Portugal is an international destination that we have so close in Spain that the border can even be crossed on a zip line. In fact, they are the only two countries in the world where you can enter and leave this way. It is a trip of approximately one minute in which speeds of between 70 and 80 kilometers per hour are reached to bridge the 720 meters of distance between Sanlúcar de Guadiana and Alcoutim and in which, in addition, it beats an hour to the clock in a single jump. And it is that, we will share peninsula and some cultural traits, but traveling to the neighboring country is an experience that is anything but boring.
Five Portuguese cities near Spain that we can visit on a getaway
Although later we are going to talk about hidden gems, let’s start first with Lisbonthe Portuguese capital, which is not less beautiful because it is known. It is, without a doubt, a place to fall in love with. In addition, we can not only get there by plane, from Madrid it is less than six hours away by car. It is known as the city of the seven hills and has everything: coast, a wonderful history to discover full of monuments and an amazing gastronomy in which we find much more than the Belem cakes that have become so fashionable lately.
We can also take advantage of the trip to Lisbon to visit Cascaisa small coastal town that was the vacation spot of the nobility and that still preserves some of its beautiful mansions of the time, and Óbidos, known as the literary city of the country.
Portthe second largest city in Portugal, is just over 5 hours and a half from the Spanish capital and is a perfect place for a couple of days getaway. The precious tiles that adorn its streets, the old town, the colorful houses, the modern Miguel Bomdarda street… It is a city full of life and history in which gastronomy is vital.
Porto Palacio Hotel by The Editorial
Considered one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Portugal and declared a World Heritage Site, Guimaraes It is an essential to get lost in. It is only half an hour from Porto and its cobblestone streets and historic buildings will make you feel in another era. Of course, do not leave without taking the cable car to the top of Montaña da Penha to enjoy the incredible panoramic view from the sanctuary located at the top.
Founded by the Romans in 16 BC, panties It is one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal. It is located near Vigo, about 5 hours and a half from Madrid by car and has a rich architectural, archaeological and cultural heritage. More than 40 baroque churches, museums and other historic buildings to lose yourself in. Do not miss the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus da Monte, which is 5 kilometers from the city and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Located in the center of the country and known as “the Venice of Portugal”, aveiro It is about 5 hours from Madrid by car. Getting lost in its streets full of charm should be more than enough reason to go but, in addition, it has endless beaches of fine sand and an absolutely ideal fishing district: Beira Mar. Special mention to its gastronomy dedicated to fish and local seafood.
Madeira and Berlangas, paradise made islands
As we are seeing, the neighboring country is much more than Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve… It also hides treasures such as the Berlengas Islands. They are a small archipelago made up of granite islands that lie west of Cabo Carvoeiro in Peniche, off the coast of Portugal. Berlenga Grande, Estelas and Farilhões-Forcados are the three islets that form This territory considered a nature reserve.
To access these islands you have to travel by boat from Peniche. However, getting to this town is easy and there are public buses from Lisbon and Porto. We can also go with our own vehicle. Of course, Berlengas cannot receive many visitors at the same time. Above all, as it is considered a nature reserve, so the opportunities and options to spend the night are very limited. It is advisable to sleep in Peniche.
São João Baptista Fort is located in Berlenga Grande. Thanks to its military structure, it is the most popular construction in the archipelago and its most emblematic monument. However, lovers of lighthouses have a mandatory stop on the same island: the Duque de Bragança Lighthouse. With a height of 29 meters and a range of 27 nautical miles, it was built in 1758 by the Marquis of Pombal.
The Bairro dos Pescadores is the only town in the entire Berlengas archipelago. It is located on the southern slope of the so-called Ilha Velha, where the Misericordia Monastery once existed. Here we find a restaurant, a mini-market, Praia da Berlenga Grande (another point to take into account) and the island’s public toilets.
Hotel Quinta da Penha de France
Located in the middle of the Atlantic, Madeira is one of those islands made in heaven who find in their explosive nature one of their best virtues. Some even call it the “Hawaii of the Atlantic”, but it is much more. In addition to its impressive landscapes and postcard cliffs, it has two of the best beaches in Europe (the beach of Porto Santo and the beach of Seixal) and is known for its gastronomy and its hiking trails, as well as for having been chosen one more year as the best island destination in the world.
As if all this were not enough, in June they celebrate the Fiestas de los Santos Populares, a celebration related to the summer solstice and in which he surrenders to three saints (San Antonio, San Juan and San Pedro), and takes shape with Rua de Figueira Preta, Travessa dos Reis, Rua da Conceição and Praça do Carmo. Furthermore, it takes place the so-called Festival of the Atlanticwhich signals the start of the summer season in Madeira.
Round trip flight to Madeira
Three lesser-known destinations in Portugal
if you like it royal; the aesthetics of fairy tales and/or historical mysteries, there is a truly enchanting village 25 kilometers from Lisbon that meets all these characteristics and is called Sintra. With declared monuments A World Heritage Site, travelers who have passed through it say it is worth it dedicate a day to it, even when you are only going to spend a weekend in the capital of Portugal. And it is that this place of characteristic architecture, perfectly integrates palaces and gardens, castles and forests.
Lagos is a city that is located in the western Algarve. Famous for its rocky beaches and cliffsalso has a marked historical character with its precious walled historic center (dating from Roman times). And it is that it is a place that lends itself to both weekend getaways and nightlife.
The main attraction here is Ponta da Piedade: an area of cliffs and rocks over 20 meters high that you can walk along a stone path that reaches the water. Although, in addition to hiking, you can book a boat tour through the caves or take a kayak tour.
On the banks of the Mondego, Coimbra was the medieval capital of Portugal for over a hundred years and is famous for having the oldest university in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe. So, over time, it has modeled its identity around it, becoming “the city of students”. During the day, life flows calmly but. At night, the sunset brings me an endless party.
Its historic center is made up of picturesque buildings spanning nearly a millennium of history, from the Moorish Arco de Almedina, located at the foot of the city, to the Clock Tower, which crowns the courtyard of the old university. While in the modern part of the city you will find modern parks with terraces, riverside bars and restaurants, a fantastic pedestrian bridge, great shopping malls, and everything you would expect from a major European city.
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