There’s no doubt that a trip to Portugal will leave you with many fond memories that will last a lifetime. The country is filled with endless breathtaking scenery, unique architecture, delicious foods, local wines and important historical landmarks to visit. There are memorable moments to be had wherever you decide to explore, but we chose a few of our favourite spots to highlight.
Initiation Wells - Quinta da Regaleira
In addition to The Regaleira Palace, the park, the chapel, and secret tunnels, this beautiful estate has something extra unique that may make your head spin. The two Initiation Wells at Quinta da Regaleira were originally created for secret ceremonial purposes, and today offer visitors a truly whimsical experience. Many aspects of the carefully designed structure are said to be linked to Tarot Mysticism, Masonic Principles, Rosicrucianism, and other spiritual concepts.
The wells are sometimes described as “inverted towers”, with the largest of the two descending 88 feet underground. Visitors can climb the nine flights of stairs, retracing the steps of past templar candidates and ascending from darkness into the light.
Photo: Initiation Well at Quinta da Regaleira
The beautiful Douro Valley is the world’s oldest wine region, and one of the few places where the grapes are still stomped by foot. Both wine and port lovers alike will surely find something to enjoy during a visit here. The landscape of the region is very unique, as the mountains of the valley were transformed into the perfect growing conditions with distinct hand-built schist walls and numerous terraces.
Easily accessible from Porto by vehicle, train, or boat, the Douro Valley is a great excursion to make if you’re interested in wine and/or port, as this area has been producing it for an astounding 350 years. Most of the port produced in the region is shipped to Porto to age for a minimum of 2 years. To learn even more about the history and significance of the area, travelers can visit the Douro Museum.
Photo: Douro Valley Wine Region, Portugal
The Algarve is the southernmost region of mainland Portugal, and one of the major tourism hotspots. Visitors and expats flock to this area for more than just the near perfect climate. There are several beautiful towns that make up this region, and you’ll really find something for everyone. The stunning architecture and beautiful beach along the Gilão River of Tavira are sure to impress. Take in the views from the Castle of Tavira, located right in the centre of the city. For a bit of contrast, maybe visit Lagos and enjoy the still partially walled historic centre, the beautiful marina, the busy flea market, golf courses, and more.
And finally, for some truly memorable moments in this beautiful region, we highly recommend a boat tour. There are many different options, so visitors can choose which experience is most to their liking. Whether you want to explore the caves, see the playful dolphins jumping out of the water, take a luxury cruise, or simply relax and watch the sunset, The Algarve is the perfect place to get out on the water and take in the salty sea air.
Photo: Algarve Boat Tour