Amazing Secret Places To Discover In Portugal ♦ Welcome to the world of wonders! Learn more about the most amazing secret places that are meant to be discovered in the entire country. From natural parks and exotic gardens, not to mention breathtaking landscapes, these places are scattered throughout the country and islands. Ready to start our trip through the most amazing secret places hidden in Portugal?
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Peneda-Gerês National Park
Close to the Spanish border in the North of Portugal, we can find the natural beauty of the Peneda-Gerês National park. This unique wonder is famous for its incredible landscapes and unique waterfalls that are spread across the hills from the Mourela region to the Castro Laboreiro area. With almost 70 000 hectares, this natural park has a unique botanic diversity which makes the natural tracks a wonderful path to discover. Since it is considered by UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve, this is one of the top natural attractions of the country!
Also known as the enchanted valley, the Douro Valley is another one of the most famous regions in the whole country with its beautiful natural landscapes. Classified as World Heritage this cultural landscape goes from the beautiful city of Porto to Miranda do Douro, which is the area where the Rio Douro starts in the country. To enjoy this fantastic view, you can do your tour by road, train, a cruise ship (the most popular is the Viking Cruises) or even by a helicopter ride. There are also a wide variety of belvederes, also known as “miradouros” in Portuguese, scattered along the way so you can admire the beauty of the vineyards of Portugal’s most famous wine brands.
Inspired by the oriental culture, this place is one of the largest gardens not only in Portugal but also in Europe. Also known as the “garden of peace”, this secret place is famous for its oriental essence that offers beauty and tranquillity to all those who visit it. Located in Bombarral, a small place in the centre of the country, the Buddha’s garden was created as a protest to defend the giant Buddhas that were to be destroyed in Bamyam in Afghanistan in 2001. We can say that this oriental garden is an open gallery of spaces where we can admire various masterpieces (of different sizes and shapes) made by different plastic artists such as Joana Vasconcelos, Alexandre Calder or Fernando Botero.
Address: Quinta dos Loridos, 2540-420
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Considered as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in June 2011, the Berlengas archipelago is composed of granite islands in the Atlantic Ocean which are about 8 km from the famous Cape Carvoeiro. This was the first protected area of the country when Afonso V, king of Portugal in 1465, prohibited the practice of fishing on the main island “Berlenga Grande”. You can begin your journey through this biological heritage in the tourist centre of the Berlengas, where you will discover everything you need to know … However, diving is an (almost) obligatory activity thanks to the rarity of the marine ecosystem that we can find in the incredible islands.
Gardens of the Palace of the Frontier Marquises
Located in Lisbon, near the Monsanto Natural Park, this Portuguese palace was built between 1671 and 1672 and it is considered one of the most accurate secrets of the great region of Lisbon. The palace was built to be the hunting lodge and first villa “Marquis of the Frontier”, as it was known, D. João Mascarenhas. Despite its architectural beauty, the main tourist attraction is its beautiful gardens composed not only of unique species of flowers and plants but also of tile panels depicting historical moments in the country.
Address: Largo São Domingos de Benfica 1, 1500-554 Lisboa
Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte
This unique belvedere situated in the emblematic Graça neighbourhood, in Lisbon, is one of the cities most famous places thanks to its breathtaking views provided by its half-moon shape! From this incredible secret place, you can see the unique beauty of the São Jorge castle and the Convento do Carmo ruins and also the beautiful Serra do Monsanto and the local church. The Belvedere of Nossa Senhora do Monte also has some personalised tiles that show to your visitors the location of the local landmarks that you can see from there!
Address: Largo Monte, 1170-107 Lisboa
Pego do Inferno
This secret place near Tavira is probably one of the most beautiful landscapes of southern Portugal. The beautiful Pego do Inferno is the largest set of three cascades formed by limestone tufts that are easy to find in the Asseca stream, in Santo Estêvão. The highlight of this site is undoubtedly the beautiful “Miradouro do Pego”, as it is a place where you can admire the unique beauty of the natural path of the waterfall that ends in a round green-Mediterranean lagoon. The legend behind the name of this place is quite a story!
Address: Estr. EN514-2, Tavira
Algar de Benagil
The name “Algar de Benagil” is given in honour of the small village that is close to this small Portuguese paradise. This secret place is a natural cavity formed by a natural process (erosion) with almost 20 million years of existence. The large rocks hide small and beautiful beaches and the only way to access them is through a water path. Since it has been recognised a few times in international newspapers, such as the Huffington Post, this is one of the most popular natural attractions in the Algarve region, which in turn is popular for its wonderful beaches.
Located in one of the islands of the Madeira archipelago known as Funchal, this place lies on a beautiful hill that has fantastic views of the Bay of Funchal. The Monte Palace is one of the most important historical locations on the island. In the eighteenth century, this architectural beauty was one of the most recognised luxury hotels that received many emblematic guests. Nowadays, Monte Palace is one of the best-known local museums thanks to its incredible architecture and its unique gardens, filled with incredible exotic plants from many different continents. The famous garden has an exclusive collection of ancient “cica”, which consists of a collection of 60 types of plants considered as living fossils.
Address: Estr. EN514-2, Tavira
The island of São Miguel, in the Azores, is famous for its breathtaking views full of unique landscapes, hot springs, natural lagoons and incredible waterfalls of crystalline water. Among these, we can find the amazing Ribeira Quente Waterfall. Located in the village of Ribeira Quente, this cascade has a thermal origin that comes from the inner core of the island. This secret place is one of the gems of the Azores that is included in the famous waterfall trail, where they show the best natural secret places of the island.
Besides these ones, Portugal hiddes a lot more amazing secret places you can discover!
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