Cascais, Portugal (Shutterstock)
List Words : Team Wanderlust | 29 August 2019

5 picture-perfect places to visit on the Portuguese coast

Enjoy the September sun in lesser-visited seaside towns - and explore the off-the-beaten-track beaches locals love near popular city break destinations Lisbon and Porto...

1. Sagres

Cabo Sao Vicente Lighthouse, Sagres, Portugal (Shutterstock)

Cabo Sao Vicente Lighthouse, Sagres, Portugal (Shutterstock)

At the extreme west of the Algarve lies this end-of-the-world hideaway. Many locals go misty-eyed at the mere mention of its name and it is a deeply special escape.

Stand atop the rugged cliffs, gazing out from Europe’s most south-western corner, where the great Portuguese explorers once set sail.

2. Costa Vicentina

Sunset on Costa Vicentina, Portugal (Shutterstock)

Sunset on Costa Vicentina, Portugal (Shutterstock)

Just to the north of the Algarve, this idyllic stretch of coastline is still something of a secret outside Portugal.

There has been precious little development here, just mile upon mile of sandy beach. Surfers know about it as it offers some epic breaks, but walking tours are starting to finally discover the area.

3. Cascais & Estoril

The town of Cascais, Portugal (Shutterstock)

The town of Cascais, Portugal (Shutterstock)

The town of Estoril, Portugal (Shutterstock)

The town of Estoril, Portugal (Shutterstock)

These twin beachfront suburbs of Lisbon hug the northern banks of the Tejo River.

Popular as resorts for over a century, they boast fine architecture, beaches, and verdant gardens, while the casino (open to all) at Estoril is a remarkable timewarp worth visiting for its architecture alone.

Why you should visit Portugal's eastern Algarve

4. Setubal

Lisbon is a renowned city break destination, but few travellers make it just south of the capital to the nearby little peninsula of Setubal.

A favourite of Lisbon residents looking to escape the city, there are beaches and seafood restaurants aplenty, with prices that beat the capital hands down.

5. Costa Verde

The UNESCO-listed Ribiera district of Portugal (Shutterstock)

The UNESCO-listed Ribiera district of Portugal (Shutterstock)

A beach near Porto, Portugal (Shutterstock)

A beach near Porto, Portugal (Shutterstock)

Porto is the ideal base for exploring the stretch of lush coastline that runs to its north. This energetic city has shown in recent years that it offers much more than the famous port wine houses that line the banks of the Douro River.

Explore the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district and swathes of museums, then point north, past small towns and sandy beaches, to the old cobbled streets and satellite villages of Viana do Castelo.

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