Surfing in the land of the waves
With over 800 km of coast and a favorable Atlantic wind, Portugal offers the best conditions for sports such as surfing, kite surfing and bodyboarding. Surfers will find perfect conditions both in the north, in Figuera and Espinho, and in the south, in Alentejo and around Sagres. For bodyboarders, Praia Grande in Sintra is a must. Every year the best bodyboarders gather here for the world championships. The mecca for windsurfers is located in Guincho, south of Sintra.
The city of Èvora is the provincial capital of the Alentejo region and is located between Lisbon and the border with Spain. Èvora has a lot to offer historically interested visitors, having been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. The historic city center from the 17th century houses an old Roman wall and a Roman temple. Other sights include the Gothic cathedral from the 12th/13th. Century, the City Museum, the Gothic Church of São Francisco and the megaliths outside the city.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Portugal, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
sports and leisure activities
The good mixture of beach, waves, wind and sea offers perfect conditions for water sports enthusiasts, but Portugal also offers all imaginable sports and leisure activities on land. The most popular sport is football and a visit to one of the big stadiums should also be a special experience. In the land of the Lusitano horses, rides or tours lasting several days are offered almost everywhere. It’s a wonderful way to get to know the country. There are now well-signposted hiking and long-distance hiking trails in Portugal. The Algarve in particular offers hikers good routes with different levels of difficulty. Even if there is hardly a good network of cycle paths, it is possible to rent bicycles in almost all large towns.
The city and fortress of Guimarães, the main symbol of Portugal’s independence, is located in the Braga region, in northern Portugal. Guimarães was the country’s first capital and its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Guimarães Fortress is located on a hill and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city. It is considered one of the best preserved Romanesque fortresses in Portugal. The medieval old town is peppered with iron balconies, magnificent churches, narrow streets with smooth pavement and restored town houses. A walk feels like walking through a film set.
Convento de Cristo
The Convento de Cristo (translated: Christ’s Convent) looks like a baroque castle and is located in the city of Tomar in central Portugal. The Convento de Cristo was built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century and served as their headquarters. In 1983 the old round church with the monastery was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The museum and the cloisters from the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as the richly decorated interior, the sculptures and paintings are well worth seeing.
If you’re wondering if you’re on the wrong continent when you see the Cristo Rei statue, don’t worry. It’s still Portugal, even if the image of Christ the Redeemer is more reminiscent of Rio than Almada. At a height of 75 m there is a viewing platform that offers a beautiful view of Lisbon. The statue of Cristo Rei with her open arms is 28 m higher and was consecrated in 1959 by the Archbishop of Rio. It is one of the tallest buildings in the country.
Place of pilgrimage Fatima
The most important religious site in Portugal is the pilgrimage site of Fátima in the central west of the country. In 1917 the place became known through a Marian apparition. In the same year, thousands of people made pilgrimages to Fátima and witnessed a miracle of the sun. Since that time, millions of Catholic believers have visited the Basilica Antiga, which seats 9,000 people and is the fourth largest Catholic church in the world.
Porto’s Torres dos Clérigos bell tower
A popular sight in the city of Porto is the 75 m high bell tower Torres dos Clérigos. Its six floors can be climbed over 225 steps and this effort is rewarded with a breathtaking view over Porto. The bell tower was added to the existing baroque church in the 18th century and is the landmark of the metropolis.
Cabo da Roca
The steep cliffs with the lighthouse of Cabo da Roca make for a wonderful holiday photo. The westernmost point of Europe lies at an altitude of 140 m and offers an impressive view far over rugged cliffs and the Atlantic. Rare peregrine falcons nest in the rocks where the waves crash. There is a tourist office, a marine radio station and a bar.
The south of Portugal offers a variety of sights, one of the most beautiful of which is the Cathedral of Faro. A visit to the 13th-century cathedral is like a discovery tour. The richly decorated pews and the altar show the attention to detail. Paintings from the 18th century hang on the wooden walls. The old bell tower with the medieval clockwork is an eye-catcher. From the upper open space there is a beautiful view over Faro to the Ria Famosa nature reserve.