While it is true that Portugal is no longer best kept in the Iberian Peninsula, the secret, it’s pretty easy to escape the crowds. Even in the most popular tourist resorts of the Algarve, it only takes a short bus ride or a walk through the field to show little frequented places that still offer a sense of discovery – a sentiment close to the Portuguese soul. Portugal has an old world charm, with medieval castles and picture-perfect villages scattered along the coast and winding hills covered with flowers. Of the ancient university city of Coimbra Portuguese favorite refuge of Lord Byron, Sintra, the country’s proud history can be felt everywhere.
Sun-drenched beaches like Cascais and Sagres offer temptations of a more hedonistic. In fact, the dramatic end of the world’s wild cliffs, beaches, dunes protected coves and sand islands off the coast of Portugal has long enchanted visitors and residents alike. Meanwhile, the nation’s capital, Lisbon, and its northern rival, Porto, are magical places for the traveler, river view, cobblestone streets and rattling trams framed by looming cathedrals.
Known as the Statute of Rome of Portugal, Braga compact center is full of splendid baroque churches. Baroque churches, and the clamor of bells, are a constant reminder of what’s in charge here. In fact, Braga has been a center of religious power and the conversion of the Visigoths in the sixth century. Its cathedral, built in the 12th century as Portugal, but was fought by the Moors – is the oldest in Portugal.
But do not come alone waiting for mercy: the compact downtown pedestrian streets are bustling with cafes and worldly concerns, and students from the Universidade do Minho add except much younger.