Portugal’s hidden secrets

 

You're visiting Portugal but, instead of running the touristic version of the country, you want to discover the magical secret spots? INLU's got you covered.

1. In Lisbon

Lisbon has beautiful spots where you can just relax and enjoy the view or some quietness. One of our favourite spots in the city is the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation garden. Here you can appreciate a true diversity of trees, if you know about trees. But you can also walk by and through its hidden spots, flirt and play with your kids. If you're in town with your kids, make sure they bring bread crumbs to feed the ducks over there!

Check Insiders tours an inspiring travel agency that helps you find the best tour as long as you tell them what you want to feel. Fun right? With INLU you can get a 10% discount.

Garden of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Garden of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

2. Arrábida

You already know we love Nature! And Portugal is extremely diverse in its geology and landscape. Just outside Lisbon, for instance, you can enjoy Arrábida mountain for trekking or taking a sea bath where the mountains enter the sea. The water is very cold (well, for Portuguese standards anyway) but it's crystal clear. And nearby you have dolphins swimming just outside the estuary of river Sado.

There are several programmes to do at Arrábida or Sado, like dolphins watching. You can check and schedule these at: https://www.seabookings.com/wild-dolphins-sado-river-30-min-lisbon. Don't forget to schedule and reserve in advance.

Arrábida and the beach 'Portinho da Arrábida'

Arrábida and the beach 'Portinho da Arrábida'

3. Reguengos de Monsaraz

Reguengos de Monsaraz is a small village just in the middle of the Alentejo region. It has a small castle and the old part of the village is surrounded by walls.

You can walk by the village and enjoy the traditional craftsmen and women that work wood, pottery and tiles. You can easily find their typical shops and see they work. Also, when in Alentejo, be sure to try a typical meal with a delicious wine. After all, you're in Portugal, where we eat and drink with taste and quality.

Monsaraz is magical... especially now with the lagoon created by the dam Alqueva, where you can enjoy water sports or boat trips. You can also gaze at the stars from the Alqueva observatory, try it out!

Reguengos de Monsaraz

Reguengos de Monsaraz

4. Dornes

Dornes is an ancient village that stands on a peninsula in the Zêzere river, already in the area of the Castelo de Bode lagoon. It's surrounded by forests and to get there you drive through the most beautiful landscapes in Portugal, if you follow the path of the Zêzere river (the main tributary of the Tagus river).

You won't believe Dornes until you get there, a breathtaking landscape filled with history. It is believed to be born before Portugal (1147 AD), its tower was built during the Roman period in the Iberic Peninsula and was used by the Templars as a defensive line across the Zêzere and Tagus rivers (known as the Tagus line), along with the Almourol castle or Tomar.

After visiting Dornes you can experience boating in the river to fish or simply relaxing.

Dornes is in the Ferreira do Zêzere council and near Sertã, regions that were largely affected by the 2017 fires.

Dornes

Dornes

5. Peneda-Gerês National Park

In the Peneda-Gerês National Park you immerse completely into Nature. Here you can find routs to walk (trekking) or to drive through but be sure to respect the park's rules and guidelines. You can do pic-nics and even camping or look for a more comfortable place to stay in.

The park has pre-historical places such as the megalithic necropolis in Castro Laboreiro, Mourela, Mezio e Serra Amarela, you can appreciate the ancient art in Bouça do Colado (Parada-Lindoso). Entering the Roman era, you can go to Geira to see a Roman road. Chareacterizing the Medieval time, you can see the St.ª Maria das Júnias monastery, holding a breathtaking view, and also the Lindoso and Castro Laboreiro castles. Castro Laboreiro is also a unique dog breed born in this region.

Don't forget to check the weather report before going for trekking, you can easily be caught by unpredictable fog and get lost.

See also: Portugal Tourism (in English) and a list of tours by ICNF (in Portuguese).

Peneda-Gerês National Park

Peneda-Gerês National Park

  • And if you have fallen in love with Portugal, check our first collection, and about how we innovated on the use of cork and leather, on September 12th at our crowdfunding campaign.

Other suggestions you can chek on the Web: