1685632385 5 Underrated Destinations in Portugal to Avoid the Summer Crowds | phillipspacc

5 Underrated Destinations in Portugal to Avoid the Summer Crowds

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Portugal is a destination that travelers can’t seem to get enough of.

This European country has been growing in popularity with American travelers and, during the first quarter of 2023, surpassed previous tourism records.

View of the city in Portugal

According to Turn, Portugal received 2.8 million visitors in the first three months of this year: a significant increase from 1.8 million visitors in the first quarter of 2022 and even a considerable jump from the 2.5 million visitors Portugal received in the first quarter of 2019.

If this record is any indicator of things to come, Portugal will continue to set even more records during the busy summer travel months this year.

But while popular destinations like Lisbon, Porto, and the southern Algarve coast will continue to rise in popularity, here are five underrated destinations in Portugal where you can still avoid the crowds.

Young tourist woman enjoying a beautiful landscape view on the old town with the river and the famous iron bridge during sunset in the city of Porto, Portugal

1. Viana do Castelo

Located in the far north of Portugal, near the border with the Spanish region of Galicia, Viana do Castelo is a beautiful underrated city that travelers should not miss.

Although many travelers visit Porto, few venture much further north. But located less than an hour north of Porto by car, this historic city is well worth a visit.

You can explore a beautiful medieval old town, enjoy the scenery and beaches of northern Portugal, and visit the Basilica of Santa Luzia, a church on a hill with stunning views of the city.

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Viana do Castelo Portugal

2. Sagres

Although technically part of the popular Algarve region of southern Portugal, Sagres feels a world away from the crowded tourist centers further east.

Located at the westernmost point of the Algarve, this quiet and rugged town is the perfect destination for adventure seekers.

It is known as a challenging surf destination due to the intense waves, although there are also some calmer, more sheltered beaches for swimming or relaxing in the sun. Sagres is also a great place for hiking and cycling away from the crowds.

Portugal

3. Coimbra

Coimbra is a historic riverfront city in central Portugal, located halfway between Porto and Lisbon, which is the perfect underrated destination to explore.

This city is known for its preserved medieval old town, as well as being the home of the University of Coimbra. Founded in 1209, this university is one of the oldest in the world and inspired author JK Rowling in her descriptions of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series.

If you are looking for a destination to visit in Portugal away from the crowds during the summer, this is a great place to go.

Coimbra Portugal

4.Viseu

If you’re looking for a beautiful city that’s off the radar for tourists in Portugal, look no further than Viseu. Located in the center of Portugal, this city is often overlooked by visitors.

There is no train station in Viseu, so you will need a car to visit. But it’s worth the effort because you’ll be rewarded with an ancient city with well-preserved medieval streets and architecture.

Viseu is known for its art and culture, especially from the Renaissance period. It is an excellent destination if you want to get off the beaten track in Portugal.

viseu portugal

5. The Azores

The Azores are not part of mainland Portugal at all, but rather an archipelago of islands in the Mid-Atlantic. This autonomous region of Portugal is certainly off the beaten path, but it is well worth visiting.

You can reach Ponta Delgada in just 2.5 hours on a non-stop flight from Lisbon. Located on the island of São Miguel, it is the largest city in the Azores and a gateway to explore the rest of the islands.

Made up of nine volcanic islands, the Azores are known for stunning, spectacular landscapes and excellent hiking trails. This is a great place to go to get away from it all.

azores

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com