ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Portugal Photo Tour

Updated on November 21, 2011

This collection of photos were mainly taken during a 2 week trip around Portugal in 2006 armed with my, then new, Canon 5D. We did a big loop starting in Lisbon and zooming up to Porto and back down the long way through many towns and cities including Coimbra, Lamego, Sintra and Tomar.

I had lived in Portugal for 4 years at the end of the 1990s but for some reason I cannot now comprehend I had managed to take about 20 photo and most of those were of people?! Also, I had rarely strayed inland so this journey covers a host of new spots as well as my old favourites.


Sintra's Town hall (Camara Municipal)
Sintra's Town hall (Camara Municipal) | Source

I thought I'd start with Sintra as this is my favourite spot in all of Portugal. The photo above is the town's Neo-Manueline town hall. The styling reflects the eclectic, fairy-tale style architecture that can be seen all over the old town.

The Pena Palace - Sintra
The Pena Palace - Sintra | Source

Sintra's fairy tale Pena Palace is straight out of a Disney story. Perched on the very top of the high hill that overlooks Sintra the views from the palace are spectacular. The surroundings are equally wonderful with assorted grottoes, follies and formal gardens dotted around the forest that covers the hillside.

The palace is an extravagant mix of Romantic, Manueline and Moorish styles and is built on the site of a 16th century Hieronymite monastery. It was built in the late 19th century by the Prince Ferdinand de Saxe-Coburg-Gotha for his wife, Queen Maria II. I hope she was sutiably charmed (and didn't ask how much it cost!)

Moorish Castle - Sintra
Moorish Castle - Sintra | Source

The other castle in Sintra is the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros). Situated on the hilltop near the Pena Palace, the castle enjoys equally commanding views. The original Moor's castle dates back to the 8th century but most of what you see today is in fact another of the spendthrift King Constort Ferdinand de Saxe-Coburg-Gotha's grand follies.


Typical street in the fishing village of Ericeira
Typical street in the fishing village of Ericeira | Source

Located around 45 minutes drive north of Lisbon is the fishing village of Ericeira. At its heart is a jumble of whitewashed cottages lining cobbled streets all leading to the harbour. Located on the stormy Atlantic coast the fishermen here must be a hardy bunch.

In latter years the village has expanded rapidly with many new apartment blocks being built to accommodate weekenders from Lisbon. The main draw of the village is its excellent beaches, some of which provide world class surf.


Tomar town square
Tomar town square | Source

The charming town of Tomar is located just over 100 Km north of Lisbon. It is a very pretty town with an affluent feel to it. The photograph above is of the town's main square with its distinctive Church of Saint John the Baptist and statue of Gualdim Pais, the town's founder.

What you cannot see above is the castle and UNESCO listed Convento do Cristo that dominate the town from their hilltop postition.

Cloister of D. João III
Cloister of D. João III | Source

The Convento de Cristo in Tomar is a vast building adjoining the castle. Much of it is open to the public including the beautiful cloisters. Above is the Claustro de D. João III, probably the finest in the monastery. Built in 1591 the cloister was designed by Italian architect Filippo Terzi in the Mannerist style. Design details aside this is a beautiful, peaceful place.

The Round Chapel - Convento de Cristo - Tomar
The Round Chapel - Convento de Cristo - Tomar | Source

The sumptuously ornate Charola Rotunda (Round Chapel) in the Convento de Cristo has to be seen to be believed. Dating back to the 12th century this chapel in particular has strong links with the Knights Templar. With features like this it is not hard to imagine why the convent has UNESCO World Heritage site status.


The downtown Baixa district of Lisbon
The downtown Baixa district of Lisbon | Source

Back to Lisbon. Looking at the smart, regular downtown buildings in Lisbon it is hard to imagine the higgledy-piggledy winding crowded streets of the Alfama and Bairro Alto on either side. Of course, much of this is due to the rebuilding that occurred following the devastating 1755 earthquake. You can make out some of the ruins of the Convento do Carmo, one of the buildings ruined on that fateful Sunday morning.

Just out of shot is the Elevador de Santa Justa, an elevator taking shoppers from the Baixa to the Praca do Carmo above.

Statue of Dom João I in Praca de Figueira
Statue of Dom João I in Praca de Figueira | Source

The statue of Dom João I in Lisbon's central Praca de Figueira is overlooked by the Castelo do São Jorge. João was the 10th king of Portugal and in the country he was known as 'João the Good', outside he was often referred to as 'John the Bastard'!

