city it feels like you are walking in ancient Portugal, the whole city has been virtually unchanged, including the Roman aqueducts. Óbidos is a little touristy but worth the stop, we still had a great meal and got to experience our...

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  • Piódão

    If you like to visit remote places, and don't fear narrow and windy roads, Piódão may be your great day. A small village, perched in the slopes of the mountains, carefully recovered to preserve its typical look, is in the middle of nowhere. You may approach from Coimbra through Arganil, of from Estrela mountain, and, no matter the chosen itinerary,...

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  • Quinta de Aveleda.

    Quinta de Aveleda is is the biggest producer of vinho verde in Portugal and a place that has a very nice manor house with a huge garden that is very nice too.They also have a shop there where they sell their wines aswell as other portuguese specialities.You can have tastings there too if you book in advance.Quinta de Aveleda is located in a town...

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  • Estação de São Bento in Porto

    The Estação de São Bento is a small but stunning railway station that is essentially a suburban train station for the city of Porto. It is remarkable for the fine azulejo (blue tiles) panels that adorn the walls of the station. For many including me, this is the first attration one might come across when arriving in Porto. The station itself is...

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  • Chaves.

    Chaves is way up in the very north of Portugal right by to the Spanish border.It's a town with quite a bit of roman influence including old roman baths and an old roman bridge over the river.It has a very pretty old towncenter with traditional stone houses that has wooden balconies which is something that you only see in very few towns in...

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  • The Citadel of Cascais

    The Citadel of Cascais comprises the Fort of Nossa Senhora da Luz de Cascais and the Tower of Santo António Cascais. It was constructed by King João IV in 1488 as a small fortress that was part of a defensive line of fortresses on the right bank of the Tagus River that protected the sea approaches to Lisbon. In 1580, Spanish forces led by the Duke...

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  • Madeira.

    Madeira is located well off the coast of Portugal and has a nature that is very diverse from the mainland because of it´s vulcanic origin.It´s an island that rises up to almost 2000 meters above sealevel and has some of the most dramatic nature in europe and because of that it is very popular with hikers from around the world who come there to hike...

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  • Lamego.

    Lamego is located around 10 kilometers south of the Douro river and it´s a bustling university town that is best known for the pilgrim site calles "Nossa senhora dos remedios" which is on top of a mountain that can be reached by climbing a very impressive baroque stairway that has several hundred steps.Apart from being a impressive monument you...

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  • Estremoz.

    Estremoz is in northern Alentejo and not the most obvious place to stop, but the town has quite a bit of charm and it´s famous for being the capital of marble in Portugal as there is a huge amount of marble in the area.Even some of the cobblestones in Estremoz are made of marble and it´´s a lively town with some decent shopping and quite a few nice...

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  • Marvao.

    Marvao is a gorgeous little town right by the spanish border in northern Alentejo.It´s an old fortified town that has seen many battles over the years, mostly with the spanish, but these days it´s a peaceful little town with narrow winding streets and great views.This is not the kinda town you come to that easily, but if you have the chance to go...

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  • Castelo de Vide.

    Castelo de Vide is quite off the beaten track very near the spanish border.It´s a very prety and interesting town though that used to be the enter of the jewish community in Portugal and it is also the birthplace os Salgeiro Maio who was one of the young captains from the portugese armey that was behind the peaceful revolution in 1974.Castelo de...

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Portugal Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Portugal off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Portugal sightseeing.
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