Curious to find some of the most beautiful villages in Portugal? I’ve created a list of villages in Portugal you’re going to want to visit!
Beautiful Portugal is a country that never fails to leave visitors in awe, thanks to its stunning coastline, rich culture and welcoming people. But with so much focus on the cities and popular tourist destinations, it’s easy to overlook the hidden gems which are the most beautiful villages in Portugal. From the quaint cobbled streets and traditional architecture to the warm hospitality of the locals, these Portugal villages offer you an authentic experience.
I’ve been to Portugal twice with that time adding up to nearly a month where I tried to see as many of these pretty Portuguese villages as I could. From Douro Valley in the north to Porto to Lisbon to the Alentejo region and the Algarve, there are a lot of amazing Portugal towns and villages that keep me coming back for more.
Join me and we can explore some of the best villages in Portugal – places that are sure to inspire your wanderlust and grow your Portugal village bucket list.
Table of Contents
Beautiful Villages in Portugal
Step into a world of enchantment as we explore Portugal’s hidden gems. From cobblestone streets to colourful facades, get ready to discover 29 captivating villages that will steal your heart and make you want to immediately book a trip!
Portugal Travel Planning Guide
🛩️What’s the best site to buy flights?
For finding the best deals on flights, I recommend Expedia. They are one of the world’s leading full-service online travel brands, they offer the widest selection of vacation packages and flights.
🚑Should I buy travel insurance?
100% YES! — Unless you already have insurance. If not, when travelling isn’t it worth peace of mind in case anything happens on your trip? I recommend SafetyWing – starting at just $1.50 a day!
🚙Should I rent a car in Portugal?
🏨What’s the best way to book my accommodations in Portugal?
🎟️What’s the best way to book excursions in Portugal?
I always used Get Your Guide. Not only do they offer top-rated experiences, but they also offer a free cancellation policy and the most competitive rates out there. Check out some of the best day trips from Lisbon.
🗺️Where can I find more destination guides and itineraries for Portugal?
I’ve got you covered! Check out my Europe travel page where you can find all of my travel content for Portugal. I’ve travelled to Portugal twice and have visited many places like the Douro Valley, Porto, Coimbra, Lisbon, Sintra, and Cascais. As well, have spent a week in the Alentejo region and the Algarve where I visited many small towns and villages in both these regions.
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North of Porto: 3 Beautiful Villages Portugal Has to Offer
Pinhão is a charming Portugal town that will entice you with its natural beauty and renowned Port wine production. This riverside destination is worth a visit for its scenic landscape, authentic atmosphere, and interesting Port history.
Pinhão is renowned as the center of Port wine production, and a visit to the local vineyards and quintas (wine estates) is a must-do activity. Explore the terraced vineyards that adorn the slopes of the Douro River, indulge in wine tastings, and learn about the traditional winemaking process. The panoramic views of the vineyards and the tranquil beauty of the region make this an unforgettable experience! Even if it’s just a day trip from Porto, don’t miss the opportunity to visit here.
The town itself is beautiful, with its traditional Portuguese architecture and vibrant tilework. The best place to go for a stroll is along the riverside promenade which offers a serene setting to admire the Douro River.
Another highlight of Pinhão is taking a boat cruise along the Douro River. Drift along the calm waters, passing terraced vineyards, rugged cliffs, and charming riverside villages. The cruise offers a relaxing and scenic way to admire the Douro Valley.
Recommended Place to Stay
Gorgeous 4-bedroom villa with a modern and stylish interior with a pool overlooking Douro River in Pinhão.
Take a relaxing Rabelo Boat Tour with Audio Guide from Pinhão ⭐️ RATING: 4.2/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours
Soajo is a remote Portuguese village located in Peneda-Geres National Park in Northern Portugal at an altitude of 1416m. Picturesque granaries, a charming traditional stone old town, and breathtaking views of the surroundings create a very charming picture that is definitely worth seeing and can’t be missed while in the area.
Soajo is small and you won’t find many places to see and things to do there, but chances are high that those which the village can offer will impress you. Stone granaries are definitely the biggest highlight of the village. Those a bit strange-looking structures, often mistaken for graves, were used to dry and store grain. In Soajo, you’ll find 24 granaries from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Just a few steps from the granaries you’ll find the Soajo center, where you’ll feel like stepping back in time hundreds of years back. Just let yourself lost across its streets, admire old stone houses, and look for an unusual stone pillory with a carved anthropomorphic face on the main square. If hungry, visit one of a few restaurants to taste local cuisine.
Also, don’t forget to slow down for a moment and enjoy nature and take a breath of fresh mountain air. Soajo is also starting point for many trails, which give the opportunity to explore Peneda-Geres National Park.
Your visit to Soajo probably won’t last longer than about 3 hours so you can combine it with a visit to Lindoso village, located only 10 km away. There you’ll find another granary cluster with more than 50 granaries that date back to the 17th and 18th centuries, a 13th-century medieval castle with great views over the surroundings, and the lovely stone old town.
