5 Magical Spots in Portugal
Portugal has been an inviting destination with its comfortable weather lasting all year long, from the mainland to the islands of Madeira and the Azores. But where do you go if you have to choose from the different areas, cities, and coastlines? We've selected 5 magical places in Portugal from our Portuguese travel guides written by our local experts.
Casa Meranka, a unique guesthouse in Southwest Algarve
Margootje, Dutch, and Josh, English, are a power duo which started this unique guesthouse close to the sea a few years ago in the small town of Figueira. The four homey cottages are ideal for a family vacation or a surfing trip. Why is it magical? The nearby deserted beaches are ideal for surfing and relaxing, the delicious Portuguese food, and the hospitality of the welcoming couple who will makes you want to return every year! More info
The local park Jardim da Estrela in Lisbon
This park is a personal favorite of our local writer Flavia in Lisbon. Esterela is one of the oldest gardens in the city and has become an inviting gathering place for all ages. The park gives families a place to enjoy a playful time outside and a hangout spot for local friends to meet each other. Built in the 19th century, this park has a playground for the kids, library kiosk, cafeteria and enough space for your blanket and picnic basket. Why is it magical? It's one of the few places in Lisbon where congregate for a lazy weekend afternoon! Find more tips from Flavia in her travel guide Lisbon Like a Local.
The Poca Da Dona Beija hot springs in the Azores
There's nothing like bathing under the stars in the natural hot springs of the Azores. This sounds like a dream! But on São Miguel, it is possible to take a dip in four thermal baths of Poca da Dona Beija, located in the volcanic village Furnas. You can enjoy the naturally heated waters by the volcano. The baths are open all day up until 9PM! Why is it magical? Besides being a natural phenomenon, it's a breathtaking experience at night, underneath the magical starry sky! Find more tips for the island in the travel guide São Miguel, Azores.
Lello's Bookshop in Porto
One of the most magical places in Portugal has to be Lello's, a bookshop in Porto. After Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling lived in Porto for a few years, she became inspired by this bookshop and wrote about the style in her popular series. It's been awarded as one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world and attracts thousands of Harry Potter fans to catch a glimpse of the 'magical' staircase. Why is it magical? Just have a look and you'll find out (watch out for the deadly kiss from the dementors). Find more about Porto in the travel guide Stedentrip Porto.
The dripping laurel trees of Madeira National Park
As a large part of the island is protected national forest, your visit the to island of Madeira is not complete without a visit to the beautiful park. With different hiking tracks in all distances, our recommendation is the 11km long (guided) hike from Ribeiro Frio to Portella. Why is it magical? Besides being the largest surviving area of primary laurel forests, it also looks as if you're walking into a haunted forests from a fairy tale. Find more tips on the island in the travel guide Madeira with Kids.
Suggested reading for Portugal: