Top 20 Most Beautiful Small Towns and Villages in Portugal

Portugal

Visiting the coastal cities of Lisbon and Porto is what comes to mind when most people imagine their holiday in Portugal. If you dare to venture inland, away from the big cities and major attractions, you will be rewarded with the most charming fairy tale villages and the cutest small towns you’ve ever laid eyes on.

From traditional coastal fishing villages to enchanting hilltop towns, these beautiful villages in Portugal are packed full of culture, history and incredible cuisine. Just picture white washed buildings, tiny walled hilltop villages, epic medieval castles and so much more! You certainly won’t regret getting off the beaten path in Portugal.

So why not escape the hordes of tourists and enjoy the peace and quiet of the idyllic Portuguese countryside? Here are 20 of the most beautiful small towns and villages in Portugal as shared by travel bloggers. Some are popular and well known while others are still relatively undiscovered but no matter which ones you choose to visit, they’re all bound to steal your heart!

Obidos town center - one of the most beautiful villages in Portuga

The Top 20 Most Beautiful Small Towns and Villages in Portugal

Obidos

-By Ann from The Road Is Life

Most beautiful villages in Portugal

Postcard perfect scenes around every corner in Obidos

Obidos is without a doubt one of the most popular and beautiful villages in Portugal to visit. Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the picturesque little hilltop village each year, most of them on a day trip from Lisbon. It’s no surprise that Obidos draws the crowds, its pretty white washed buildings with flowers creeping up the sides, winding cobblestone lanes and majestic medieval castle certainly add to the town’s charm.

One of the best things to do while visiting Obidos is taking a walk around the town’s ancient walls. Spectacular views can be seen over the red rooftops and surrounding countryside, but be warned: there are no hand railings! Make sure sure to check out the amazingly well preserved medieval castle that sits on a hill dominating over the town below.

Walking the walls of Obidos, Portugal

Walking the town walls of Obidos

Obidos Castle has protected the region for over 800 years and has been named one of the 7 wonders of Portugal! Exploring the streets of the town center is another huge highlight. It’s only small but wandering through the maze of narrow streets will lead you to all the prettiest corners and hidden secrets around the town.

As previously mentioned, Obidos makes an excellent day trip from Lisbon but it’s also the perfect stop on a road trip from Porto to Lisbon. Spending a few nights in Obidos allows you to explore the town when it’s quieter in the morning and evening, ie. before and after the day trippers arrive.

If you choose to visit on a day trip, Obidos is easy to reach from Lisbon by taking the express bus from the Campo de Grande station. Buses depart from Lisbon regularly throughout the day and the journey takes one hour.

Monsaraz

-By Marco from Travel-Boo

Monsaraz - one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal

The enchanting village of Monsaraz, photo by Travel-Boo

Mention medieval towns and villages in Portugal and most travellers and locals alike will likely mention the walled city of Obidos. But, only about a 2-hour drive inland from Lisbon, you’ll find the gorgeous, white-washed, walled city of Monsaraz.

Given its close locality, around an hour, to another famous walled city, Èvora, you simply have to swing by this fortified village perched up high on a hilltop, especially if planning a day trip from Lisbon to Evora!

Entering through one of the cities gates you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a bygone era as you walk along the cobbled streets, admire the white-washed homes and buildings and explore the castle walls and bullfighting arena.

Monsaraz, Portugal

Monsaraz, photo by Travel-Boo

We visited late afternoon which was perfect. We were able to grab a spot up top the castle walls and watched the sunset over the Alentejo countryside. From these walls, you can admire the Algueva river that divides Portugal from Spain’s Beja district, also within view.

Some of the top things to do in Monsaraz include exploring all the quaint craft and boutique shops that line the main street as well as explore the actual castle too. If you’re up for something different, then you can also hop in your car and drive 10 minutes down to the Praia Fluvial de Monsaraz, a man-made beach on the river’s edge.

The top 20 most beautiful villages in Portugal

Monsaraz, photo by Travel-Boo

To get to Monsaraz you will definitely need to be travelling by car. As already mentioned, it is located approximately 2 hours from Lisbon when travelling via the A2 and A6 motorways.