3. Via Nova de Foz Côa
At first glance of the map, the teeny town of Vila Nova de Foz Côa in North Portugal may seem like a place to skip. But this beautiful village is more than worth a detour, especially when you learn that two of Portugal’s UNESCO sites flank the sleepy settlement.
The first is the Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa, an open-air museum mainly concentrated along the riverbanks. Here, with a local guide, you can tour one or more of the prehistoric rock art sites that dot the valley. Some of these ancient etchings of animals date back around 20,000 years, and while the weather has left them slightly faded, they remain a fascinating find.
In the accompanying interactive and modern museum, you can dig further into the locale’s history before witnessing some of the region’s most captivating vines-meet-river panoramas from the restaurant. With the tail end of the world heritage Alto Douro Wine Region reaching Foz Côa, it’s also an excellent place to visit a nearby winery and sample the vinhos of the world’s oldest official demarcated wine region.
While most of Foz Côa’s best attractions are on the peripherals, the village itself does have a handful of cute streets and pretty corners to seek out; the facade of the Baroque and Manueline-style Igreja Matriz being the most impressive architectural find.
Central: 4 Portugal Villages Worth Visiting
You’ll find Constancia where the waters of the River Tejo and Zezere meet in Santarem province. And this beautiful village in Portugal is an absolute delight! The village is most famous as the home of Luis de Camões, Portugal’s famous poet, but is a sleepy place to visit unless there’s a festival going on.
Follow the narrow streets down to the river, where there’s a river beach. Or perhaps explore the cobbled streets with photogenic whitewashed houses. The Casa Joao Chagas on the main square is a glorious place to stay and directly over from it, the Café de Praca is perfect for coffee and a famous “little cheese from heaven”, aka the Quejinho do Ceu.
There are watersports here, (arranged at the Taverna 1488 directly on the river) – the rapids come down from Castelo do Bode Lake, which is another local spot for great water sports options. For fans of the Knights Templar, then Almourol Castle is also just 5 km away.
There are some great hikes around here (but start early as it gets hot), and don’t miss the Science Museum (Centro Ciência Viva de Constância), there’s not much (if anything) in English, but there are some interesting exhibits.
Recommended Place to Stay
A secluded hillside 3-bedroom villa with a pool and uninterrupted views of the wine region of Ribatejo just outside of Constancia.
Day trip from Lisbon to the Knights Templar Day Tour and visit to Constancia ⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours
Located in the heart of Portugal, the captivating village of Fatima is a must-visit destination on your road trip through the country. This enchanting village is renowned as one of the world’s most significant Catholic pilgrimage sites. It offers a perfect blend of spirituality, history, and natural beauty.
With its quaint streets, colourful houses, and serene squares, Fatima boasts a picturesque charm worth experiencing. The village is known for its sacred sites, particularly the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, where the apparitions of the Virgin Mary were witnessed in 1917. The shrine’s basilica and the Chapel of Apparitions are awe-inspiring landmarks that radiate reverence and devotion.
During your visit, explore the Basilica of the Holy Trinity, a modern architectural marvel that offers panoramic views of Fatima and its surrounding landscapes. The Museum of the Apparitions provides a profound understanding of the village’s history and cultural heritage, showcasing the personal belongings of the shepherd children and interactive displays.
Additionally, don’t miss the moving candlelight procession held every evening, where pilgrims gather to walk with candles, sing hymns, and create a powerful atmosphere of devotion and unity. Then dine at a recommended restaurant called O Convite for traditional Portuguese cuisine in contemporary decor.
Whether you seek spiritual enlightenment, cultural immersion, or peaceful moments of reflection, Fatima promises a memorable and transformative experience for every traveller passing through Portugal.
Take a day trip from Lisbon to visit Fatima, Obidos, Batalha and Nazaré ⭐️ RATING: 4.7/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours
Nazare is one of the most famous Portugal beach towns on the west coast of Portugal, known for its massive waves that attract surfers from all over the world. Garrett McNamara, a professional surfer, featured Nazare in his documentary ‘100 Foot Wave’. The biggest waves can be found between October and April, making it the best time to catch surfers in action. It is truly a bucket list sight to see.
The town of Nazare is divided into two parts – the historic upper village and the beach town below. The upper town boasts attractions such as the São Miguel Arcanjo Fort, which has a small museum inside dedicated to the history of surfers and their boards. Spotters here watch the surfers below and quickly direct jet skis to find any surfer in trouble. Visitors can also visit the Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Nazaré in the town square.
The Nazaré Funicular is a great way to travel between the upper and lower towns with stunning views for €4 for a round-trip ticket. The lower beach town has a wide sandy beach known as Praia da Nazare, which is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and surfing. There are rentals available for visitors to enjoy water activities, and there are plenty of beach cafes to relax in.
The promenade has several shops for those who want to stroll around and seafood is a must-try at one of the traditional Portuguese restaurants like at Taberna d’Adélia. Nazare is one of the best towns in Portugal offering something for everyone.