Ministerio de Justicia, Lisboa
Ministerio de Justicia, Lisboa | Source

Down by the waterside Praca de Comercio is the Ministerio de Justicia building with this great corridor of arches.


View across the Douro to Porto
View across the Douro to Porto | Source

Set on the northern bank of the River Douro as it makes its final meander to the Atlantic Ocean is Portugal's second city. Porto's historic city centre is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and spending any time there should male it clear why. The city has an olde-worlde feel to it. It's not just the historic buildings, the whole city oozes history. This is however contrasted with bursts of ultra-modernism such as the Casa da Musica and Serralves Museum.

One of Porto's defining features is its array of bridges. In the photo above is the Ponte Dom Luis I, Porto's best known bridge. It leads from the Port houses of Vila Nova de Gaia to Porto's bar and restaurant district, the Ribeira.

The Ribeira, Porto
The Ribeira, Porto | Source

The Ribeira is a great place to spend some time day or night, eating or drinking. I have some great memories of nights sipping beer around the 'Cube' and then heading between bars and clubs around the Ribeira.

The Majestic Cafe in Porto
The Majestic Cafe in Porto | Source

The Majestic Cafe is a fine example of Belle Epoque design and harks back to the town's heyday in the early 1920s. It is located on the busy shopping street of Rua de Santa Catarina in the heart of the city. The interior is in keeping with the wonderful facade and is well worth a visit.

Porto cafes
Porto cafes | Source

I found this little row of cafes particularly fetching. They are located a minute or two out of the city centre in the Jardim da Cordoaria which nestles between the imposing churches of Clerigos and Carmo.

Igreja do Carmo - Porto
Igreja do Carmo - Porto | Source

This is the view across to the Igreja do Carmo from Praca de Lisboa in Porto. This large Baroque / Rococo church is in fact two churches; the Igreja dos Carmelitas and the Igreja do Carmo. What is strange is the two a separated by a 1 metre wide house!

The blue and white tiles on the side of the church are an outstanding example of azulejos. The interiors of the churches are equally well adorned.


River Tamega at Amarante
River Tamega at Amarante | Source

Some miles inland and up the River Douro is the town of Amarante. The name is apparently derived from the Portuguese word for love, 'Amar' and it is an attractive little town. Situated on the river Tamega one of the town's main features is this bridge which in 1809 was the scene of a famous battle between French and Portuguese armies.

Across the bridge is the church of São Gonçalo. The saint's local claim to fame is the Festas de São Gonçalo (festival) where the town's bakers sell phallic shaped cakes!

Vila Real

Vila Real square
Vila Real square | Source

Vila Real is about as far inland as I ventured in Portugal. To some extent you can tell how far inland you have gone by how much people stare at you! Vila Real is an attractive town with some fine buildings such as the 15th century cathedral and town hall. What I liked about the town is if you walk 5 minutes out of the town centre in the right direction the town just stops with valleys running away beneath.


Fountain in front of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
Fountain in front of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios

Lamego is around 60Km inland of Porto. The town is dominated by the Santuário Nossa Senhora dos Remédios which consists of an 18th century church set at the top of 14 terraces with 611 steps leading to it. From here you can look out over the whole town below. There are also plenty of things to explore in the surrounding woodlands and at some of the stages on the ascent to the church.

Lamego street
Lamego street | Source

Lamego also has a small 12th century castle to which the streets of the inner town all lead. This is one of those streets and it leads to the Porta do Sol, a gateway through which the walled part of the town can be accessed.


Coimbra University
Coimbra University | Source

Coimbra is home to Portugal's most prestigious and oldest university. The Portuguese equivalent of Oxford / Cambridge or Havard / Yale, all rolled into one! This photo is the old part of the university. It was opened in 1290 making it the second oldest in the world and is steeped in tradition. There is a strong link with the traditional fado music, with groups of cape wearing students (tuna acedemicas) making impromptu performances on the streets at night. Other traditions include the Festa das Latas at the beginning of the academic year and the 'burning of the ribbons' at the end of one's academic career.

The old university is also home to the Dom Joao V library with its stunningly ornate baroque interior.

Igreja Santa Cruz, Coimbra
Igreja Santa Cruz, Coimbra | Source

Yet another of Portugal's Manueline extravagances. This one is the entrance to Coimbra's Santa Cruz church. The 12th century church contains the tombs of two of Portugal's earliest kings, Afonso I and his son Sancho I

Coimbra city centre
Coimbra city centre | Source

Coimbra is a small but attractive city and has many examples of interesting architecture such as these buildings on the town's main shopping street which seem to blend from grand to back street in the blink of an eye.


