What to visit in Portugal in Winter: 10 must-see places
The colder months don’t mean you have to stay at home. In Portugal, there are numerous destinations to choose from for your Winter holidays. Whether you prefer the city or the mountains, with snowy landscapes or mild temperatures.
Portugal offers a lot of amazing places to explore. In this article, we will share with you 10 suggestions for what to visit in Portugal in the Winter.
From the North to the South, there are destinations that will suit all tastes. Let’s explore?
Serra da Estrela: The most looked destination
Serra da Estrela is definitely one of the places you'll find on any list of what to visit in Portugal during the winter. Portugal's highest peak is renowned for winter sports.
However, that are plenty of other things to enjoy in this region. During your visit, be sure to explore everything it has to offer. You’ll discover magical places like Covão d’Ametade and Praia Fluvial da Loriga.
Visit some of the most beautiful villages in Portugal, such as Belmonte or Castelo Rodrigo, and explore the urban art on Covilhã. In this region, there are a lot of activities to suit all the tastes.
To complete your visit, there’s nothing better than tasting all the typical products. Let yourself be charmed by the famous Serra cheese, sausages, and traditional bread. You can also take them home to savour it later.
Bragança: for cold winters and snow
Bragança is the ideal destination for those who are looking for snow in Portugal but prefer the warmth of a lit fireplace over the adrenaline of skiing. When the city is blanketed in white, it becomes a beautiful postcard.
Explore all the points of interest in the city such as Graça Morais Contemporary Art Centre, the Bragança Castle or the Iberian Mask and Costume Museum.
You should also add Parque Natural do Montesinho to your to-do-list. It's located about half an hour away from the city. Go form a hike on one of the trails and keep your eyes open for wildlife.
You can also choose to visit one of the Wonder Villages of Portugal, Rio de Onor. This charming and colourful little village is situated between Portugal and Spain, and it will undoubtedly captivate you.
To contrast with the cold weather, there are variety of hot traditional dishes that you must try. Don’t miss the feijoada transmontana and the alheiras during your trip to Bragança.
Porto: Experience the Cosiness of Northern Hospitality
In the Winter, Porto becomes even cozier, mysterious, and romantic.
The weather may be cold and rainy, but don’t let that stop you from visiting Porto. The city’s vibrant colours will warm your heart.
You probably don’t know, but the historical centre of Porto is UNESCO World Heritage Site and its home to numerous monuments that will make your trip unforgettable. Don’t miss the Sé Cathedral, São Bento Train Station, the Clérigos Tower and the Bolsa Palace, all easily accessible on foot.
Porto is a city rich in culture. Make sure to visit places like the Serralves Foundation, Casa da Música, and the famous Livraria Lello.
In addition to these popular tourist attractions, you can drive by the Douro vineyards, for roads that will surprise you in each curve.
Gerês: nature and adventurous sports
For those who love nature and outdoors activities, Gerês is the perfect destination on this list of what to visit in Portugal in the Winter.
If you're seeking tranquillity and serenity, winter is the best time to explore Portugal's unique National Park. You can enjoy it without the crowds and rush that are present during other seasons.
Canyoning, tree climbing, or buggy tours make it difficult to decide where to start first. On the other hand, for those who prefer the calmer side of Gerês, there are various walking tours available with different difficulty levels.
No matter your choice, you always could discover breathtaking landscapes and savor local gastronomy, providing you with the extra energy needed for all your adventures.
Óbidos: the most famous Christmas village in the country
In winter, Óbidos becomes the perfect destination for those who truly embrace the Christmas spirit. The "Vila de Natal" is a place for families of all ages, offering a wide range of activities. Expect to be surrounded by an abundance of Christmas lights and festive entertainment.
Enjoy a weekend and explore everything this magical place has to offer. Marvel at the views and discover local businesses. You will fall in love with this charming village.
Silves: discover the Algarve out of season
Algarve is not just summer.
This little village combines culture, architecture and gastronomy to become one of the destinations to consider on your list of what to visit in Portugal in the Winter.
The mild temperature invites the ones that want to travel on Winter but don’t really like cold temperatures.
We suggest you visit the Castle, the Cathedral, and the Old Town. Despite the shorter days in the winter, you should also consider visiting one of the beaches in Armação de Pêra, located about 20 kilometers from the city. There, you can enjoy the sunset, and even though it occurs early, it is still remarkably beautiful.
You should also include the local gastronomy in your itinerary, which features a variety of options, from fresh seafood sourced from the sea to delectable mountain meats. Additionally, this is the perfect time to savor the sweetest oranges.