Take a day trip from Lisbon to visit Fatima, Obidos, Batalha and Nazaré ⭐️ RATING: 4.3/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 10 hours
With narrow, cobbled lanes, whitewashed houses flanked by bougainvillea, and azulejo-covered churches, Obidos is one of Portugal’s prettiest villages and a must have on your itinerary.
Obidos is a medieval European town with an old castle, the walls of which you can still climb to get some gorgeous views of the Portuguese countryside. The 14th-century castle is also home to Pousada Castelo de Obidos, a luxury hotel complete with four-poster beds and chandeliers if you’re looking for a great place to spend a night.
The best thing to do in Obidos is to stroll along the picturesque main street, Rua Direita. Rua Direita is filled with white stone houses with blue and yellow borders, charming boutiques and souvenir shops, and restaurants with attractive menus. It is definitely the most touristy part of Obidos.
Feel free to venture off Rua Direita into narrow lanes and backstreets and you may find entire streets to yourself, without a soul in sight. Be sure to drop by the main Church of Santa Maria and the Church of Sao Pedro and notice their beautiful azulejo-covered walls and fresco-lined ceilings.
You can easily visit Obidos on a day trip from Lisbon. It is easy to get to by car, bus, or guided tour. The journey takes around 1.5 hours. If you leave early, you’ll get here before the rest of the day trippers and find the charming lanes of Obidos empty and perfect for photographs. Be sure to get your best walking shoes because you’re going to need them to tread those cobbled streets.
Join a Medieval tales walking tour through the Moorish and Jewish neighbourhoods ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours
Lisbon and Tagus Valley: 2 Incredible Portugal Towns
8. Azenhas do Mar
Azenhas do Mar is a stunning paradise located in Sintra. It is one of the closest beaches to Lisbon. It’s known for its picturesque white homes perched on the cliff, excellent seafood restaurants, and natural pool of water perfect for swimming and wading in the summer.
With its breathtaking views of the sea and crashing waves below, it’s the perfect place to take in the Portugueseness of it all and wander its lovely streets. You’ll want to walk around the cobblestone streets and look at all the traditional homes covered in azulejos.
The village is also peppered with old mill stones since it used to have several sea-powered mills, which is where its name comes from.
Stop for lunch at the Azenhas do Mar Restaurant for some incredible seafood over the dramatic cliffs and the impressive view provided by the glassed-in dining room. It is totally worth a day out just for the experience of dining here!
If you come on a sunny day, you’ll also want to take a dip in the sea. Try coming during low tide, since the sea fills the pool up during high tide, and then recedes to let people enjoy the spectacular spot without the danger of crashing waves.
Explore its winding cobblestone roads and find yourself at the top of the village’s viewpoint with breathtaking views of the village below. Don’t forget to take some photos and enjoy the stunning beauty of the area.
Take a unique day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, Azenhas do Mar and Cascais ⭐️ RATING: 4.9/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours
Sintra’s Old Town feels like a tiny village nestled amidst the lush greenery of the Sintra Mountains. It’s worth visiting and is known for its remarkable collection of palaces, castles, and gardens, which have earned it recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
One of the most popular is the architectural wonder, Pena Palace. A vibrant blend of vibrant colours and architectural styles this iconic site is perched atop a hill and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
The romantic Quinta da Regaleira is another must-visit site, with its mysterious grottoes, underground tunnels, and lush gardens that invite exploration and discovery.
A visit to the Moorish Castle is highly recommended. This ancient fortress, with its rugged walls and commanding views, takes you back in time.
But don’t miss out on visiting the tiny Sintra old town with its winding narrow streets lined with charming houses adorned with colourful tiles, flowers and ornate balconies. The picturesque town center with quaint cafés is the perfect spot to sit and soak up the atmosphere that feels straight out of a storybook.
Recommended Place to Stay
Imagine opening up your balcony doors to a view overlooking the UNESCO-protected centre of Sintra. This 1-bedroom apartment is perfect to stay and explore Sintra and all its castles.
Take a day trip from Lisbon to Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, & Pena Palace Trip⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 9 hours
Alentejo: 7 of the Best Villages in Portugal
Arraiolo is a charming village known for its exquisite Arraiolos rugs. Explore the local shops you will be in awe of the meticulous craftsmanship behind these handmade carpets and tapestries.
The village is also known for its iconic landmark, the Castle of Arraiolos. This 14th-century castle stands proudly atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Visiting the castle ruins you can wander through its ancient walls and with a little imagination picture what it might have looked like all those centuries ago. Another highlight of Arraiolos is a visit to the Igreja do Salvador, the village’s main church. This 16th-century church boasts impressive Manueline-style architecture.
Beyond these attractions, Arraiolos will charm you with its quaint cobblestone streets with whitewashed houses adorned with yellow or blue trim. Nothing but a peaceful atmosphere and a slower pace of life is what you’ll find in this authentic beautiful village in the Alentejo region.
Venturing beyond Arrailos, visit the nearby Evora, a UNESCO-listed city and capital of the Alentejo region. This historic city is not to be missed, as Evora is full of incredible architecture, fantastic restaurants and many more things to do.