If you’re visiting this part of the Alentejo province I would highly recommend you stop by this beautiful example of a medieval Portuguese city. It’s definitely one of my favourites!

Nazare

-By De Wet from Museum of Wander

An aerial image of the seaside Portuguese village of Nazare

Nazare, photo by Museum of Wander

Halfway between Lisbon and Porto you’ll find the stunning seaside town of Nazare. Here on the Costa da Prata, or Silver Coast, the Atlantic ocean meets the land at her most powerful. Nazare is home to the largest surfing waves in the world, but you should still come to Nazare even if you’re not a surfer.

The lighthouse on Praia do Norte is where you can see the monster waves crash into the cliffs. The lighthouse is also home to a small surf museum with surfboards and stories of famous surfers who had braved Nazare’s monster waves.

The small plaza in Sitio, a short walk away from the lighthouse has a sweeping view over the ocean, beach and red tiled roof tops of Nazare below. Also on the plaza is the Igreja Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, a church frequented by pilgrims. The church has a small statue of the Virgin, which they say was carved by Virgin Mary’s husband in Nazareth. This is the reason why the town is called Nazare.

Ride the funicular down to Nazare where you’ll find some amazing seafood restaurants and cafes along the beach.

The beach in Nazare is much calmer than on Praia do Norte and is perfect for swimming. A walk along the promenade will take you past traditional fishing boats and woman drying the catch on racks in the sun. Seaside Nazare is a beautiful town and still quite traditional, as you’ll see by the woman still wearing their traditional dress of 5 underskirts.

Nazare is a beautiful small town in Portugal with excellent beaches, fantastic food and friendly people. There is no train station in Nazare. If you’re not driving, a bus from Lisbon will take about two hours, while Porto is just over three hours away.

Marvao

-By David from Delve Into Europe

A beautiful view of Marvao Castle

Marvao Castle, photo by Delve Into Europe

Marvao is one of the most remote and spectacular villages in Portugal. It’s a mountain-top eyrie with one of the finest castles in Portugal. It’s located in the Serra de Sao Mamede range in the north of the Alentejo region, overlooking the Spanish border.

It’s quite a long way from anywhere else, and it’s quite a trek to get there, but it’s absolutely worth it. A meagre two buses per day stop there so unless you’re driving – and even if you are driving – it’s worth staying at least a night to experience the atmosphere of this amazing place.

Marvao is built on a narrow ridge along the top of a steep mountain, with its castle at the highest point and the whitewashed village below. There’s a sheer drop either side, with views of the Portuguese mountains one side and the plains of Spain fading away into the distance on the other.

Marvao, one of the prettiest hilltop villages in Portugal

The castle is hugely impressive and its stout, think walls were never breached by attackers, until someone betrayed the defenders. Marvao is best experienced at sunset and overnight, it’s so remote and isolated that it’s almost completely silent, and at sunrise the sound of birdsong is all you can hear.

It’s worth setting the alarm clock in Marvao because the castle isn’t locked at night, so you can let yourself in and enjoy a superb sunrise from the ramparts.

Pinhão

-By Priya from Outside Suburbia

Pinhao, Douro Valley - one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal

The picturesque village of Pinhão

Pinhão, a main port wine-producing town in the Douro Valley sits pretty on the banks of the Douro river. The drive from Porto to Pinhão is scenic as the road takes you along the river and through the terraced hills where grapes and olives are grown. Once you cross the bridge from Peso da Régua into Pinhão, stop at the train station even if you are not taking the scenic train.

The train station is decorated with lovely Portuguese blue and white tiles. There are several pretty hand painted Portuguese tiles at the Pinhão train station. Each depicts different scenes from the Douro valley.

Beautiful terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley

Beautiful terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley

The train that runs from Porto to Pocinho, high up in the Alto Douro stops at Pinhão. Take a break for coffee or have a nice lunch of traditional salted codfish before driving up the valley to find a few scenic viewpoints in the Douro Valley.

