In the summer months, music festivals fill with people, smiles and lots of entertainment several gardens, parks and beaches, all over the country. But once the festival season is over, these spaces born with a new life, becoming a kind of refuge from the hustle and bustle of the day to day life. Without the fuss of festival-goers, music is replaced by the sounds of nature and the area will seem different, perhaps bigger and greener. If you already miss it and you want to remember the magical moments you lived there, or if you are just looking for a quiet place, surrounded by nature, to breathe after a day of work, discover the other side of these dream places, which served as a stage of your life's music festivals. You will see that, at any time of the year, with or without music, one thing is guaranteed: magic happens.
Parque da Bela Vista – Rock In Rio Lisboa
Every two years, this huge green spot, with an area of about 85 hectares, becomes the “City of Rock” and receives many thousands of people for the largest of music festivals in Portugal: Rock in Rio Lisboa. With its central area in the form of an amphitheater, Parque da Bela Vista seems to have been “built” to host large events, but in fact it is an old rural farmhouse, with many trees, gardens and large areas of meadows. The high areas are stunning viewpoints over the city and the Tagus River.
Porto City Park – Primavera Sound
Every year, in the first days of June, Primavera Sound opens the summer festival season in Portugal. And if the annual pilgrimage is already “mandatory” for the most demanding of music lovers, a lot is due to the place where it all happens: the idyllic Parque da Cidade do Porto. When the music ends, the space, with its extensive gardens and paths punctuated by small woods and water mirrors, invites you to sport, play and contact with nature. And the sea is right next door!
Taboão River Beach – Paredes de Coura
The verdant natural amphitheater, the lights that intertwine through the branches of the trees, the meandering of the river and its small waterfalls, the icy water… All of this is Praia Fluvial do Taboão, also known in festival slang as “Couraíso”. The festival is always the best excuse, but the good news is that you don't need a date to visit (or return) to Paredes de Coura. Even without stages or rock, you will find an enchanted garden, a magical place where you will always want to come back.
Azenhas River Beach– Vilar de Mouros
When you think of Vilar de Mouros, what words or images immediately come to mind? Festival, rock’n’roll, hippies bathing in the river…. Well then, know that its river is Coura and the beach, with its picturesque water mills and very close to the Roman bridge, is Praia Fluvial das Azenhas. Surrounded on all sides by intense vegetation, it has the most perfect conditions for a day of refreshing dips, water sports, picnics and all kinds of socializing with your family. Will you accept the suggestion or do you prefer to wait for the next edition of the Portuguese “Woodstock”?
Meco Beach – Super Bock Super Rock
With wild seas, surrounded by dunes and protected by cliffs and pine forests, Meco beach, next to the village with the same name, remained, for a long time, practically unknown, mainly frequented by naturists. However, that changed when, from 2010 onwards, the Super Bock Super Rock festival set up camps (with a few years in between) in that little paradise. It is true that it has gained fame among festival-goers, but don't be alarmed: if, during the festival days, the beach is full of lively (and noisy) vacationers, during the rest of the summer it is the ideal beach for those who want to escape the crowds.
Zambujeira do Mar Beach – Sudoeste
The 1st edition of Sudoeste, in 1997, inaugurated the fashion for summer festivals by the beach in Portugal. Before (and after!) a long night of music, dance and entertainment, there's nothing like a wonderful day at the beach to regain strength! Zambujeira do Mar, on the Costa Vicentina, then became part of the holiday itinerary of many generations of festival-goers, and beyond! If you don't know, prepare to be dazzled by the almost intact beauty of this little paradise nestled between two cliffs. If you like surfing and bodyboarding, don't forget your board, and don't be in a hurry. The sunset, they say, is the most beautiful in the world!
Passeio Marítimo de Algés – Alive
In the municipality of Oeiras, but relatively close to downtown Lisbon, Passeio Marítimo de Algés owes much of its fame to NOS Alive, considered by those who knows one of the best music festivals in Europe. But when there is no festival or other big concerts, there are plenty of reasons to take a stroll along the seaside. Quiet and spacious, this is one of the best places to exercise. Grab your bike, skateboard or wind up your shoes for a refreshing afternoon run, with a unique view of the estuary and the city of Lisbon.
Idanha-a-Nova Dam– Boom Festival
Its reputation spreads around the world and, every two years, under the full moon in August, Idanha-a-Nova fills with people of all ages, genders and nationalities, to participate in the Boom Festival, a different music festival, ecological and visionary. Next to the magnificent artificial lake, festival-goers celebrate art, culture, spirituality and alternative lifestyles. When there is no festival, the dam, the campsite and the extensive green spaces around are places of pilgrimage for nature and water sports lovers.