Comporta is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. This charming, yet posh village offers visitors a perfect combination of pristine beaches, nature reserves, delicious seafood, and a glimpse of authentic rural Portuguese life.
Comporta is known for its stunning natural beauty and relaxed vibe. The village boasts beautiful white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters offering you the perfect setting to unwind and enjoy the sun and sea. Take long walks through the rice paddies (beware of mosquitoes) or explore the picturesque village centre, with its traditional houses painted in bright colours and its cobbled streets lined with quaint shops and restaurants.
One of the top things to do in Comporta is to visit Comporta Beach, which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. This wide sandy beach stretches for over 12 km along the Atlantic Coast and offers a variety of activities, including sunbathing, surfing, and kite-surfing.
Another must-see attraction in Comporta is the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve. This protected area is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including dolphins and flamingos. Take a guided tour of the reserve to learn more about the local wildlife and take a boat trip to see dolphins in their natural habitat.
Finally, no trip to Comporta would be complete without trying some of the local seafood. Sample fresh fish dishes at any of the local restaurants, which offer a mix of traditional Portuguese cuisine and international flavours. Popular restaurants in the area include Dona Bia and Sublime Beach Bar.
Recommended Place to Stay
Relax in this 3-bedroom villa overlooking a pool and undercover seating and dining area. This villa is only a 2 km walk to the beach and local restaurants.
Go horseback riding on the beach with wine tasting ⭐️ RATING: 4.4/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours
Elvas is a fortified city worth visiting for its unique blend of cultural heritage, stunning landmarks, and picturesque landscapes.
The village of Elvas is known for its remarkably well-preserved fortifications, earning it the designation of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town’s star-shaped fortress and imposing walls stand as a testament to its strategic importance throughout history. Elvas is considered beautiful for its charming streets lined with whitewashed houses adorned with colourful bands of yellow, creating a striking contrast against the rugged fortifications.
One of the must-see attractions in Elvas is the Amoreira Aqueduct, an impressive engineering marvel that spans the cityscape, supplying water to its inhabitants for centuries.
Another highlight is the Elvas Castle, a medieval fortress that commands attention with its commanding position atop a hill. Exploring its towers and walls provides visitors with panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.
Additionally, for history buffs, a visit to the Elvas Military Museum might be of interest, as it showcases the city’s military history through a vast collection of artifacts, weapons, and memorabilia.
One of the most charming villages in Portugal is the surf town of Ericeira. It was declared the first World Surfing Reserve in Europe making it a sought-after destination among surfers from all across the continent. Yet, it is not as crowded as the Algarve’s surf towns.
If you have been wanting to learn how to surf, Ericeira is the perfect place to take lessons. There are also plenty of yoga and surf centers where you can stay for a week or two at a time doing what you love.
But even if you do not surf, there are plenty of fun things to do in Ericeira. Stroll along the picturesque promenade looking at rock paintings or have a drink in front of the beach where surfers bob in the water in front of you waiting for the perfect wave.
The town is super cute with traditional white and blue painted houses, quaint squares, and restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy a coffee or a nice lunch.
There are plenty of beaches in Ericeira, a favourite is Foz do Lizandro where you can go paddleboarding on the shore of the Foz do Lizandro River. Further, the coastline does not come short of amazing viewpoints. If you want to spend time on the ocean, you can also jump on one of the boat cruises from Ericeira and either spend a whole day out or go on a sunset cruise to round off a perfect day with the sun reflecting in the glittering water.
Take a unique day trip from Lisbon to Marfa, Ericeira & Queluz ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours
Of all the beautiful villages Portugal has to offer, Marvao needs to be top of the list. This charming village is worth visiting for its unique blend of medieval architecture, scenic beauty, and close proximity to the Spanish border.
Marvao is known for its well-preserved medieval walls that encircle the town, transporting visitors back in time. The narrow, winding streets are lined with historic buildings adorned with intricate details, making it a true architectural gem.
One must-see attraction in Marvao is the Marvao Castle, perched on a hilltop and offering panoramic views of the town and surrounding landscapes. Exploring the castle’s ruins provides a glimpse into the town’s storied past and offers a mesmerizing perspective of the region.
The best time to visit is to watch the sunset over Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede from the castle walls. Hikers will enjoy the foot trails found nearby.
Combine visiting this village with another beautiful village called Estremoz. This village can be spotted from a distance, as it’s referred to as a white city due to all the white marble. I recommend dining at Mercearia Gadanha, a modern twist on traditional Portuguese cuisine.
Perched atop a hill is the beautiful village of Monsaraz. This medieval gem is worth visiting for its breathtaking views and authentic charm.
Monsaraz is known for its well-preserved medieval castle walls that enclose the village. The village itself is incredibly beautiful for its narrow, winding streets lined with white houses adorned with bougainvillea, creating a postcard-perfect setting.