Another way you can get to Pinhão is by taking a river cruise from Porto. If you are staying in the Douro Valley, Pinhão makes for a great base. While there are many little towns in Douro Valley, Pinhão has a wider choice of hotels and a nice riverside promenade from where you can go on a short boat trip. There are several vineyards nearby, the main reason you are probably visiting the Douro Valley.

Aveiro

-By Marie from A Life Without Borders

The pretty little town of Aveiro, Portugal

The pretty town of Aveiro, photo by A Life Without Borders

Often referred to as the “Venice of Portugal” due to its colourfully painted boats and winding canals, the charming town of Aveiro nevertheless has a unique personality all of its own. Located in central Portugal, just 75 kilometres south of Porto, this popular day trip destination is situated around the Ria de Aveiro lagoon famed for its salt, seaweed and abundant fish.

With an interesting architectural heritage, ancient maritime history and spectacular natural wonders, there is no shortage of things to do in Aveiro. Full of Art Nouveau architecture, opulent churches and a plethora of interesting museums, Aveiro charms with its pretty cobbled pavements and houses covered in colourful Portuguese tiles.

Of course, the highlight of any visit to Aveiro is taking a traditional boat ride along one of its canals to discover Aveiro’s maritime past. Originally used for harvesting seaweed, the colourful local boats, known as moliceiros, are brightly painted with illustrations depicting traditional Portuguese life.

Beautiful colourful buildings of Aveiro Portugal

Colourful buildings of the Costa Nova fishing village near Aveiro

Visit an open-air museum showcasing traditional salt extraction methods at the Troncalhada salt flats and treat yourself to a rustic salt spa nearby. Get an early start to visit the town’s fish market where you can experience the local fishermen hauling in their catch of the day before auctioning off to the highest bidder.

Who could resist sampling some of that abundant seafood with many local restaurants and cafes offering the freshest seafood including mussels, clams, crabs and the local specialty, eel.

A favoured getaway destination for many Portuguese locals, Aveiro is a pretty Portuguese town definitely worth putting on your Portugal to do list.

Ferragudo

-By Sabrina from Moon & Honey Travel

Villages in Portugal - Ferragudo

Beautiful Ferragudo, photo by Moon & Honey Travel

Ferragudo is a white-washed fishing town in the municipality of Lagoa in Algarve. Situated at the mouth of the Arade River along the Southern Algarve Coast, Ferragudo occupies a heavenly location. This hidden gem is the perfect base for coastal walking, local-living, and offbeat exploration. The best way to get here is by car. It takes 35-minutes to drive from Lagos to Ferragudo and 50-minutes from Faro.

When you arrive, start your day by exploring the town center and the streets leading up to Igreja de Ferragudo (church). Eat seafood at A Ria or Borda Do Cais, and walk across the Arade River to Rua Infante Dom Henrique (street) for the best views of the town.

The best place for sunset is the sun-kissed Praia dos Caneiros. This gorgeous beach also marks the beginning of the Trail of Headlands, a coastal walk that starts in Ferragudo and ends in Carvoeiro. This 6 km trail takes 2 hours one-way. When you make your way back to Praia dos Caneiros, treat yourself to dinner at Rei das Praias.

If you’re looking for more beach options, also check out Praia da Angrinha and Praia Grande. Use this Algarve road trip to plan out your days in Ferragudo and the Algarve.

Santana, Madeira

-By Eniko from Travel Hacker Girl

Santana, Madeira Portugal

The cute houses of Santana, photo by Travel Hacker Girl

The Portuguese Island of Madeira is home to several cute villages. Probably the most photographed one is Santana. This beautiful Portuguese village is located on the north coast of the island about 40 km from Funchal. While the best way to get around the island is driving, Santana is one of the few places, which is also accessible by public transport.

The village is known for its traditional stone houses with triangular-shaped thatched roofs. The houses originate from the 16th century, but nowadays most of them are kept as a tourist attraction.

You can enter the small houses and purchase a wide variety of local products and traditional crafts. In the center of Santana, you can find 4 traditional houses, which you can visit for free. If you walk around the village, you can also find others, which are still inhabited.