Aldeias de Xisto: the silence of the mountains
There are 27 villages that are part of the network of “Aldeias de Xisto”. In each of them, you can easily switch from the hustle and bustle of the city to the peaceful ambience of rural life.
Piodão is the most well-known village, but there are several others you should consider adding to your list, such as Candal, Talasnal, Aldeia das Dez and Foz de Égua, among others.
The best way to get to know all these beautiful villages is by walking. During the trip, you'll be able to enjoy numerous intricate details and stunning mountain views.
This winter, be brave, embrace nature and find relaxation in the silence. Breathe in the fresh mountain air and let your eyes behold all the natural wonders.
Águeda: where Christmas is lived
In winter, and especially during Christmas, Águeda transforms into a grand stage for lights and dreams. During this time, all the streets are decorated to perfection. You can also count on the famous umbrellas, the city's signature attraction.
An interesting fact about Águeda is that it holds two world records: the largest and the smallest Santa in the world. The first one stands at 21 meters, adorned with 250 million LEDs. The second one, the smaller of the two, can fit into a needle hole. It is a sculpture created by the artist Willard Wigan and it can only be viewed through a microscope.
Moreover, Águeda offers attractions beyond the holiday season. Visitors will always be amazed by Pateira de Fermentelos, Alta Vila Park, and the Matriz Church.
Madeira: Escape the Cold
For those who prefer mild weather, Madeira Island is the best option on the list of what to visit in Portugal in the Winter. Rent a car and explore all the wonders this island has to offer. From the natural rock pools in Porto Moniz to Curral das Freiras, there are plenty of unique sights to discover. For those who love heights, we also recommend Pico Ruivo and Pico do Areeiro.
In Funchal's city centre, take a stroll through the Old Town and enjoy the view from the cable car to the mountains. You can also appreciate the beauty of nature while savouring in the amazing local cuisine: Bolo do Caco, Espetadas, and seafood such as limpets should be on your list.
Braga and Guimarães: United by the tradition
Braga and Guimarães are two cities in the Minho region, occasionally divided by local rivalries but united by regional traditions. On a winter weekend, you can combine a visit to both cities for an unforgettable trip.
Let's begin with Braga, the city of archbishops. Our top tip for you is to take a walk through the city centre to uncover all the delightful surprises that Braga has to offer. You'll encounter churches, picturesque gardens, iconic squares, and, above all, a lot of history.
Before you travel to Guimarães, we recommend taking a car trip to Bom Jesus and Sameiro, two religious sites that you will not regret visiting.
Once in Guimarães, known as the cradle of Portugal, we also recommend a walk through the historical center, past the castle and Paço dos Duques. In this area, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time to the medieval era, where D. Afonso Henriques fought and established Portugal.
After your historical journey, you can take the cable car from the city center to Penha, a place that offers panoramic views of the entire city of Guimarães.
In both cities, you'll find a lot of restaurants where you can savour traditional dishes of Minho region.
Enterprise takes you wherever you want to go
All these tips for what to do in Portugal in the winter will provide you with an amazing and rich experience that combines culture, history, and gastronomy.
You can always count on Enterprise as your travel partner! Choose the best car to rent and set out to discover Portugal with the best company. Whatever the destination, Enterprise will always be with you. In Portugal, there is a lot to explore! Take advantage of the Enterprise Passport and discover our best trip tips.
Discover the best beaches in Algarve
Algarve is, for many, a synonym of gorgeous beaches, warm weather and, above all… vacations. Throughout the year, and especially during summer, many Portuguese and foreigners travel to the south of Portugal looking for warm waters, rocky landscapes and vast landscapes of sand.
Discover the best beaches in Portugal
With half of its territory surrounded by sea, Portugal is the perfect destination for those who are looking for beach, sun and mild temperatures most of the year. The undeniable beauty of our coast has brought us many awards from international entities, who consider our beaches some of the most beautiful in the world. However, the great amount of vast extensions of sand in Portuguese territory makes it even more difficult to choose the best beaches in Portugal.
From North to South, hop on this journey with us and discover the best beaches in Portugal to visit.
Rural Tourism in Portugal: the best places to visit
When we think about vacations in Portugal, we automatically think about beaches and coastal areas. Even though these are the “fan favourites” for many, Portugal has so much more to explore! The countryside is full of natural secrets ready to be discovered and that will guarantee you a journey with many adventures and unique experiences.
Leave the beach towel and sunscreen at home and discover the best destinations that rural tourism Portugal has to offer.