1. Tavira, a traditional beach Town
Tavira is a delightful fishing town, which is situated on the much calmer eastern Algarve. While many towns of southern Portugal have succumbed to mass tourism, Tavira has barely altered, retaining its distinctive character and charm. Tavira was an important fortified town during the North African Moors era (9th century) and later was a bustling port. This varied history is all played out along the cobbled streets and small plazas, where ancient walls stand next to baroque villas.
2. Coimbra, university Town
Coimbra is the ancient university town of Portugal and is an intriguing mix of historic sights and youthful energy, imparted by the larger student population. These students are frequently seen throughout Coimbra dressed in their black robes either rushing to classes or later in the cafes groups performing classical songs. Coimbra is a compact city which can be explored easily within a day but its location partway between Lisbon and Porto means that it is a popular destination to separate the journey.
3. Sesimbra, beautiful beach resort
Sesimbra is a pretty resort town that is to the south of Lisbon on the Setubal Peninsula. This small town is adored by the Portuguese who flock here during their short holiday season, while outside of the peak months the town is peaceful and unhurried.
4. Evora, Historic Town
Evora is a historic city that lies in the heart of the dry and arid Alentejo region. Evora was once an important trading town and religious centre, and this extensive history is reflected by the varied sights of the city. The city is famed for its beautiful preserved Roman Temple and creepy bone chapel.
Guimarães is the historic birth place of Portugal; from which the first king of Portugal was born and the fledgling country was established in 1128. The city centre has retained its historic appeal with cobbled plazas surrounded by gothic buildings and traditionally styled houses.
The ancient stone castle stands at highest point of the city while a cable car transports visitors to the vantage point of Penha Mountain and its panoramic views over Guimarães, also there are enjoyable hiking trails. Guimarães is a charming and small city that can be easily visited as a day trip from Porto.
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