The beautiful houses of Santana, Madeira Portugal

For those who want to learn even more about the culture and history of the island, the Madeira Theme Park is a great place to go. It has many attractions and exhibitions for children and adults alike.

Hiking in Madeira is also a very popular activity thanks to its scenic routes. Santana is a great place from which to explore some of the best Levada walks on the island. If you just want to walk around the village center, then I suggest spending an hour in Santana. However, visiting the theme park or going on nearby hikes can be a whole day’s activity.

Sines

-By Inma from A World to Travel

The Sines marina, Portugal

Sines marina, photo by A World to Travel

Calm, southern but with a clear Alentejo character, hard-working, unpretentious,and always beautiful; Sines is one of those beautiful small towns in Portugal that I will never get tired of visiting.

Its simple white houses with blue outlined edges are already visible in the distance – especially if you approach the town by boat, and once there you find the smell of the sea and fresh fish is inescapable. Especially if you go down for a walk on the promenade, where the fish market is located that receives fishermen and their catch every morning – and dismisses them every afternoon.

Sines beach, photo by A World to Travel

So it is not surprising that good Portuguese cuisine is once again key in this town. All of the restaurants near the port offer fresh fish to visitors for modest prices, especially if the high quality of the product is taken into account. The menu is usually between €10 and €15.

In addition to touring its streets and port, you must include a visit to the castle (with wonderful views over the whole town), to the monument and beach of the explorer Vasco de Gama (who was born in Sines circa 1460) and to São Torpes beach where you can surf if conditions allow.

Sines is a stop that you cannot miss in any Alentejo road trip worth its salt. Enjoy!

Tavira

-By Queenie from ms travel solo

The stunning village of Tavira, Portugal

The beautiful seaside town of Tavira, photo by ms travel solo

Tavira is one of the most beautiful small towns in Portugal along the eastern Algarve coast. The charming little town is about 30km east of Faro and 25km west of Spain’s border.

The town has a long history and it dates back to the Late Bronze Ages. Today, evidence of the Roman and Moorish influences are everywhere including architecture, agriculture, and etc.

Start your tour of Tavira by visiting its many historic sites including Igreja da Misericórdia, a Renaissance church from the mid 16th century, Castelo de Tavira, the best place to see the Moorish remnants and the old picturesque bridge, Ponte Antiga Sobre o Rio Gilão over Gilão River.

While you are meandering through Tavira’s cobbled stone streets, pay close attention to houses that are covered in colourful decorative Portuguese mosaic tiles. The detailed work is quite impressive!

Tavira, Portugal

For a short day trip, take a local ferry from the centre of Tavira to a nearby island beach of Ilha de Tavira, where you can enjoy 12km of white sand beach. If you are a seafood lover, then you are in luck! Enjoy a delicious seafood meal at Zeca da Bica, a family-run restaurant that serves the best Mediterranean seafood and cream cake!

The closest international airport is Faro Airport, which is 35km east of Tavira. First, take a bus from the airport to Faro. Then either take a regional bus, EVA Transportes (€4.55, 1 hour) or a train, Comboios de Portugal (€3.20, 6 per, 35 minutes) to Tavira.

Tavira is not as busy as other towns along the Algarve in Southern Portugal. It has a relaxing atmosphere that many visitors crave. If you are travelling to the Algarve, make sure to include Tavira in your itinerary!

Fatima

-By Stephanie from History Fan Girl

Fatima, Portugal

The lovely town of Fatima

Portugal is full of great places to see and breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but it’s the small town of Fatima that really took my breath away. While it is certainly pretty, there is a more important reason to come here than just beautiful architecture: it is the site of one of the Marian Apparitions.

A Marian Apparition is an event that happens in the Catholic Faith, where they believe the Virgin Mary has appeared on Earth to deliver a message to mankind. The apparition that took place here was in 1917, during World War I. Mary is believed to have appeared to three small shepherd children to pass on a message about love and peace.

Today the three children have been declared saints, and a shrine has been built in the town. While two of the children died in the Spanish Flu epidemic, one of the girls went on to become a nun and live into the twenty-first century. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima receives between six and eight million religious pilgrims a year.

