The time has come to welcome the rain, the cooler temperatures and to prepare short breaks to welcome autumn in style, despite the days being shorter. If for some it is a time to stay in the sofa, for others it is the perfect time to dive into the most impressive colors and transformations of Nature. Among ancient oak groves, gigantic chestnut trees, multicolored leaves and four-leaf clovers, join All About Portugal, discover the best autumn destinations and get ready to smell the wet earth.
Mata da Albergaria (Gerês)
Here, autumn has a special charm among one of the oldest and best preserved oak groves in Portugal. Among many other natural beauties, you can also regularly see the roe deer – symbol of the National Park –, walk along the only fully preserved section of the Geira Roman Road, discover impressive waterfalls and feel the overwhelming silence of Nature.
Montesinho Natural Park (Bragança)
How about starting autumn by trying to embrace one of the most famous chestnut trees in Portugal? Symbol of this season, but also of the Montesinho Natural Park, the Lagarelhos chestnut tree is one of the biggest stars in the territory due to its perimeter. But this is just one of the many charms of this territorial park located in the middle of Terra Fria Transmontana (Trás-os-Montes Cold Land). Immerse yourself in rurality, spread throughout the territory, and discover Trás-os-Montes traditions in one of the most welcoming autumn destinations in Portugal.
Forest Landscape of Serra Padrela (Vila Pouca de Aguiar)
It's the perfect place for a beautiful "magusto" (chestnut party) and, therefore, one of the favorite autumn destinations! Located between Carrazedo de Montenegro, Vila Pouca de Aguiar and Chaves, this is where the largest patch of Jewish chestnut trees in Europe and the largest continuous patch of chestnut trees in the entire Iberian Peninsulaare located, a landscape that is a true autumn spectacle. Enjoy your visit and don't miss out on the countless dishes and sweets made from chestnuts and wild mushrooms, as it is an area also very rich in this fungus.
Covão d’Ametade (Serra da Estrela)
Located at around 1500 meters above sea level, it is a poorly drained depression, born in a glacial pit. It is currently one of the most striking and beautiful places in Serra da Estrela, sought after for leisure or winter and mountain sports. Surrounded by Cântaro Magro and Cântaro Gordo, it is one of the most special autumn destinations in Portugal, thanks to its birch trees that take on shades of yellow, red and orange during these months.
Bussaco National Forest
Open one of its 11 entrance doors and discover this national treasure, natural and cultural heritage, which holds countless stories from the past, such as memories of the battle that pitted Anglo-Portuguese troops against French troops. Marvel at the Palace Hotel, King Carlos' hunting lodge and an icon of the landscape, or choose one of the countless walking trails and climb to the highest part of the forest, where you will find a forest untouched by man.
Serra da Arrábida (Setúbal)
It has one of the most stunning landscapes in the Lisbon area, and whether on foot or by bike, you will test your physical condition among some of the purest Mediterranean vegetation in the country. Among its charming coves, discover Portinho da Arrábida, a paradisiacal beach with unique fauna and flora, and clear, irresistible waters, which even on cooler days make us dream of diving. In autumn and winter, flamingos paint the Sado estuary with their feathers, transforming it into a pink blanket.
Serra de Sintra
The Serra de Sintra is the heart of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park with a microclimate, home to gigantic trees and a huge variety of animal and plant species. Classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the magic felt in these parts is also undeniable, which is why they called it Monte da Lua (Moon Mountain), thus evoking influences as powerful as those of the stars themselves. Don't be surprised if your car suddenly stops moving or your watch stops, there is a logical explanation for this... or not!
Guadiana Valley Natural Park (Mértola)
It is located in the Guadiana River valley and its landscape is marked by tidal mills, steep cliffs covered by Mediterranean brushwood and villages that are home to an ancient and well-preserved heritage. The Pulo do Lobo waterfall is one of its most popular natural ex-libris and, among the countless species of fauna and flora, look for one that is quite rare, but which will bring you good luck, and which abounds in these parts: the four-leafed clover.
Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António Sapal Natural Reserve (Algarve)
It's a different Algarve from the one we're used to, but no less interesting, especially when we think about autumn destinations in Portugal. Among salt marshes, brackish water bodies, salt marshes and streams we will find a high number of fauna and flora species. It is a privileged place for the reproduction of fish, crustaceans and molluscs, which find shelter here until they can venture to the sea and, throughout the year, it is possible to observe birds such as the white stork, the flamingo and the stilt which has a very large population, and that is why it was chosen as the Reserve's symbol.
Recreio das Sete Fontes Forest Reserve (São Jorge, Azores)
It is one of the most important and largest parks on São Jorge Island and one of the most charming autumn destinations to welcome the new season in Portugal. Densely wooded, here you will come across lakes, streams and several springs and a great diversity of plants. Equipped with various amenities for visitors, such as a picnic area or children's playgrounds, it also has several viewpoints with incredible views of the islands of Pico, Faial, Graciosa and Terceira.