Sight Map Portugal
TurtleMap - The Interactive Sight Map of Portugal Cultural Highlights, Beaches, Activities, Surfing Hot Spots and Nature
Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe. Vast landscapes, charming old castles, historic roman villages, bridges, aqueducts and royal tales will keep you occupied. After spending 3 consecutive months in Portugal, we were able to discover a lot (see the suggested Potugal itinerary). However, we still feel that there is a lot more to do as you see in our sight map Portugal.
This virtual map pin-points all places we know or have heard of. It features the must-sees as well as rarely known places. Whether it is a city or a picturesque village, a historic monument or a national park, a paradise beach or a brave surfing hotspot – you can find it here!
As much as we would love to, we haven’t been to all these places. Nevertheless, you can always find helpful links to other sites with all the important info. If you have discovered another place or want to share experiences from your own trip, feel free to comment! It will become an important part of our TurtleBu map!
Don’t forget to have a look underneath the map to find some tips on highlights and must-sees.
Cities & Villages
Historic Sights & Museums
Cities & Villages
Portugal is mainly famous for its two biggest cities Lisbon and Porto. Moreover, there are plenty of small cities, villages and hamlets spread out all over the country. Some of them have still remained largely untouched by international travelers.
Here are the biggest and most tempting places for every visit in Portugal:
- Lisbon metropolitan area (incl. Sintra and Cascais): The picturesque/hilly capital is the country’s commercial and an important cultural center. It is surrounded by beautiful coastal towns that shall not be missed.
- Porto: The second largest city is the “queen of the north” and the birth place of Port Wine.
- Óbidos: The beautiful old European village on top of the hills seems to have stopped in time.
- Faro, Portimão, Albufeira and Lagos: Algarve’s main cities wait to be discovered during a beach holiday.
- Évora: The main city of Alentejo features a charming old town full of history and monuments.
- Portugals Mountain villages: The “12 Histocial Villages of Portugal” let visitors dive into a fairy tale world. Specially Piodão, Monsato and Sortelha have astonished us during our road trip.
Historic Sites & Museums
There is an incredible amount of monuments, historic sites, churches, museum all over the country. In nearly every village you can find remains from the Neolithic, Megalithic, Roman, Moorish or Renaissance periods.
The most significant places in terms of historic sites and museums are:
- Lisbon metropolitan area: Besides numerous historical monuments, it features the most important collection of museums and theaters in Portugal.
- Porto: Home of several museums and theaters, Porto hosts also significant buildings and landmarks.
- Fátima: The small town is Europe’s second most visited place for pilgrimage after the Vatican.
- Mafra: The national palace is one of Europe’s biggest and most impressive palaces.
Despite being famous for its beaches and tiled houses, Portugal is also a place of stunning natural landscapes. Iberian forests and volcanic islands represent a stunning adventure.
The most spectacular landscapes can be found here:
- Serra da Estrela: The highest point of Portugal main land as well as a ski and hiking hot spot.
- Peneda Gerês : The only natural park of Portugal.
- Douro River: The river is embedded in a spectacular landscape and surrounded by Port wine vineyards.
- Serra da Arrábida: This protected area with a gasping landscape and wonderful beaches is just a close drive away from Lisbon.
- Madeira and Azores Archipelagos: The two subtropical islands host the best views, landscapes and natural resources of Portugal.
Portugal’s idyllic beaches are one of a kind on a European or even global scale. They feature orange, yellow or red edge cliffs, golden sands and translucent greenish warm waters. The unique landscape is often considered as “Europe’s Best Kept Secret” reminding visitors of Australia.
There is an incredible amount of wonderful beaches on our map. Here just what we consider the absolute unmissable gems:
- Algarve: The region is Portugal’s top summer destination! It features long stretches of sand as well as hidden bays. You can see more about the best beaches in our post.
- Serra da Arrábida: The protected area has some of the most beautiful beaches of the country. They are hidden behind stunning forests and mountains.
- Costa Vicentina and Costa Alentejana: A coastal stretch with hundreds of golden beaches extending from western Algarve to Alentejo.
During the last few years, Portugal has seen a hype as “The Place” for surfers in Europe. Well located in between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the “European Hawaii” has grabbed worldwide attention when it comes to surfing big waves.
These are the most famous spots to practice surf:
- Algarve: With mild to warm sea temperatures all-year-round it attracts many surfers. They specially visit its far western side called Costa Vincentina.
- Peniche: One of the top places to surf in Portugal and famous for its powerful waves and supertubes.
- Nazaré: This is the “Mecca” for surfers! It has become specially famous since November 2011 when Garrett McNamara rode “the world’s biggest wave ever surfed”.
There is a broad range of activities that keep you occupied for a long period of time. Apart from sightseeing and museum hopping, visitors can practice water sports such as surfing, rafting, snorkeling or diving. The offer also includes nature activities like horse riding, hiking and winter.
Here is a list of the most famous activities:
- Water sports: Paddling, jet ski, diving, snorkeling, banana boat as well as sailing are mainly offered around the main tourist spots in the Algarve. Here is also a perfect place to practice surf if you are a beginner or intermediate.
- Wild water fishing: Pretty much any coastal village offers the necessary facilities.
- Winter sports: Although the country is not famous for its cold temperatures, regular snowfalls in Serra da Estrela allow the practice of ski and snowboard.
- Bird-watching: Specially the mountains of the natural parks are a great environment to spot wildlife.
- Aerial activities: Flying a sports plane or helicopter over Portugal’s cities, coasts and mountains is s fantastic way to experience the country. Sky diving has become specially popular in the Algarve .