If you’re traveling to Portugal and are seeing Lisbon on a budget, you can visit Fatima by bus from the city. It takes less than two hours to get here, leaving you plenty of time to visit the important religious sites and return back to Lisbon by the evening.

Carvoeiro

-By Darek from DarekandGosia.com

Carvoeiro is one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal

A gorgeous evening glow in Carvoeiro, photo by DarekandGosia.com

If you are looking for beautiful places to visit while on holiday in Portugal, you have to head out to the Algarve. This stunning southern region of Portugal is full of charming towns and villages – and one of them is Carvoeiro, a small town located 65 km from Faro.

It will take you only 50 minutes by car to get there from the airport. The town is located in central Algarve making it a great place to stay if you are planning to spend long holiday in the Algarve.

Carvoeiro’s history dates back to the 16th century, when pirates ruled in the bay. The steep coast was a perfect shelter for them. For the following centuries it was just a sleepy fishing town.

In the 1960s, thanks to its spectacular beaches, it became one of the most popular holiday destinations in Portugal. And it’s no wonder! Carvoeiro was built on rocky cliffs, which makes the town one of the most beautifully situated resorts in the whole of Portugal.

There are many great things to do around Carvoeiro too. From walking the picturesque cliff top Carvoeiro Boardwalk, visiting stunning Algar Seco or finally going for a boat trip to Benagil Cave. There is no shortage of beautiful places around the Carvoeiro town!

Sintra

-By Kenny from Knycx Journeying

The colourful town of Sintra

The colourful town of Sintra, photo by Knycx Journeying

Sintra is located close to Portugal’s capital – Lisbon; and it has a rich history, dramatic landscape, and heritage sites. Most visitors must have heard of Sintra’s magical Pena National Palace, and the Castle of the Moors, among many other UNESCO listed World Heritage sites. Further to the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, it offers beautiful forests, parks, ancient ruins, and dramatic coastlines.

Start your day in Sintra by walking leisurely through the Pena Palace to the Castle of the Moors – the colors and architectural style of the Palace on the mountain top is truly one of a kind. The balcony gives a perfect panoramic view of the entire area, too! Then, explore the nearby intimate farms and ancient forest; Have an afternoon tea in one of the famous cafes in Sintra’s town center. Finally, head to Cabo da Roca in the evening for the sunset.

Beautiful villages in Portugal

The vibrant Pena Palace of Sintra

As some may know, Portugal was a maritime giant with a rich colonial past; and if you look at Europe’s map, the Iberian peninsula is like the head of a man glazing toward the Atlantic Ocean: Spain is the hair that was blown backward by the wind, and Portugal is the face. Look even more closely, you will find a tip on the peninsula called Cabo da Roca – also known as the westernmost point of Europe’s mainland.

To me, this is the best place to view the sunset in Europe. The cape has not much but a lighthouse and a monument that says “Aqui, onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa…” (Where the land ends and the sea begins); yet its unique location and poetic inscriptions hold dear to my heart.

Mértola

-By Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

The lovely walled village of Mértola, Portugal

The lovely walled village of Mértola, photo by The Nomadic Vegan

The walled town of Mértola is located in the southeastern Alentejo, not far from the Spanish border. It was built at a strategic location at the highest navigable point of the Guadiana River, where it meets the Oeiras River.

Get ready for a workout, as Mértola is set high up on a hill overlooking the two rivers, and some of its streets are rather steep. It’s worth climbing all the way to the top to visit the castle, though. Most parts can be accessed for free, except for the tower and accompanying exhibition, which costs two euros.

Like all of Portugal, Mértola was once ruled by the Moors, who called the town Martulah. Small reminders of Islamic heritage can be found throughout the country, but it is perhaps felt more strongly in Mértola than in any other small town in Portugal.

What is now the main church of the town, the Igreja Matriz, was originally built as a mosque in the 12th century. It still contains many of its original architectural features, such as the horseshoe arched doorways and the mihrab pointing in the direction of Mecca.