Sagres Headland from the air
Sagres Headland from the air | Source

This photo dates back to a previous trip to Portugal. It is of the point in Sagres which as far as Portugal is concerned is the edge of the civilised world. This stretch of land is intimately associated with Henry the Navigator and was allegedly home to his maritime college.

Sagres is at the very western tip of the Algarve and has until recently escaped the rampant advances of tourism. This stretch of coast faces the full force of the Atlantic Ocean and accompanying winds so is less favoured with the package holiday trade.

The Azores

Lagoa do Fogo - Sao Miguel - Azores
Lagoa do Fogo - Sao Miguel - Azores | Source

This last photograph was taken by a friend of mine, I myself have never had the fortune of visting the Atlantic islands of the Azores. The photo is of the spectacular Lagoa do Fogo (Lake of Fire), a volcanic crater on Sao Miguel island.

I hope you have enjoyed this random, yet geographically diverse collection of photos of Portugal. I have to admit I enjoyed taking every single one of them and am looking forward to the day I can get back over there and finish the job!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • surfgatinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Leather 

      3 years ago from Cornwall UK

      Thanks @sallybea One day I may write my memoires!

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      3 years ago from Norfolk

      Gorgeous Hub with some terrific images. Thanks for sharing. I would love to read a hub about what it was like to live in Portugal:)

    • surfgatinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Leather 

      6 years ago from Cornwall UK

      Wow, thanks so much for all the wonderful feedback. I have been completely immersed in other projects and only discovered I'd got a Hub of the Day today?!

      I spent 4 years living in Portugal and it is the most amazing country. As soon as my kids are old enough I plan on going back there more. With so much natural beauty and fantastic history it is easier than you'd think to put a hub like this together.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Insanely beautiful hub!

    • profile image

      Kena Bladel 

      6 years ago

      Cool photos

    • profile image

      Kena Bladel 

      6 years ago

      That's my country!

    • Maine Photography profile image

      Maine Photography 

      6 years ago from Portland, Maine

      Beautiful. Kudos.

    • sammimills profile image


      6 years ago from California, USA

      Stunning. Congrats on being HOTD.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Breath taking

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      These are stunning photos. I particularly like your shot of the Moorish castle. Congratulations on the HOTD.

    • livingpah2004 profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on Hub of the day. Pictures are really stunning! Especially Moorish Castle, Sintra. Made in 8th century. Wow! You are so lucky to visit there. Voted up!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I have never been to Portugal but would definitely enjoy visiting there someday. Your photos are so beautiful. Loved the architecture, the fountains and other shots as well as your descriptions. Thank you so much for assembing this collection. This is a well deserved HOTD! Up votes and SHARING!

    • rasik26 profile image


      6 years ago from America

      Your an extremely talented photographer!

    • Ann M Reid profile image

      Ann M Reid 

      6 years ago from Lancaster County, PA

      Just gorgeous! Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Stunning photos and a really fun tour! I love your architecture compositions. You have so many unique, well composed shots. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day! Vote up beautiful.

      These are lovely scenes. The photos are amazing! I like the Pena Palace in Sintra. The River Douro are known for its amazing bridges. Lovely photo and description. I wouldn't mind taking a nice photo at Vila Real Square just need to make sure that I buy a good camera. The Majestic Cafe is another one of my favorites. I could picture myself sitting there chilling with a good cup of hot chocolate and logged on to hubpages too. I could fall in love in Amarante. Coimbra Santa Cruz Church as well as the University is a masterpiece. I haven't seen anything more beautiful than the Azores. Thank you for the lovely tour of Portugal. Hopefully, I can visit in the near future.

    • ladeda profile image


      6 years ago

      Love the photography! Thanks for giving us a great glimpse of Portugal!

    • Taxusbaccata profile image

      Paulo Cabrita 

      6 years ago from Germany

      Beautiful fotos...However, the University of Coimbra is not the second oldest in the world. Oxford, Paris, Cambridge, Salamanca, Bologna make to top 5. Coimbra is just the 13th on that list, of the oldest universities still existing today. Just out of curiosity, the university started first in Lisbon and was only definitely installed in Coimbra in 1537.

    • pearlmacb profile image


      6 years ago from Switzerland

      Brillant hub!I especially enjoyed the images you have captured so wonderfully! Congrats for HOTD :)

    • albela rahi profile image

      albela rahi 

      6 years ago

      WOw excellent photography and great share!! i'll be looking forward to reading and WATCHING more of your beautiful hubs!! this one really deserves the hub of the day!!



