Love has no set date, but Valentine's Day is always a good excuse for romance. Imbued with the spirit of the time, All About Portugal suggests a tour that promises to melt even the most insensitive hearts, giving you twelve romantic cities to explore with your better half. From north to south of the country, passing through the islands, these places seem to have been designed for romance, full of colour and magic. Cheesy or eccentric, adventurous or with the soul of a poet - whatever your style, you will certainly find the perfect setting for your love story.
Viana do Castelo
It is one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal, full of history, culture, tradition… and excuses for romance. Take the funicular up to the Santa Luzia Sanctuary and be dazzled by the surrounding landscape. Get lost in the streets and squares of the historic centre. Surprise your loved one with a typical “Valentine's Handkerchief”. Their love verses, embroidered in coloured threads and written in archaic Portuguese, become more beautiful with a Minho accent. Go up to Vila Nova de Cerveira and, on the River Minho, find the fascinating Ilha dos Amores (Loves’ Island).
Known as the “Portuguese Rome”, Braga seems to have been designed for romance. There is much to do for two, but the visit to the Bom Jesus Sanctuary is a must. You can choose to go up in the oldest funicular in the world or climb the more than 600 steps of the sanctuary’s iconic staircase. When you catch your breath, discover the caves, lakes, fountains, and statues scattered throughout its park. Incurable romantics will not resist taking a boat or horse ride for a truly unforgettable Valentine's Day.
With its winding alleys, the old, picturesque and well-preserved houses, the Castle and its walls, Guimarães is the ideal destination for a passionate walk. Walk aimlessly through the Historic Centre, a World Heritage Site, pass through Largo do Toural, discover the history and culture of the “Cradle of the Nation”. Linger at Largo da Oliveira, where the heart of the city beats faster... just like yours!
In Porto, romance lurks around every corner - in the architecture of buildings, in monuments, in secular squares and gardens, in the gloomy light and even in the fog. The gardens of the Crystal Palace look like they came out of a period film and the Ribeira area is the perfect setting for romance. Declare your passion aboard a rabelo boat, warm your heart with a goblet of Port Wine or immortalize the moment with a photo from the top of the D. Luís Bridge.
If Braga is the Portuguese Rome, Aveiro is Venice! Invite your loved one for a walk along the estuary aboard a moliceiro, a typical boat of the region. Enjoy the colourful houses, Art Nouveau facades and lush gardens. And, because it is said that the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach, do not leave without first sharing a dish of delicious ‘ovos moles’, one of the city's crown jewels.
It inspired writers and poets, it was the theme of fados and serenades, and served as the stage for the most beautiful and tragic love story in Portugal. In Coimbra, follow in the footsteps of D. Pedro and D. Inês de Castro and be dazzled by the garden at Quinta das Lágrimas. Among the majestic vegetation, look for the Fonte dos Amores (love’s Fountain), through which D. Pedro sent letters to his beloved in small wooden boats, and the Fonte das Lágrimas (Tears’ Fountain), where, according to legend, Inês was supposedly killed by order of the king, D. Pedro’s father.
Surrender to the unique charm of this small and colourful medieval town between walls. Nothing is more romantic than a walk hand in hand through the typical houses, the small craft shops and, of course, the towering Castle, one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. Take the opportunity to toast to love with the Óbidos ginjinha (traditional liqueur), preferably in a chocolate cup. Will you be able to resist?
Scenery worthy of a fairy tale, with palaces and castles that rise in the middle of hills, lush gardens, and enchanting forests, Sintra is a must for any couple in love. The Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira are just two examples of the magic that the village contains in each corner. It is in places like these that you swear eternal love.
The Portuguese capital gathers all the ingredients for days of pure romance: sun and river, gardens and viewpoints, art and music, charming restaurants, romantic hotels, or motels for the most daring… With or without clichés, prepare an itinerary tailored to your better half. It will not be hard to find the perfect place to recite a poem, for a Hollywood kiss or, who knows, make that request that you have been postponing.
In the heart of the Alentejo, fall in love with this City-Museum, full of history and a thousand charms. Walk through the alleys of the historic centre, bordered by walls, and travel to a distant and fascinating past. Be amazed by the grandeur of the Roman Temple, shiver in the Chapel of Bones and relax with a coffee or any delicious Alentejo dish at Praça do Giraldo.
Known for its world-renowned natural beauty, the capital of Madeira is the ideal destination for holidays, honeymoons, or a simple romantic getaway. The experience will depend on your concept of romanticism, but All About Portugal leaves you with a few suggestions: stroll through the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, ride the cable car or go down the hill in a “basket car”, walk along the levadas and paths, delight in the gastronomy and drink poncha in a small bowl.
Love and Paradise, sculpted by lava, sea, and wind. Fly to Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel Island, in the Azores, and live moments for two worthy of a cinematic epic. Enjoy the beaches of black sand and hot water, fascinating caves, the natural pools and waterfalls with iron-coloured water, the landscapes and gardens with all shades of green, and the colourful lagoons within volcanoes.