Other attractions not to miss include the Museum of Islamic Art and an archaeological field that is open to the public. Every other year, in odd-numbered years, an Islamic Festival is held in the town.

Cascais

-By Elisa from World in Paris

Villages in Portugal - Cascais

Historic center of Cascais, photo by World in Paris

Cascais is a picturesque coastal town located 25 km west of Lisbon. Its proximity to the capital and good train connection makes Cascais the perfect destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway out of Lisbon.

Cascais became a popular seaside resort in the 1870’s when the king of Portugal and his family set their summer residence in Cascais, thus also attracting other nobles who established a summer community.

In Cascais people are never far from the ocean, this is the town’s main attraction. The town also has a beautiful historic center with the main square paved in traditional Portuguese mosaics, and winding streets with whitewashed houses. The old town is also home to the medieval Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort and the Citadel Palace, the former royal retreat.

Marechal Carmona Park is also worth the detour, especially during the hottest hours of the day. It has palm trees, some benches in the shade, and picturesque ponds perfect for a break.

We especially like to visit Cascais for its seafood restaurants, always offering the last catch, and the sunny terraces with spectacular ocean views are a must of Cascais.

Getting to Cascais from Lisbon is very easy. Direct trains connect Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre train station to Cascais. The journey takes 40 minutes, one way.

Porto Covo

-By Campbell & Alya from Stingy Nomads

Most beautiful villages in Portugal - Porto Covo

Pretty streets of Porto Covo, photo by Stingy Nomads

Out of the many Portuguese towns and villages we’ve been to, the small fishing town of Porto Covo is one of our favorites. Porto Covo has a lot to offer to its visitors; charming cobbled streets with traditional fishermen’s houses, delicious food, sandy beaches, and many outdoor activities.

The town is located about 160km south of Lisbon in the Alentejo region. It can be visited as a day trip from Lisbon but it’s definitely worth staying here for a couple of days. Porto Covo is a great place for a weekend escape from the bustling capital, it’s easy to get there from Lisbon. There are several daily buses that leave from Sete Rios Bus Station, the journey takes about 2 hours.

Porto Covo is a very small town; its population is just over 1000 people. The small size doesn’t mean nothing is going on there. The streets of the town are full of life; souvenir shops, restaurants, street cafes, locals and tourists strolling along the narrow streets on the way to and from the beach. The square Jardim do Largo Marquês do Pombal is the center of the social life of this lovely town.

Porto Covo is a gateway to the Costa Vicentina, a part of the protected Portuguese coastline. The town and its surroundings is the perfect place for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, cycling, and kayaking. Walking along the coast, following the Fisherman’s Trail, there are amazing views of the town and the surrounding areas. The route starts in Porto Covo and runs along the coast offering stunning scenery.

Constancia

-By Sarah from LetsGrowCook

The pretty village of Constancia, Portugal

The pretty village of Constancia, photo by LetsGrowCook

The small town of Constancia is located in the Santarem province and is situated at the confluence of the Zezere and Tejo rivers. This beautiful Portuguese village has cobbled streets, whitewashed houses and narrow steep steps down to the riverbank. The town is sleepy unless there is a local festival on and the riverbank area completely comes alive.

Constancia is perhaps most well known in Portugal as the home of famous Portuguese poet, Luís de Camões, who wrote some of his poetry here and who is commemorated with a statue in the town. Constancia is a glorious place to base yourself, the Casa Joao Chagas is a fabulous place to stay on Constancia’s main square.

The rapids and river that comes down from the nearby Castelo do Bode lake is a great spot for kayaking and the amazing Almourol Castle is also worth a visit just 5 kilometres away.

Constancia, photo by LetsGrowCook

The Café de Praca in the main square is a glorious place to visit for a coffee or glass of wine, the owner, Luis Goncalves, sells the most exquisite cakes – Quejinho do Ceu – or little cheese from heaven that make the journey here worth it on their own.

Constancia is easy to reach by road off the main A23 to the east of Torres Novas. To reach Constancia by bus you’ll need to make your way to Tomar or Abrantes, both worthy of a visit in their own rights! Public transport is limited and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to make this a day trip, but that’s all the more reason to stay overnight!

