Portugal has some the most beautiful villages in all of Europe, some well known, others – less so. The mixture of heritage, culture and charm attract visitors from all over the globe. It’s so easy to see why so many people fall in love with this beautiful country – me included! 🙂
As is the case when exploring the cosmopolitan cities of Lisbon and Porto, There are many things to see and do in these wonderful towns. Whether; food, sea, culture or history is your thing, there is an enchanting Portuguese village that is just waiting to steal your heart! 🙂
This small, fortified village was named as the “most Portuguese village in Portugal” in 1938. Houses and streets in Monsanto are packed tightly and carved from the rocky cliffs and granite boulders that surround the town itself.
Visiting the castle that overlooks Mosanto provides an excellent panoraMonsantohe flat plains below and the nearby mountains of the Serra de Estrela.
Monsaraz is a charming village in Portugal and even now, this village still retains its historic and medieval atmosphere. Whitewashed houses which were established between the 16th and 17th century are dotted across the village’s main street, Rua Direita.
If you follow this street it will lead you to the main square, where a parish church housing beautiful gilded altars and painted pillars awaits to be Instagramed 🙂
It is also worth considering a little hike to visit the castle in the town. It offers great views across the Alqueva Dam and tasty olive groves. Yum!
3.) Castelo Rodrigo
Nestled on top of a hill, the beautiful village of Castelo Rodrigo looks down over the plateau that stretches eastwards to Spain and northwards to the valley of River Douro.
The village boasts a rich history, from being founded by Alfonso IX of Leon up to being used as a route by the pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostela. Up to this day, Castelo Rodrigo maintains its past glories, with medieval architecture and quaint houses that are nestled within its walls.
Sortelha is another charming village that still keeps its historic legacy that has been preserved until the present day. The village’s Gothic gateway and 14th-century parish church which possesses a Spanish-Arab ceiling are some of the notable architectural styles that are unique to this region.
Nature and architecture also overlapped in Sortelha, as evident by the rural granite houses that are built into the rocks and follow the original topography of the terrain.
Within these houses, the tables, chairs and even some bed frames are still made from the original rock formation that envelops the houses. Could they not find an Ikea? 🙂
Dubbed as Portugal’s most famous fishing village, Nazare has always been attracting visitors because of its glorious beach and vibrant village life. You will be fascinated by the traditional costumes that are still worn by the locals today, with men having checked shirts and trousers while women wear several layers of petticoats that are ironed and starched with military precision.
Even the fishing boats want to get in on the extrovert style, with Phoenician-inspired designs of bright colours and eyes painted on the vessels.
Oh, how did I forget? You can actually surf here too, but I kid you not the waves get frighteningly high, which extreme surfers love (and fills me with pure dread *gulp*) 🙂
Ericeira is one tiny fishing village that is situated on the cliffs that overlook the rugged Atlantic coast. This village is known for its whitewashed chapels and houses that line the narrow streets.
You can even enjoy a freshly caught (and delicious) seafood dinner at one of the historic seafront restaurants after working up an appetite surfing the waves on Ribeira das Ilhas beach, one of the best surfing spots in Europe.
Obidos has been considered one of Europe’s most romantic villages because of its colourful houses filled with bougainvillaea, Gothic passageways, cobblestone streets and whitewashed churches that surround its 12th-century castle. You can even experience the romantic atmosphere of the village by staying at the castle hotel. If you visit in July, don’t forget about the Medieval Fair that showcases; medieval music, dashing knights, historic theatre performances to submerse you in Portugal circa 1500! 🙂
You can even experience the romantic atmosphere of the village by staying at the castle hotel. If you visit in July, don’t forget about the Medieval Fair that showcases; medieval music, dashing knights, historic theatre performances to submerse you in Portugal circa 1500! 🙂
Marvao is another medieval mountain-top village that considers its unspoiled charm to be its greatest attraction. The village stills retain its enchanting structures, houses and churches that lead to a magnificent 13th-century castle.
Don’t forget to take a peek over the walls and towers for an impressive panoramic view. Breathtaking!
Almeida is another must-visit village in Portugal because of its rich Portuguese. This village was originally founded to serve as a major Portuguese fortification on the Spanish border in the 12th century (those pesky Spaniard really wanted this town) 🙂
Many of the tours featured within the village lead guests around the wall and moat defences that made Almeida stood defiantly amidst the Spanish sieges.
If you are a history buff, you will be pleased to know that Alvaro served as the seat of the municipality and became an important base for the Order of Malta – impressive, huh?
The village boasts of its rich religious heritage as evident by the fifteen chapels and a church dedicated to Saint James. In addition to these places of worship, the beaches, handicraft and the picturesque nature reserves will no doubt inspire your travel-lust to visit Alvaro.