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7 Incredible Hidden Gems In Portugal To Visit In 2024

Welcoming locals, amazing wine, fantastic beaches, huge waves, and diverse landscapes – that’s Portugal – one of the most popular vacation destinations in Europe these days. And as you can imagine, some of its most beautiful places can get pretty busy.

But don’t get discouraged from visiting it. Even though the country is rather small, plenty of attractions still have managed to stay out of sight and are ready for you to explore. 

Not sure where to start? Here are the 7 best hidden gems in Portugal to visit in 2024.

Quinta da Regaleira

If you find yourself in Lisbon this year, we recommend you take a day trip to Quinta da Regaleira. This palace is located in the picturesque town of Sintra. It was designed by an Italian architect Luigi Manini and offers a blend of Gothic, Roman, and Renaissance architecture.

It’s surrounded by an enchanting, fairy-like garden that is filled with mystical tunnels, grottoes, fountains, and statues. Another unique feature of Quinta da Regaleira is the Initiation Well. It never served as a well but was used for ceremonial purposes. Today, you can climb it and discover the secrets hidden there.

Covão dos Conchos

Credit: Portugaloutdoor.pt

Sinkholes are fascinating creations of nature. And this one is no exception. It’s set in Covão dos Conchos, a man-made lake in the Serra da Estrela natural park.

It was built in ​1955 to transfer water from Ribeira das Naves to Lagoa Comprida reservoir, which makes it a rather unique sinkhole. Or better said, a spillway, because it’s artificial.

Apart from this marvel, there are plenty of hiking trails around. You can also enjoy birdwatching and other wildlife viewing or visit cute little mountain villages in the area.

The Village of Monsanto

If you’re looking to visit an authentic Portuguese village, put Monsanto on your travel bucket list. It’s often referred to as the ‘Most Portuguese village in Portugal’ and it will draw you into the middle ages right when you step in.

Walk its crooked streets or admire its sites, such as the Monsanto Castle or the Chapel of São Miguel. Thanks to its hilltop location, the village also offers stunning panoramic views, and the best way to enjoy them is from one of the local bars or restaurant terraces.

Bacalhôa Buddha Éden Garden

You can also feel like you are in Asia when in Bacalhôa Buddha Éden Garden. It’s the biggest oriental garden in Portugal, as well as in Europe, and features the continent’s largest Buddha statue collection.

Apart from jolly creatures, it boasts many beautiful pagodas, terracotta statues, and other interesting pieces of art. The atmosphere there is always peaceful, ideal to relax. What’s more, the area is famous for the Bacalhôa vineyards and wines. Why not combine your trip to the gardens with a bit of wine tasting in a cellar?

Monte Palace Tropical Gardens

The territory of Portugal also includes Madeira – the island of never-ending spring. While most visitors come for pristine nature and hiking trips, we have a secret tip for you that a few people know about – Monte Palace Tropical Gardens.

It houses a vast collection of rare plants, as well as precious stones and gems. It’s also home to a rich fauna, such as swans, peacocks, and the Koi fish. The plants attract many birds, which makes it a fantastic place for birdwatching. Plus it boasts breathtaking views of the ocean.

Berlengas Islands

If you love visiting historical sites, Peniche is a must. However, did you know that just a 30-minute drive off the coast of this medieval town, you will find another gem for history buffs? 

Berlengas is a stunning archipelago. It consists of Berlenga Grande, Estelas, and Farilhões-Forcado. Berlenga Grade is the only island open to visitors but boasts an array of note-worthy attractions, such as the São João Baptista Fort. The area is also home to many seabirds that are unique to the area, so don’t forget your binoculars.

Sistelo

Image: farodevigo.es

Sistelo is another authentic village in Portugal. It’s set in the north of the country by the border with Spain and is known for its vertical terraced fields, the reason for being nicknamed the Portuguese Tibet.

Its castle and granaries are the main points of interest. There are also many hiking trails around the village suitable for all levels. Life passes slowly there. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Sistelo is a place to be. And the valleys between the trails are the perfect spot to meditate.

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