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Top 5 Must-See Luxury Places in Portugal

Top 5 Must-See Luxury Places in Portugal


Portugal is not only a destination for those seeking rest and relaxation, it’s also well-suited for travelers seeking luxury. With its astounding architecture, Michelin-starred restaurants, famous wine, incredible history, and lovely boutique hotels, it has everything you need to travel in sophistication and luxury. Here’s my list of must-see luxury destinations in Portugal…

#1 Madeira

Madeira is famous for its natural landscapes, home to stunning beaches, scenic hiking trails, and natural lava pools. Lying along the Atlantic Ocean, about 350 miles from Morocco, Madeira is one of the must-see places for a luxury holiday in Portugal. The picturesque city of Funchal is a perfect base for your holiday to Madeira. It has sophisticated boutique hotels where you can spend a night or two and beautiful botanical gardens, perfect for relaxing. Stroll along the city’s pretty streets and drop by the bustling Funchal Market to observe how locals go about their daily life. Check out the city’s famous cathedral before making your way to Rua de Santa Maria, where you’ll find a museum dedicated to the famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, a native of Madeira.

Madeira has a thriving culinary culture. It has a cuisine all on its own and is most famously known for its delectable seafood. You’ll find world-class restaurants where you can indulge in traditional tuna and cod dishes. After indulging in delicious meals, the best way to burn calories is golfing. In Madeira, you’ll find plenty of incredible golf resorts, making it a top destination for Portugal golf holidays with friend.

#2 Lisbon

Lisbon is a charming city worth visiting for a luxury holiday in Portugal. It exudes sophistication wherever you look, with whitewashed houses stretching down the sparkling River Tagus flanked by the magnificent Castelo Sao Jorge and home to treelined boulevards connected by steep winding cobblestone streets. 

No visit to Lisbon is complete without strolling through its historic neighbourhoods of Alfama and Mouraria. Stroll through their beautiful winding lanes flanked by beautiful palaces and charming squares lined with cosy bars and cafés. You don’t need to follow a specific route. Aim to get lost, and you could come across a pretty corner with striking city views. At night, make your way to Casa de Fados in Mouraria, a small Portuguese restaurant where you can listen to traditional Fado music as you indulge in delicious meals. For a relaxing luxury holiday to Lisbon, visit nearby beaches. Whether going to the nearby fishing town of Cascais or on a day trip outside the city, you will find a beach in Lisbon suitable for every type of traveller.

#3 The Algarve 

On the south coast of Portugal, you’ll find the Algarve, a beautiful region famous for its Atlantic beaches and world-class golf resorts. It’s popular with sun seekers and golfers seeking a luxury holiday while surrounded by beautiful beaches. But there are also plenty of attractions to discover here. 

One of the Algarve’s most popular attractions is the Cabo de São Vicente, which many believed to be the end of the world. It’s a craggy and windswept headland located in the south-westerly point of Europe. Another spot worth a visit in the Algarve, especially for nature lovers, is the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. It’s an estuary home to marshlands, canals, islands, and beautiful sandy beaches. But one of the main reasons visitors would come here is the wildlife, where you could spot several duck species. Serra do Caldeirão is a beautiful mountain range accessible to all level of trekkers. Here, you’ll find wildflowers growing freely and beautiful streams and rivers. If you’re into trekking, this is the spot you should visit in the Algarve.

#4 Porto

Porto is a beautiful coastal city sitting by the Douro River renowned for its delectable port wine. As the oldest wine-growing region in the world, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, exuding an old-world charm, an ideal destination for a relaxing luxury holiday in Portugal. It is located in northwest Portugal and has a rich mercantile history. It’s a sin to visit Porto without trying its famous wine. Luckily, you’ll find many places all over the city that offer wine tours and tastings. The Douro Valley, where the Port wine originates, is one of the world’s oldest wine-producing regions and has been producing this sweet, fortified since the 17th Century. 

Of course, there’s more to Porto than its famous wine. The city is also home to some interesting sites, such as the Cais da Ribeira, a picturesque piazza home to an abundance of bars, restaurants, and cafes. Another reason why Ribeira is a favourite of tourists is because of its stunning views, especially by the river flanked by the iconic Luis I Bridge. The Clerigos Church & Tower is also worth checking out. It’s a beautiful Baroque church and one of Porto’s famous landmarks. The church, visible from almost everywhere in the city, is pretty impressive, with ornate interiors and stunning architectural features.

#5 Albufeira

Albufeira is a coastal city in the Algarve famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and bustling nightlife strip. The city is divided into two areas – the Old Town and the Strip. Old Town is where you’ll find beautiful, whitewashed villages with pretty cobblestone streets lined with restaurants and cafes. Meanwhile, the Strip is where tourists would come to party and experience Albufeira’s vibrant nightlife scene. 

You will be spoilt for choice if you’re here for the beach. Albufeira has plenty of superb beaches surrounded by stunning sandstone cliffs, offering shades in summer and protection against the wind during winter. One of Albufeira’s best beaches is Praia da Galé, a golden beach with a rugged feel. Located only four kilometres west of Albufeira, it’s a great place to escape the crowded beaches in the city. Another beautiful beach worth checking out in Albufeira is Praia da Falésia, famous for its stunning rock formations that can rival that of the Grand Canyon.

For a truly relaxing holiday, consider staying in one of the amazing luxury Portugese villas in Albufeira. These villas have all the comforts and amenities for a truly relaxing stay.

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

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