One of the must-see attractions in Monsaraz is the Castle of Monsaraz, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the shimmering waters of the Alqueva Reservoir. Exploring the castle’s towers and ramparts allows visitors to immerse themselves in the village’s medieval past while enjoying the mesmerizing vistas.
A visit to the Monsaraz Megalithic Complex is highly recommended. This archaeological site features several well-preserved prehistoric stone structures, including menhirs and dolmens, providing a fascinating glimpse into the region’s ancient history.
Lastly, taking a leisurely stroll along the village walls during sunset is an experience not to be missed. As the sun dips below the horizon, the golden hues cast a magical glow over the landscape, creating an unforgettable moment.
Cap off your day and dine at Herdade do Esporão, a modern restaurant situated on wine-farm estate that serves up dishes with locally sourced ingredients mostly from the farm.
Recommended Place to Stay
A unique family-friendly 4-bedroom in the countryside designed by the architect João Favila Menezes. The space is modern and full of colour that will be loved by your children just as much as you.
16. Porto Covo
Porto Covo is a hidden gem and one of the best fishing villages Portugal has to offer to travellers who want to immerse themselves in the local culture and food. With its stunning beaches, historic fort, and the Fisherman’s Trail, Porto Covo has something to offer every traveller.
The Fisherman’s Trail is a four-day inn-to-inn hike that starts in Porto Covo and takes you along the rugged coastline to Odeceixeeise. This sandy, but not-so-challenging trail is part of the larger Rota Vicentina network and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Portuguese countryside. It’s a must-do for comfortable adventure seekers.
Porto Covo is also home to several stunning beaches, each with its own unique charm. From the golden sands of Praia Buizinhos to the sands of Praia Grande, there is a beach for everyone. You can take a relaxing swim in the crystal clear waters, go for an active walk along the shore, or just lounge on the sand and soak up the sun. With a mix of sandy, stony, and cliffside beaches, you can have it all.
In addition to the natural beauty of Porto Covo, the town also has a rich history. The Forte de Nossa Senhora da Queimada is a historic military structure that dates back to the 16th century. This impressive fort offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area and the AIlha restaurant is a perfect place to grab a cold or mixed drink.
Porto Covo is known for its delicious seafood, with fresh catches available in the local restaurants. Try to get in at Lamellas a female-owned elevated Portuguese restaurant. Try the traditional grilled sardines, baked clams and pork, and other seafood dishes that are amazing. You can also just wander the charming streets and find treasures from the Portuguese coast to send home.
Algarve: 9 of the Best Towns in Portugal
Along the beautiful Algarve coastline of Portugal is the picturesque village of Carvoeiro. Known for its beautiful and dramatic coastline, golden sand beaches and pretty cobbled streets and whitewashed buildings, this village is a must-visit.
One of the best things to do in Carvoeiro is to walk along the Carvoeiro boardwalk, a 600m wooden clifftop route which takes you out to the incredible Algar Seco caves where you can see tunnels, arches and caves carved into the rock by the sea.
The Carvoeiro beaches including Carvoeiro beach right in the village and Praia do Paraiso are perfect for relaxing on and enjoying the refreshing cool waters on a hot day. While Carvoeiro Beach is easily accessible and has some facilities and cafes and restaurants nearby, Praia do Paraiso involves walking down a long staircase and offers a more private beach day experience.
The town is also near the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail which is one of the best hikes in the Algarve known for its stunning views and beautiful hidden beaches. This 6 km hike each way is moderately difficult with some areas that have uneven rocky terrain.
Carvoeiro also has some great restaurants and cafes and together with the hiking trails, beaches and caves, you could easily spend a day exploring.
Recommended Place to Stay
A stylish 1-bedroom apartment in a family-friendly resort with a communal pool and other amenities. Steps from the beach.
From Carvoeiro sail along the rocky shoreline to Benagil Caves ⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours
Ferragudo is a beautiful town on Portugal’s Algarve coast that started out as a fishing village. Over the years, it’s become a popular spot for tourists thanks to its traditional Portuguese feel. In Ferragudo, you’ll find whitewashed homes, winding streets lined with flowers, a historic castle, and beaches.
Although tourism has grown in Ferragudo, fishing is still a key industry. In the mornings, you can spot fishermen along the river pulling up their nets full of fish, making it a great destination for seafood lovers.
Ferragudo is the perfect town to wander on foot. Be sure to spend some time in Praça Rainha Dona Leonor, the main square in Ferragudo. There you’ll find many bars and restaurants with terraces, a recommended one to try is Rei Das Praias.
A 10-minute walk from the main square is Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, an original church that dates back several hundred years. The church itself is worth seeing, but you’ll also want to take in the views from the top of the hill that the church sits on. From there, you have views of the sea, the estuary, the city of Portimao on the other side of the water, and Ferragudo’s fortress called Castelo de São João de Arade.
Finally, you can check out Ferragudo’s two beaches Praia da Angrinha and Praia Grande. Both are a short walk from the center of town, and both are great options for a day of lounging in the sun and swimming in the river.
