Portugal is tourist hotspot in the summer months. From the stunning scenes in the Algarve to the hustle and bustle of city life in Lisbon, this welcoming country has so much to offer visitors that sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming. Though there’s plenty to do and see, the excitement can feel overshadowed by the fact you have to weave your way through crowds everywhere you turn. So, here are 6 genuine alternatives to Portugal’s tourist traps to help you see the very best of what it has to offer:
- Pick the Azores over the Algarve
The Algarve has become a hugely popular resort for tourists, particularly fellow Europeans. Some have even enlisted the help of the best immigration lawyers London has to offer to make it their permanent residence. Because of this, it can get hectic in the summer. The Azores are just as amazing, but much less populated. Comprising nine islands, even the largest one São Miguel is full to the brim of rich history and culture while still being a peaceful paradise.
- Ditch Lagos for Carvoeiro
As soon as summer hits, Lagos experiences a sudden flurry of tourists all flocking to the beaches, marina and town. Instead of getting swarmed in Lagos, why not take a trip to Carvoeiro? This stunning old fishing village has turned into quite the hub of Algarve life, without being too populated with tourists. The sleepy beaches and idyllic shops and restaurants add to the charming character and relaxed feel of the place. Then at night, the area simply comes alive with its endless bars and pubs.
- Swap Cities for the Countryside
A lot of emphasis is on Portugal’s cities when it comes to popular tourist destinations. However, Portugal also has stunning countryside just begging to be explored. There are far less holiday homes just for summer here, as many of the residents have a permanent home, they stay in all year round. Spouse visa requirements may be a little trickier, but it’s certainly worth it once you get here. There are an abundance of vineyards such as the Douro Valley that dominate the Portuguese landscape. Ideal for wine lovers, there are countless tours here all year-round.
- Tour the Convent of Christ
The Jerónimos Monastery near Lisbon is very popular with tourists; however the 12 euro fee and hours long queue can be off-putting. If you can tour the Convent of Christ instead, it’s definitely worth it. It’s equally as spectacular as the Jerónimos Monastery, but far less crowded. You can walk through the castle and spend some time strolling through the gardens for just 6 euros.
- Take a Trip to Coimbra
Many people take a trip to the iconic cities of Lisbon or Porto when visiting Portugal. But the area of Coimbra is just as impressive – after all, it was once their capital! It offers an authentic experience with lots of cobbled streets filled with medieval treasures and buildings. It’s also home to one of the oldest universities in the world, which has turned into a landmark within itself.