Portugal: Main Sights
The main sights in Portugal can be found in its major cities of Lisbon and Porto and the coastal region around the Algarve, though there is still plenty to see in the interior. Whilst most holidaymakers head for the sunny beaches of the Algarve and the islands of Madeira and the Azores, both Lisbon and Oporto have a lot to offer if you're looking to explore the the history and culture of one of the longest standing countries in Europe.
Located in this centre of southern Portugal, and surrounded by plains of olive groves and vineyards, Evora is one of the must see places of any holiday to Portugal. This walled Roman city with its maze of streets is full of architectural and cultural gems. Apart from the many Roman ruins, including an ancient temple, the main attractions here are the Roman Cathedral and the Sacred Art Museum which it houses. About an hours drive outside of the city you'll also find the Capelo dos Ossos, a chapel constructed with the bones and skulls of thousand of human bodies.
Fatima, is the famous site upon which the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in 1917. On the 12th and 13th May the town is thrived by thousands of pilgrims arriving to commemorate her appearance. The neo-baroque basilica there has an esplanade twice the size of St Peter's square in Rome and a central tower 65m high. The other side of the esplanade is home to one of the largest churches in the world, the Igreja da Santíssima Trindade.
The seat of Portugal's oldest university, Coimbra is located in Portugal's central Beiras region. In the heart of this historic city lie the university itself, a museum and several cathedrals. The lower part of the city is where you'll find myriad shops, bars and restaurants, while the the upper part of the city is the gateway to the old town mazed with steep winding streets and alleys that lead up to the top of the hill on which the university is built. 10 miles to the south is the town of Conmbriga, where you'll find the oldest Roman remains and the largest and most excavated archaeological site in Portugal.
Located about 620 miles west of Lisbon, Madeira is the perfect place for all year round holidays. The stunning scenery of high cliffs and sandy beaches, wild mountains with sub tropical scenery, and littered with small volcanoes and numerous waterfalls, Madeira is the perfect place for touring either by car or on foot. The temperature is pretty constant all year around here staying around 15-20ºC even in the winter, and lapped by warm waters. No trip to Madeira would be complete without a trip to one of the islands many wine lodges to try the famous Madeira wine.
An archipelago of nine islands located about a third of the way between Lisbon and New York, the Azores make the perfect destination for whole host of holiday packages. The beautiful, green islands with subtropical climate are surrounded by idyllic blue lagoons and waters which retain a temperature of 20ºC even in mid winter. Whether is be a walk in the beautiful green mountains, a climb up Portugal's highest peak, Mount Pico, on Pico Island, a round of golf, whale watching, swimming with dolphins the Azores has something to offer for everyone at any time of year.
Steeped in history, Lisbon is a city of immediate charms and deeper beauty that must be sought out. One of Europe's most affordable cities, Lisbon is host to a culturally diverse people, a mixture of Celt, Iberian, Roman and Moorish heritage, are is rich in architectural and cultural wonders. The day may be spent wandering around the cobbled streets of the Alfama districtttt or shopping in the Baixa district, while by night venturing over to the Bairro Alto and Parque das Nacoes districts to party until the early hours.
Northern Portugal's busiest city is the home of Portugal's famous export – port wine. No trip here would be complete with a tasting wine trip in Oporto's many wine lodges.
Most holidaymakers to mainland Portugal had for the sandy beaches, warm sun and relaxed atmosphere of the Algarve. The main attractions here are the regional capital, Faro, the party capital, Albufeira, and the relaxing Lagos.