6 small cities to fall in love with Portugal

That Portugal is amazingly beautiful, everybody knows. But do you know Portugal besides Porto and Lisbon? I’ll definitely post about those great cities later, but today I’m talking about Cascais, Arrentela, Seixal and more. Check it out:


1. Almada

Connected to Lisbon by the 25 de Abril bridge, this city has its Portuguese charm: tiny streets with cute houses, lots of bars and restaurants, a red vintage lighthouse and an old submarine are examples of what you can find there.

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Farol de Cacilhas – Lighthouse from 1886

I took the boats at Cais do Sodré Station (Transtejo Cacilhas) to cross between Lisbon and Almada. Beautiful and quick trip. Make sure to be on time to get a window seat and, if you have the chance, go during sunset hours: you will love it.

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Sunset hours at Cais do Sodré station

I kept my Almada tour in Cacilhas area. The Cândido dos Reis street enchants anyone passing there. If you walk through the Largo Alfredo Dinis, you can see the old “Barracuda” submarine, that is now part of the “D. Fernando II e Gloria” Frigate Museum, after more than 40 years of service at Portuguese Navy.

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Cândido dos Reis street – bars, restaurants and colorful houses

2. Cascais

Cascais is a coastal resort town with charming houses. My first stop was at Conceição Beach, followed by the Duchess Beach: calm dreamy-blue water with nice restaurants and bars close to it.

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Conceição Beach neighborhood
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On my way to Hell’s Mouth: wandering through the streets of Cascais – kinda starting to miss my big pink hair, seeing this 😀
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Conceição Beach

I went to Cascais looking for a place called Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth, in english). Was a nice and easy walk to it (around 2km). Boca do Inferno is a unique cliff formation on the edge of the ocean that has a natural archway and an open cave created by the waves. It’s magical (see map).

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Natural masterpiece
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This place give us that “the world is insanely huge” feeling. You feel hugged by Nature.
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Strong waves molding the rocks

3. Arrentela

Arrentela is a former civil parish in the municipality of Seixal, Lisbon metropolitan area. Small and cozy, you can walk all the way to the Arrentela Church and appreciate the view. Again, sunset hours are the best, here 🙂

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Arrentela village from above
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Arrentela’s Church

I had the chance to hear a story about this church from a local grandma: it used to have two towers. One of them fell during an earthquake and inundation and they didn’t restore to remind how the church saved locals (being the safest and higher place to stay). Not sure if this is what really happened, but I love to hear stories from any grandmas anytime!


4. Seixal

A portuguese municipality situated at Setúbal district, Seixal is the perfect destination to doors, textures and little house lovers. Situated across the Tagus river, has a big fishers community.

I’ve made a gallery to show Seixal Doors, check it out *here*.

I explored Arrentela and Seixal at the same day. Ate at a local bar, popular among fishers, walked along the beach, was chased by seagulls, wandered on those streets. I loved it.

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Colorful boats everywhere
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Low tide revealing the brown sand, gravel and shells

5. Aveiro/Costa Nova

Close to Porto, Aveiro is not that small. It is beautiful and has much to see (like the sightseeing cruises in Moliceiros boats, boats typical of the Ria de Aveiro), but I went there to find the Costa Nova Beach:arrived at central station, had my so much needed coffee with portuguese pastries at Tricana Pastelaria and headed to get a bus to Costa Nova.

As soon as I got off the bus, I ran into those cute stripped houses: all lined up, with an white background highlighting the yellow, red, green and blue from those stripes. They’re called “Palheiros” of Costa Nova.

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The main avenue (Av. José Estevão)
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On my way to the Costa Nova Beach

The first “palheiros” were built by fishermen and used to stock up fishing gears. Today, the locals keep taking care of if, adapting the interior so they can live in it.

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They’re everywhere
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The oldest stripped houses in Costa Nova: it is estimated more than 100 years old, says locals.

On my way to the beach, the fog was getting stronger and highlighting the colors. It was perfect.

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Costa Nova Beach

It was a foggy day and i’ve never seen a foggy beach before: I was fascinated. The city, the weather, the colors… Everything was a good surprise when visiting Costa Nova. You need to have some time to this one day trip when in Porto, you’ll love it 🙂

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The new beach huts. Cuteness and symmetry takes over this city, don’t you think? 🙂

6. Vila Nova de Gaia

A municipality in Porto district right after the Dom Luis I Bridge, Vila nova de Gaia is the hub of the Port Wine. Full of cellars offering tours and tasting, you can find beauty everywhere, visit random bars and taste all the wine you can.

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One of the many street arts that you can find in Porto district. This one I found when leaving the Gaia Cableway station, heading to Douro bank
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Dom Luis I Bridge and Porto skyline

The Douro and Porto view you have while walking the Diogo Leite avenue is breathtaking. You can also take a boat tour on the Douro River or the cableway near Jardim do Morro station.

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Rooftop love
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This view and a glass of wine match pretty well, don’t you think? 😉

Every corner is lovely, but the close to the Douro bank or the higher ones are my favorites here. Allow yourself to get lost exploring Vila Nova de Gaia and enjoy!

 

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Travel and lifestyle blogger, color chaser and doggo lover. Living in Hamburg, exploring the world.

17 thoughts on “6 small cities to fall in love with Portugal

  1. Very beautiful pictures! I am so looking forward to a trip to Portugal early next year. Those stripped houses in Costa Nova are looking so cute. I hope to visit all of these during my trip. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, such a colourful city, especially the houses with the stripes. Those are so unique, I would love to photograph them. I need to visit Portugal, will keep Costa Nova in mind for the itinerary.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love exploring smaller lesser known cities in popular countries so this is a perfect post. Will be saving this post for when I visit Portugal 🙂 PS: Really gorgeous photos!

    Liked by 1 person

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