I have moved to Portugal.
The Algarve is mass tourism.
There are still authentic villages.
But especially many tourists and retirees.
The north (region around Braga) is beautiful but rather thinly populated.
That is why my wife and I have chosen the region north of Lisbon.
The Silver coast.
Jonas Laveyne talks about Sintra (the ECB, the European Central Bank often meets there, close to the beach and the upscale neighbourhoods just outside Lisbon).
The Portuguese royalty likes to stay in Sintra, the royal Palace is therefore very well known.
The Silver coast has even more UNESCO wereldergoed to offer besides.
But first some other interesting places.
Obidos is a medieval town with a castle and village that is completely walled. You can visit Obidos and soak up the medieval atmosphere.
There are the obligate souvenir shops and the food and beverage outlets but there is also the castle, a church and the wall itself to visit. You can also walk around the whole village.
Obidos is strategically located and looks out over the whole area.
The city is walled in defense of the city and the castle.
The streets are authentic (cobblestone) and flowers everywhere.
Obidos has a number of well-known yearly traditions.
In spring there is the Chocolate festival (yep, not in Belgium), in December there is Vila Natal (a whole month Christmas).
Vila Natal (literally Christmas village, Vila means village, not villa).
Peniche is known worldwide to surfers because of the supertubes.
Actually a fishing village, it now attracts tourists who want to surf, paddle boarding, jet skiing or just lying on the beach, well by baking.
You can take a boat to the nearby Berlenga Islands.
You can sometimes see dolphins from the boats and the islands are beautiful in the summer months for hiking.
In October, Peniche also always has the world championship of Surfing.
Lourinha is not very known as one of the most important sites of late Jurassic fossils.There is now some more professional marketing going on since a dinosaur theme park has been built in Lourinha, but still few people in Belgium and the Netherlands know how many important fossils were found here. Dino eggs with embryos is clearly visible but 1 of the many notable finds:
Lourinhanosaurus-Wikipedia (indeed, named after Lourinha).
Fossils are regularly found on the Paimogo beach.
In Bombarral You have the Quinta dos Loridos where you will find the largest oriental garden In Europe, namely the Buddha Eden Garden.
This is a beautiful garden for walking, Buddha statues to see and enjoy nature. There is also a small train in the high season for the children. When you have visited the garden, you can conclude your visit with a wine tasting or just have a nice wine.
Praia da Areia Branca is a small idyllic village near the ocean, near Lourinh茫.
You have a large parking lot to go to the beach in the summer. Not too crowded, because there is a lot of place on the beach. You will always need a windshield, because there can be a lot of wind. Nice restaurants to eat, a seafood restaurant, meat restaurant, pizzeria, something for everyone.
Cascais is also beautiful, but crowded.
It is located on the seafront. It is well promoted in the tourist guides, so there are many tourists. Also, the travel agencies stimulate Cascais, as there are a number of large star hotels. Quite rightly because there are many attractions in the region. It is also the wealthier neighborhood of Portugal, because the houses there are pepper expensive.
Batalha is a small village, but there has been a very important Portuguese war, the Battle of Aljubarotta (1935).
After this war the monastery of Batalha was built, which since 1910 belongs to the World heritage of the UNESCO.
Another World Heritage site can be found in Coimbra .
The University of Coimbra is 1 of the elders of Europe and since 1290 World heritage.
And then we still have world heritage in Alcoba莽a.
It is characterized by simplicity, austerity, but above all greatness.
Also in Lisbon you have a monastery that has been declared a World Heritage site, namely the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos.
Together with the tower of Belem You can visit a lot of world heritage.
It was built in defense of Portugal and symbolizes the prestige of the king.
Finally, I can also recommend you to visit Fatima .
There are many pilgrims here every year. In 2017 The pope was even visited.
One of the most beautiful places I have visited in Portugal is Sintra.
It is about 30 minutes from Lisbon and is recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage site.
Look for it via Google: Castelo dos Mouros, Palacio da Pena, Quinta Regaleira,…
These are some of the beautiful sights in Sintra.
Then of course also the Algarve, rent a car and visit the small fishing villages along the coastline with their beautiful beaches.