Portugal, with its stunning coastline, long history, and super hospitality, has become an increasingly popular destination for travelers seeking both culture and relaxation. While Lisbon and Porto are the country's major urban highlights, the journey between these two cities offers a wealth of hidden gems and picturesque landscapes. If you're planning a trip along this route, here are some of the best places to stay, ensuring your Portuguese adventure is nothing short of unforgettable. You can do it by train or car - or even bus. But here are some tips....
Nazaré: Surf and Seafood. Sand too!
Where to Stay: Hotel Maré
If you're a beach lover and craving some coastal excitement, Nazaré is a must-stop destination. Famous for its monstrous waves and seafood cuisine, this fishing village offers a unique blend of culture and adventure. Hotel Maré is conveniently located near the beach and offers comfortable rooms with ocean views. Don't forget to try fresh seafood dishes at the local restaurants.
Aveiro: The Canal cCity of Portugal
Where to Stay: Moliceiro Hotel
As you venture further north, make sure to spend a night in Aveiro, often referred to as the "Venice of Portugal." This picturesque town is known for its charming canals, colorful moliceiro boats, and delicious ovos moles, a sweet local treat. The Moliceiro Hotel, located along the canals, provides a perfect base for exploring the town's waterways and trying your hand at a moliceiro boat ride.
Tomar: Knights Templar Heritage
Where to Stay: Thomar Boutique Hotel
Continuing north, Tomar awaits with its impressive Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and strong Templar connections. Thomar Boutique Hotel, located in the heart of the city, offers modern comfort while maintaining its historical charm. Delve into the Templar history at the Convent, wander the charming streets, and don't miss a boat ride on the Nabão River.
Bussaco: A Royal Retreat
Where to Stay: Palace Hotel do Bussaco
Hidden amidst the Bussaco National Forest, the Palace Hotel do Bussaco is a fairytale castle turned luxury hotel. Surrounded by centuries-old trees and meandering paths, this palatial retreat will transport you to another era. Take leisurely walks through the enchanting forest, visit the stunning Palace of Bussaco, and savor gourmet cuisine at the hotel's restaurants.
VN Poiares: Riverside Serenity
Where to Stay: 9Arches
Vila Nova de Poiares is a charming town located in central Portugal. The town is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including lush forests, rolling hills, and the Mondego River, which adds to the picturesque setting. Don't miss the opportunity to savor traditional Portuguese cuisine in local restaurants. While in Vila Nova de Poiares, you can also explore nearby attractions like the historic city of Coimbra, which is known for its university and rich history. Coimbra, a city steeped in history and academia, is your first stop on this enchanting journey. Set along the Mondego River, this city boasts one of the world's oldest universities and a rich cultural heritage. Explore the university's stunning Joanina Library, stroll through the Old Cathedral, and take in the views from the University Tower.
5. Porto: The Culmination of Culture
Where to Stay: The Yeatman Hotel (Gaia)
Finally, you'll arrive in the vibrant city of Porto, Portugal's second-largest city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Porto is famous for its Port wine cellars, historic architecture, and lively atmosphere. For a luxurious experience, stay at The Yeatman Hotel, which offers panoramic views of the Douro River, exquisite dining, and a world-class spa. Explore the city's Ribeira district, cross the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, and savor the flavors of the local cuisine.
Whether you're enchanted by fairytale palaces, medieval charm, big waves, picturesque canals, or vibrant cities, the journey between Lisbon and Porto is filled with unforgettable experiences. These carefully selected accommodations will ensure you have a comfortable and delightful stay as you explore the diverse beauty of Portugal's coastal region. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to discover the magic of this captivating country. Portugal awaits with open arms and a warm, welcoming smile.