Portugal (Portuguese Republic)

Languages: Portuguese

Currencies: EUR · Euro (€)

Capitol: Lisbon

Continents: Europe

Borders: Spain

More useful information

Area: 92,090km2

Population: 10,305,564

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +351

Timezones: UTC-01:00, UTC

Last updated on November 15, 2023

Portugal is one of my favourite countries in the world. In fact, a very best of Portugal you can find outside of the famous touristic spots (like crowdy Algarve). Portuguese coastaline is shaped by unique rocky formations mainly on south and dramatic cliffs along the west coastline. You can’t get enough with endless surf beaches, deep ocean landscape and deliciously fresh seafood. Portugal fascinates with its rich traditional folklore and one-in-kind architecture. A two week road trip through best coastal cities in Portugal will remain an unforgetable adventure. Here is a detailed travel itinerary for best ocean sites in this part of Iberian Peninsula.

Useful travel information for Portugal.


ATM’S: Available in most cities, card payments are possible almost everywhere in restaurants, hotels, shops and hostels. But have change is small towns for a morning coffee.

TRAVEL MAPS: Available at the airport in Tourist Information Centre – ask for road and city maps!

SAFETY: Portugal is one of the safest and most friendly countries in Europe. I have been traveling across the country number of times for the last 14 years and have never experienced any risky situation.

CAPITAL: Lisbon, language: Portuguese.

Traveling to & across Portugal?

The safest and quickest way to get to Portugal is taking a direct flight available from most European cities.

But the best way of exploring this beautiful country properly (maybe except Lisbon) – is by car. Check DISCOVER CARS – an awar winning car rental offers best deals, prices and rental conditions.

Surfing across top coastal cities in Portugal.

Portugal coastline stretches across over 900 kilometres of stunning sandy and cliff beaches. It’s an internationally recognized country for surfing adventure with world most famous spots in Nazare, Arrifana or Carcavelos (which some say was a place where surfing in Portugal began). 

I always highly encourage to remain active during traveling. Hiking is passion but you need to give your body a good workout and water sports are fabulous option – especially since you’ll have lots of fun and laugh! But it’s also a tough piece of practice 😉 Surfing is something you can’t miss to try in Portuguese ocean waves, have a look on different options of guided surfing classes in few Portuguese cities. For surfing gear I can recommend one of my favourite surf fasion brand – NOSERIDERSURF.COM, with a socially and environmentally responsible business model. 

Cabo de São Vicente - most south-west point of Europe.

Cape Saint Vincent – most south-west point of mainland Europe. Located a few kilometres northwest of Sagres. Just above the cliffs there’s a small lighthouse at the end of the peninsula – very characteristic for such places. The lightouse can be seen from 60 miles out at sea.

Below is a photo of a local fisherman standing at the edge of a steep coastal rock. This is not unusual picture, it reveils the authentic side of Portuguese traditions and habitants lifestyle.

Playa Arrifana (Praia da Arrifana).

If you want to explore one of the most amazing and unspoilt beach spots – Arrifana Beach is the right destination. It is located only 25 km north from Cape Saint Vincente, and indeed is one of the most amazing cliffside surf spots. The place is occupied by real surfers but the beach is suitable for all skills levels. There are not many touristic facilities, it’s not too crowded, just pure nature and waves. I would recommend taking plenty of water and some snacks.

Playa Arrifana
Playa Arrifana

Algarve - in the heart of southern Portugal.

Algarve – the southern and most famous region of Portugal, where a distinct beauty of azure sea meets with red dramatic rocky formations. The coastline is blessed with gold-sand beaches, incredible grottes and hidden caves. The unique landscape of the southern shore of Portugal makes it extremely busy touristic destination all year round. 

Algarve most famous parts are Albufeira, Sagres and Lagos. Apart from beach activities you should try surfing and snorkeling in this region. Exploring the sea life is highly adventurous due to clear turquoise waters. While the region is extremely developed in terms of tourist infrastructure, you would not be surprised with the cuisine served in cliff restaurants.

Lagos -the magic part of Algarve.

Lagos is the most popular part of Alrgarve region thanks to its unforgettable beaches like Praia Dona Ana or Praia Camilo. Great option is taking a boat trip for dolphin and cave watching. It’s usually an hour trip along the coastline and most exciting cliff beaches, where you can remain private with your friends.

Praia Dona Ana

Best coastal cities in Portugal - Travel guide

Praia Camilo

Best coastal cities in Portugal - Travel guide

This time I brought my Mom with me to explore best coastal cities in Portugal. We took a boat trip along the coast and I have to say the coastline is fascinatting from the ocean perspective. The boat brings you closer to all the caves, unreal rock formations and private cliff beaches.

Sintra - most western point of Europe.

Cabo da Roca located only 5 km from Sintra – the most westerly point of mainland Europe and reserved for wide sandy and empty beaches. Stopping for a day or two in Sintra is a very good idea and it can be linked to a trip to Cais Cais. There are few unique attractions in Sintra to visit: magic Pena Palace and Monserrate palace would be top places to explore.

Ericeira - one of the most magnificent coastal cities in Portugal.

Ericeira, used to be a very small fishing village but it has grown to a major port and tourist attraction. It’s located 30 km north of Lisbon. Ericeira remains my favourite coastal city in Portugal for offering its unspoiled atmosphere, unique architecture and Atlantic views. Despite the fact Ericeira has grown with popularity over the last 10 years, it still remains charming Portuguese fishing town. It is situated along a coastline with outstanding surfing beaches. The powerful and reliable surfing has transformed peaceful Ericeira into a surfing mecca. Hot and chill beaches turn into a lively nightlife, with top-rated tourist facilities. 

Walking the cobblestone streets you can find lots of local shops with original craftwork and souvenirs. The buildings are designed with a typical Portuguese style – white houses with blue shutters. The village remains the only surfing reserve in Europe. The quality of fresh fish and seafood is really impressive in local restaurants. The majority of foreign visitors travel to Ericeira for the surf, but during the summer it also becomes a lively and buzzing holiday destination, so it’s ideal for young couples and families. Ericeira can be also visited as an enjoyable day trip from Lisbon and is often combined with the magnificent monastery of Mafra.


Villa Nova de Milfontes.

Villa Nova de Milfontes might be less popular but it’s a great escape from noisy touristic cities. It offers wide sandy beaches along the Costa Vicentina, oftenwith big waves and surfing opportunities. But there’s a lot to see within the town – distinct architecture and historical centre. Also don’t forget about the Fortress, built between 1599 and 1602 as a protection against pirates! Enjoy an extraordinary cuisine, as well as interesting trekking routes.

Praia de Beliche near Sagres.

Lastly go to see Praia de Beliche near Sagres, which is on the southern-west point of Portugal. It was discovere by  a total mistake, it was meant to be a stop on the way north direction and what a tresure to discover! What’s more – not a single person on the beach – private sandy paradise with caves – the great escape!! Only me, my Mom and my Blackberry 😉

Chesk here for more Portuguese adventures!

Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!

Leave a Comment