Vila Real de Santo Antonio

-By Cath from Passports and Adventures

The beautiful small town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal

The pretty town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio

Vila Real de Santo Antonio is a small town in the very far south eastern corner of Portugal. It is the last town along the Algarve coast before you hit Spain and is one of the most beautiful small towns in Portugal.

The town is located at the mouth of the Guadiana river which forms much of the border between Spain and Portugal and is a quaint little town to visit. Vila Real de Santo Antonio, or VRSA as it is known locally, can be reach from Faro, the capital of the Algarve by bus, train or car.

Trains run directly from Faro and end at VRSA, the journey takes just over an hour. The town is also located just off the main motorway in the Algarve, the A22, and can be reached from Faro in under an hour. Just be aware the motorway has electronic tolls.

VRSA is a beautiful little town to wander through with the main square and main shopping street off it being totally pedestrianised. The main church is also located in the square and the square is often decorated in preparation for festivals.

While there are cafes and restaurants along the main street, wander off a side street and find other lovely restaurants which are popular with locals at the weekend. Enjoy a Bacalhau a Bras or if you don’t want a full meal, enjoy an ‘abatanado’ (halfway between an espresso and Americano) and a pastel de nata, the small custard tart that Portugal is famous for.

There is a lovely marina at the waterfront, and you can take a ferry across to Ayamonte in Spain for €1.50 per way. No passport is needed, and it makes for a great day out from VRSA. Vila Real de Santo Antonio is a must-visit if you are visiting the East Algarve.

Baleal

-By Anne from Travellers Archive

Villages in Portugal - Baleal

The beautiful beach of Baleal, photo by Travellers Archive

Over the past few years, Portugal has gained massive growth and popularity among travellers. This might be due to its beautiful capital Lisbon with its old trams, curved alleys and picturesque sunsets. It might also be due to its rough coastline with dreamy villages and magical waves or simply a combination of it all.

We found our favourite village in Portugal: Baleal. This cute surfer town is not far away from Peniche but less famous and, thus, even sleepier and quieter. Start your day by renting out some surfboards at Bruno’s beach bar. Hit the waves until you’re ready for a much needed drink. Bruno’s is an awesome place for coffee, cake and, well, a refreshing glass of beer.

Once the sun sets, you might want to walk down the beach and check out the “Taberna do Ganhao”. This cute little restaurant does not only serve the best octopus salad, but it was also the very first restaurant here. Enjoy an amazing dinner while you watch the ocean and refuel.

Baleal is also a great location to check out other even smaller Portuguese villages nearby. If you are lucky enough, you may even see the huge waves at one of the most popular big wave surfing spot Nazare.

Burgau

-By Charlotte from Bursting my Bubbles

Villages in Portugal - Burgau

The seaside village of Burgau

I don’t even know where to start with this beautiful little Portuguese fishing village, situated on the south coast of the Algarve. I came across it totally by accident, as I was looking at cheap places to go on holiday and up popped Burgau. Never being one to shy away from a new place I booked my tickets and off I went.

Once you arrive at Faro airport, you can catch a taxi straight to Burgau, hire a car and drive yourself or go into the main city center and get a bus, entirely dependent on your budget. I liaised with my hotel and they arranged for me to be picked up!

Burgau alone is the reason I want to move to Portugal. It is the first place I’ve been to where I thought, I could live here. The main attraction is it’s beach Praia de Burgau, small and peaceful surrounded by hills protecting you from strong winds and a beach hut bar situated at the top for when you get thirsty.

Villages in Portugal -Burgau2

There are coastal walks so you can stroll along the cliff tops and visit neighbouring villages. Make sure to check out Corso Pizzeria, you WILL NOT regret it, I had the best damn pizza I have ever had in my life!

Burgau is the sort of place to go for a relaxed stay, it’s nice and small, everything is close together and it isn’t ruined by hundreds of skyscrapers. I cannot recommend this place enough.

By: theroad-islife.com

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