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5 alternative destinations in Portugal

19 July 2019 09:02

São Miguel is the biggest island in the Azores

São Miguel is the biggest island in the Azores

Portugal is one of Europe's most captivating countries, which is why it's so popular with tourists. But if you want to experience the local culture without the crowds, why not explore one of these alternative destinations...

1. Sagres

With rugged, windswept cliffs that tumble towards the wild Atlantic below, the tiny village of Sagres really does have that end-of-the-world feel to it. But don't let that put you off, because Sagres is a great spot for an altogether different slice of Algarve life, washed down with a bottle of the popular Sagres beer, which unsurprisingly hails from these parts.

2. Coimbra

As the country's former capital it's safe to say Coimbra has definitely played a big part in Portugal's history, which is why it's such a must-visit for any history buff. Centred around its charmingly hilly medieval core, Coimbra offers visitors museums, a lively student-fuelled nightlife and a whole host of great food.

3. Aveiro

With its network of canals and coastal lagoon location, it's easy to see why Aveiro is often called the Venice of Portugal - it even has its own colourful gondola-type boats called moliceiros that can take you on a tour of the city. And while there's plenty to explore in Aveiro itself, there are also a plethora of immaculate sandy beaches nearby.

4. São Miguel

If you don't fancy exploring the mainland, why not fly off the beaten track with a trip to the Azores, a group of islands flung out into the middle of Atlantic? The archipelago's main island, São Miguel, is the verdant home to dramatic volcanic landscapes, crystal clear lagoons and thermal springs. What more could you want?

5. Nazaré

The sweeping golden sands of Nazaré are among the finest in all of Portugal. But it's not the beach that draws people to this unassuming resort town - it's the waves that form out to sea. Nazaré is one of the best surf spots in the world, with waves reaching up to 30m (yes, 30m) attracting thrill-seekers from around the world.

Heading to Portugal? Make insurance your first port of call

Before you head off, make sure you've got the right travel insurance cover. At World First we offer flexible cover that'll give you peace of mind when heading away.