Recommended Place to Stay
This charming 3-bedroom villa overlooks the white sands of the Praia Grande beach with beach access from the garden. This renovated former bee cottage has a pool and is family-friendly.
19. Praia da Luz
We visited Praia da Luz on the Algarve coast of Portugal as part of a year-long trip around the world. It is a bleached, beachside village with a strong fishing history, but unfortunately is probably more famous as being the location Madeleine McCann went missing from.
The main reason for visiting Luz, is the beach, a 400m stretch of sand edged by palm trees which links onto beaches that go a further 1km to Lagos. It is one of those perfect European beaches, with the softest sand, lots of refreshments and facilities to get you through the day.
There is also a surprising amount of history in Luz (I say surprising as it wasn’t really called out). It goes back to Roman times, and we even managed to find the ruins of an old Roman fish processing building hidden down a back street. Speaking of fish, fresh seafood means there is an abundance of great restaurants in Luz. I’d recommended Fortaleza, which sits in a 17th-century fort with amazing views back down over the village.
If you want to travel a little further, the bigger town of Lagos is only 10 minutes away and gives access to a stunning collection of sea stacks called Ponta da Piedade, which jut out into the ocean.
Recommended Place to Stay
This cool coastal 3-bedroom apartment is close to a whole host of authentic bars and eateries, and a 2-minute walk to the beach.
Olhão is known as one of the best fishing villages in Portugal. The bustling waterfront and vibrant market are a must-see. Witness the catch of the day of the local fishermen as you peruse the stalls filled with fresh fish, seafood, fruits, and local produce.
Next, take a stroll into the historic quarter of Olhão. The narrow cobblestone streets wind their way through traditional whitewashed fishermen’s houses adorned with decorative azulejos and colourful doors. Enjoy a drink at Luna Art Cafe in one of the quaint squares, Largo da Restauração, and marvel at the exquisite details of the Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário.
Nature enthusiasts will be excited to visit the nearby Ria Formosa Natural Park, a coastal lagoon with an intricate system of canals, islands, and marshlands to witness the diverse flora and fauna that call it home. The Ria Formosa is a sanctuary for migratory birds and boasts a rich marine life, offering a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace.
Recommended Place to Stay
Stay in this gorgeous 2-bedroom Moorish townhouse featuring a rooftop terrace with views of Olhão in the plunge pool.
From Olhão sail to three islands by boat to Farol, Culatra, and Armona ⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 5.5 hours
If you are looking for a peaceful village with postcard-worthy views, Sagres has everything you need. This small village has less than 5,000 residents and offers nothing but kindness and hospitality.
This small village has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Since it is on the southwestern tip of Portugal, most tourists do not venture that far, which means less crowded beaches. You can visit Praia Da Mareta, Praia Do Tonel, or Praia Do Martinhal. If you are an experienced surfer, Sagres is one of the best places to catch amazing waves.
There are also cliffs with views that feel like you are looking at the end of the world, which I’m sure is why many people thought the Earth was flat. It’s just too beautiful for words.
If you are a history buff, visit Fortaleza de Sagres. The Fort of Sagres sits on a 200-foot cliff that dates back to the 15th century. This fortress was originally constructed to defend against attacks from pirates, but over time it evolved. It eventually became a place for explorers to discover new worlds. Inside the Fort is a museum that summarizes its history and addresses Portugal’s colonization of Brazil.
While in Sagres, you have to see Cabo de Sao Vincente. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world, offering views of beautiful blue water against cliffs formed over hundreds of thousands of years.
Recommended Place to Stay
A cozy modern villa with a pool. Perfect for two couples who want to explore the best the Algarve has to offer.
Take a Sagres Coasteering Adventure of swimming, cliff jumping & rock climbing ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours
Located on the quiet west coast of the Algarve, the beautiful beach town of Salema still retains plenty of the original fishing village Portugal charm. Is one of the few traditional fishing villages remaining where fishermen in small boats still go to sea to earn a living. You can see the boats going to sea from the main beach on most mornings.
In the middle of town, the picture-perfect Praia de Salema is a blue flag beach with golden sand. The ocean is usually relatively calm here, making this a good beach for swimming, be warned the water is quite cold most of the time. Kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are available for rent on the beach and in-season lessons are also available.
On the western end of the beach, dinosaur footprints are a popular tourist attraction. Several sets of footprints have been preserved among the rocks. Hiking is popular on the rugged West Coast of the Algarve and Salema is located on the popular Fisherman´s trail. This stunning hiking trail is a 230 km long multi-day hike following the coastline of Alentejo and the Algarve.
The town itself is stunning and the cobblestone streets are very nice to explore on foot, with several bars and restaurants to try. A sleepy town out of season, Salema is a popular destination during the holiday season in the summer.
23. Santa Luzia
Santa Luzia is a charming little fishing village right outside of Tavira. It is the perfect place to stay for a slow pace with local restaurants serving fresh Portuguese food. One restaurant not to be missed is Casa do Polvo Tasquinha.
There is a nice promenade where you can go for evening walks looking out at colourful wooden boats dotted on the beach. The narrow streets are lined with traditional tiled houses, cute little squares, and a couple of churches worth visiting.