    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      6 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      What a beautiful site these are? Love this ancient landmarks, especially the Coimbra City Centre pic.

      Thanks for sharing. Voted Up and beautiful!

      And congrats on being the HOTD!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Congrats on receiving Hub of the Day for this stunningly beautiful hub about Portugal. I thoroughly enjoyed my cyber-visit and the brief descriptions that you gave about each photo.

      I also found it interesting that you had lived in Portugal for four years and yet hadn't photographed many of these places until you returned for a two week vacation!

      Voted up, useful, interesting, beautiful and awesome.

    • RTalloni profile image


      6 years ago from the short journey

      Congrats on a delightful Hub of the Day! Thanks for the scenic tour via your photos--beautiful!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      6 years ago from Chennai, India

      Congrats on the hub of the day! Through this engaging hub filled with beautifully captured photos, well-written description for each photo and other details concerning unique architecture, you gave me a wonderful virtual tour to Portugal. This made me want to visit Portugual in the near future! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful and Awesome. Voted up.

    • bamuscarella profile image


      6 years ago from Buffalo, NY

      Beautiful photos! Inspiration for a trip I'm planning to Portugal. Thank you for sharing.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Congrats on hub of the day,and i can see why all your photos are so beautiful. You have a great eye for detail,well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Aneegma profile image

      Merida Craze 

      6 years ago

      Fantastic photos. As a former Lisbon resident it's good to be reminded of Beautiful Portugal every now and then.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 years ago from sunny Florida

      This 'tour' makes has given me a glimpse of some fascinating places I would love to visit. The Mooorish castle is tucked up there looking so alluring. It seems perhaps Rapunzel may be there waiting to drop down her golden stairway. And the fishing village...those whitewashed buildings seem to hold secrets we need to know. Thank you for sharing...and...Congratulations on hub of the day

    • myownlife profile image


      6 years ago from london

      wow beautiful collections, historical pictures tempt everyone, congratulations for being hubber of the day. Great hub,

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Congratulations on the hub of the day! Thanks for sharing this photos with us. It is amazing. Voted up and useful!

    • surfgatinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Leather 

      7 years ago from Cornwall UK

      @Simone. Thanks, but I have to say no gallery can do Portugal justice. I missed photographing some of the most amazing places because the weather was bad.

      Anyway, get yourself over there!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      I knew that portugal was beautiful, but I had no idea that it was THIS beautiful!!! What a gorgeous gallery! Now I have to figure out how to get there.

    • surfgatinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Leather 

      7 years ago from Cornwall UK

      Thanks Ercolano. I now have to opposite problem, i.e. thousands of photos filling up my hard-drive and a phone full of baby pics!

    • Ercolano profile image

      Sam Walker 

      7 years ago

      The photographs are stunning, very good indeed, and very nicely narrated. I had to laugh at you saying you had only taken about twenty photos, I too am dazed as to all of the places that I've ever been; I seem to have so few photos to record the memories for (my) posterity, when I'm old and looking back from my rocking chair. You captured the essence of Portugal beautifully here though. Great job. Pressed all the appropriate buttons and up.

    • surfgatinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Leather 

      7 years ago from Cornwall UK

      Hi Chaval. Thanks - it's a great country for touring. Just the right size.

      Last time I was in Sintra I asked about all the fantastic old houses going that seemed to be going to ruin. Apparently many are a badge of honour for well healed Lisbon families who can no longer afford the upkeep but won't sell them either.

    • surfgatinho profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Leather 

      7 years ago from Cornwall UK

      Thanks Judi. Sintra is great - full of faded grandeur. It's also a great drive down to Lisbon along the coast from here. I used to live the other side of Sintra and work in Lisbon. Happy days!

      And yes, of course you can put a link to it. Please do!

    • Chaval profile image


      7 years ago from UK

      I've travelled to a lot of the places here, and your pictures are really clear and evocative. Always had an ambition to buy a Sintra quinta, but last time I checked the prices, I realised it was likely to remain a fantasy. The beaches of the western Algarve are also fantastic, such a contrast to the developed stretch of coast.

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judi Brown 

      7 years ago from UK

      Beautiful photos Chris - I am particularly taken with Sintra. I tend to stay further up the coast with family, but would love to go further south. I've put it on my (long) travel list.

      Can I put a link to this hub from my blog?

      Voted up, shared etc.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)