Santa Luzia gets very sleepy in winter, so the best time to go is during the summer months. One of the top attractions is the Anchor Cemetery on Tavira Island which is situated right in front of Santa Luzia. You can walk across the footbridge, and from there you can either take the tourist train or walk across the island to Barril Beach where you will find 200 rusty anchors places in the dunes in front of the beach and the ocean. These are a reminder of the tuna fishing era.
There are a few restaurants and bars there too, all located inside what was fisherman shacks and houses where the families lived during the fishing season. The little tourist train runs on what was the line to transport the tuna over to the mainland. The beach is also a great place to spend the day and you could walk all the way to Tavira beach on the eastern side of Tavira Island.
24. São Brás de Alportel
São Brás de Alportel is a real hidden gem and off the radar from most tourists. It lies between the coast of the Algarve and the mountains interior of the Algarve. This quaint tiny town is worth visiting for its authentic Portuguese charm with a real laid-back atmosphere.
São Brás de Alportel is known for its long history. It’s thought to be located at the crossing of two roads that date back to Roman times. One of those roads links to Faro and the other to Tavira. Historians have found lots of evidence that this village had a significant presence in Roman and Muslim civilizations.
The town has a long history of cork production, and you can explore workshops and stores to see the artistry behind this unique craft.
One must-visit attraction in São Brás de Alportel is the Municipal Market, where locals gather to sell fresh produce, regional products, and handmade crafts. Another highlight is the 16th-century São Brás de Alportel Church, a stunning example of Gothic and Manueline architecture.
Best of all is its serene atmosphere. Simply walking through the narrow cobblestone streets and admiring the whitewashed buildings make it a worthwhile visit. Seek out the viewpoint called Alto da Arroteia for scenic countryside views.
Recommended Place to Stay
This 4-bedroom hillside hideaway with a pool and panoramic views is the perfect family getaway home. With a stylish wall of glass stretching along one side of the open-plan living, kitchen and dining area, this villa is a contemporary dream.
Silves is a historic town in south-central Portugal that is a 30-minute drive to the beaches of the Algarve region. The narrow cobbled streets, the Arabic architecture, and the castle on the hill make Silves one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal.
Silves was formally the capital of the Algarve and many well-preserved historic sites still remain. The Castle of Silves is a hilltop landmark from the era of the Moor’s occupation. Panoramic views of the area from high on the castle walls are spectacular. The Gothic cathedral is another important site to visit in Silves.
There are many lovely cafes with outdoor seating worth lingering at to absorb the quaint splendour of the town. Several fine restaurants serve Portuguese food in front of the Arcade River running through town. The 14th-century Roman bridge for pedestrians to cross the river is an iconic landmark of Silves. You will find white storks nesting in trees along the river.
Silves is situated perfectly for day trips to sea kayak the Benagil Caves, enjoy a wine tour at Quinta do Frances, or visit the splendid Marinha Beach. In August, the medieval festival has a huge medieval market with people in medieval costumes roaming the streets. There are reenactments of old-time battles and music everywhere.
The best way to enjoy Silves is to stroll through the narrow streets and marvel at the charm of a town seeped in history and culture.
Recommended Place to Stay
Nestled in the heart of Silves is this 2-bedroom quirky townhouse. From its rooftop terrace enjoy 360 panoramic views over Silves and beyond. From the patio doors, step into the plunge pool, outdoor shower and terrace seating.
Azores Islands: 2 Beautiful Villages
The most beautiful villages in Portugal are often historic hideaways and cliff-hugging beach spots, but the Azores — an autonomous, nine-strong, volcanic archipelago amid the Atlantic Ocean — does things a little differently. On São Miguel (the largest isle), beauty bubbles from below the surface, with the small parish village of Furnas being the central hub of geothermal activity.
Situated inside a volcanic crater, the village is a pretty cluster of white-washed homes, churches, and restaurants. Still, the architecture is very much overshadowed by the gushing geysers, steaming sulphurous crevices and photo-worthy hot springs. Even the valley’s signature dish, Cozido das Furnas (a meat-heavy stew), is slow-cooked underground using natural steam.
But while this unique dining opportunity is a must, there are plenty more ways to experience Furnas’ feisty underworld. After spotting the caldeiras in the centre of the village, venture to the Parque Terra Nostra. While the gorgeous botanical gardens are well worth exploring, the enormous thermal water pool is the main draw. Bathing in these warming, healing, and murky waters is one of the top things to do in the Azores, but if you’d prefer your springs a little clearer, the pretty pools at Poça da Dona Beija are a great alternative.
For even more geothermal activity, head to Furnas Lake for a stroll around the non-swimmable waters and to walk on the boardwalks above the bubbling and blowing Antigo Pomar das Caldeiras da Lagoa das Furnas — another of the valley’s main attractions.
Enjoy an evening in thermal baths followed by dinner ⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours
27. Sete Cidades
Sete Cidades is one of the cutest towns in Sao Miguel, the biggest of the Azores, and an absolute must-visit if you are travelling to these beautiful islands.
Surrounded by towering volcanic peaks, the small village of Sete Cidades sits in a valley embraced by two beautiful lakes, Lagoa Azul (blue lake) and Lagoa Verde, (green lake). Named for the colours of their water on a sunny day.
Walk around the cobblestone roads of this Portugal town, among its pretty houses and flowery gardens. Check out the old Neogothic church of Sao Nicolau which faces a promenade of Japanese cedars, a very common tree in the islands.
Nature enthusiasts will love hiking around both lakes or taking a kayak where you’re bound to see schools of carp fish swimming near the surface.
For spectacular viewpoints go to Mirador do Rey or Miraduro da Grota do Inferno. The latter offers the iconic postcard view of the Azores and its five lagoons, The Sete Cidades lagoons, Lagoa do Canario Lagoa Rasa and Lagoa de Santiago. The best way to get around the island is by renting a car in Ponta Delgada Airport.
Love adventure? Go off-roading on scenic trails in an ATV ⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3.5 hours
Madeira Islands: 2 Portuguese Villages to Visit
28. Porto Moniz
Porto Moniz, located in the northwestern part of the archipelago of Madeira, is one of the dreamiest places in Portugal. The natural pools formed by the lava settlements and the blue waters make it an exciting place to visit. The awe-inspiring sight of the mighty waves crashing against the rugged cliffs with the beautiful little houses all along the slopes of the hills puts up quite the show.
Porto Moniz is more than just the natural pools and the mesmerizing views. The best part is that most things to explore in Porto Moniz are either free or very affordable, making it budget-friendly. Located near the coast, it also has a variety of seafood delicacies to enjoy. It is also conveniently located in the part of the island that has so much to offer. You could enjoy swimming in the clear waters of the natural pools or just visit one of the nearby beaches like the Praia Ilhéus da Ribeira da Janela – beach, from where you could witness some dramatic sunsets.
There are many Levada walking trails near Porto Moniz. They will transport you to the splendour of the Laurisilva forest, which is also filled with many waterfalls along the way. Even the most famous PR6 25 Fontes levada walk in Madeira is just 40 minutes away from Porto Moniz.
The cable car ride, which connects the town of Achadas da Cruz, located on the top of the hill down to the coast, is just around 10 Km from Porto Moniz. The views from the coast where the cable car ride ends are truly a sight to see.
If you like challenges, risk, and adventure, you could try canoeing in Porto Moniz, but it is not something for beginners. The Aquarium of Porto Moniz, located closer to the natural pools, is something you can consider visiting on a rainy day.
Feeling adventurous? Go diving with sharks and stingrays in the Madeira Aquarium ⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours
Seixal is a wonderful small village in the northern part of Madeira, in the Porto Moniz municipality. It is famous for having one of the very few beaches in Madeira, which is covered with black volcanic sand. The population of Seixal is less than 700 inhabitants, which makes it a great place to come if you want to discover a small village in Madeira.
Seixal opens up at the Atlantic Ocean and has both a beach and some natural pools where you can swim in the waters of the ocean, whilst being protected by the large waves which crash into the stones before reaching the shore. Someone even created a dinosaur nest on one of the rocks, which you can climb for a lovely panorama of the village and the sea.
There is one small restaurant along the natural pool which serves traditional Madeiran food such as grilled espada fish, lapas, or delicious steak filled prego sandwiches. Waking on the rocks, around the natural pools, you will encounter hundreds of shy crabs which will hide under the stones as you pass through.
The scenery around Seixal is stunning, with lush vegetation and cliffs dropping straight into the ocean. On these cliffs, the locals have plated wines, which contribute to the production of Madeiran wine. The landscape looks like a scene from Jurassic Parc – no wonder that Madeira is often referred to as the Hawaii of Europe.
Close to Seixal, you will also find the incredible Bridal Fall Waterfall, which falls from 110 meters high straight into the ocean.
Is English spoken in these Portuguese villages?
English may be spoken in some Portuguese villages to varying degrees, especially in tourist-friendly areas. However, in more remote villages, the locals often have limited English proficiency. Learning a few basic Portuguese phrases can be helpful and appreciated.
What is the best time to visit these villages?
The best time to visit these villages is during spring through autumn (April to November). The summer months (July and August) can be hot, particularly in the interior regions, and some villages may become crowded.
Are Portugal villages crowded with tourists?
Portugal villages can be crowded with tourists depending on the time of year and the popularity of the village. Some villages, such as Olhão, can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. However, others, like Monsaraz or Piódão, are less visited and offer a more tranquil experience.
As a Holidaymaker
Portugal’s beautiful villages offer a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes. From the charming streets of Monsaraz to the colourful houses of Alvor, each village has its own unique character and history waiting to be explored. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway or an adventure-filled journey, this list of villages in Portugal has something to offer everyone.
So why not pack your bags and discover these hidden gems for yourself? With warm hospitality and breathtaking scenery at every turn, you won’t regret it!