Are you looking for the best winter destinations in Portugal? All About Portugal organized 10 suggestions for a dream holiday, from north to south of the country, also passing through the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores. In the heights, in unavoidable places like Serra da Estrela, or close to the sea, on the always romantic Vicentina Coast; there are ideas that promise to make your winter weekends in Portugal unforgettable. Challenge your friends or your family and hit the road to start the year in the best way, in any of these 10 winter destinations.
Serra da Estrela
Serra da Estrela is one of the best destinations at any time of the year, with enchanting landscapes and refreshing lagoons. In the cold months, however, the main attraction is the snow, that traditionally falls at the onset of winter. This is the perfect invite to a family trip, where snowball battles take place and where the bravest adventure down the mountain on skis. Nearby, the charming village of Cabeça usually gains even more charisma by becoming an enchanted and magical Christmas Village. In snowy weather, before trying to climb the Tower, find out if the roads are open.
The coldest city… and more
Everything in Guarda breathes winter, were it not for the highest city in mainland Portugal. This beautiful location will take your breath away, and not just because of the temperature. Once there, and after visiting the Cathedral and take in the view from the Torre de Menagem (keep), venture out to other nearby destinations. One that stands out is Sortelha, about 45 minutes by car, whose historic centre transports us to times of kings and queens.
The charms of the Douro
The Douro region is one of the best winter destinations, especially if you combine the trip with a varied gastronomic and wine journey. Port Wine is one of the brand images of Portugal in the world and, accompanied by the delicious typical gastronomy, “warms up” those who visit the Douro during the coldest time of the year. But always with a camera in hand, of course, to register the fascinating landscapes of the Douro.
Piódão, the crib village
Situated on the slopes of the Serra do Açor, this Historic Village of Portugal gains even more shine with the arrival of December and winter. As soon as night falls, the schist houses light up and, in the distance, the village reveals itself as an authentic nativity scene, which earned it the name "crib village". However, the small town of Piódão is a delight for Portuguese and international tourists at any time of the year.
Visiting Gerês in winter? Sure!
Although a more sought-after destination at the dawn of spring, the Peneda-Gerês National Park is an unexpected and pleasant surprise even on the coldest days. Don't be alarmed by the low temperatures! In addition to gathering fewer people than in the so-called high season, the landscape of Gerês shows the new lights and colours characteristic of this season of the year. Venture out and discover why this region can assert itself as one of the best winter destinations in Portugal.
Serra da Cabreira... that inspired Miguel Torga
It is necessary to revisit the famous writer Miguel Torga to start to understand why one should be enthusiastic about Serra da Cabreira. According to the author, it is from the highest point of this mountain, the Alto do Talefe (1262 meters of altitude), that it is possible to observe “absolute beauty”. Protect yourself from the cold and, alone or in good company, discover the secrets that hide beyond the wide green that marks this dream vision in Baixo Minho.
In Alentejo, discover Monsaraz
There are many places in the Alentejo for you to visit in the coldest season of the year. With temperatures that hardly invite a dive, take the opportunity to venture into the Alentejo countryside and let yourself be conquered by beautiful destinations, where, of course, you can eat amazing local delicacies. We suggest, for example, Monsaraz, a village that stands out at the top of the landscape, kept as a treasure inside the walls of the old Castle.
Go down the Costa Vicentina
From the interior to the coast, we recommend an adventurous journey through the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. If in the summer the challenge is to choose the bicycle or the motorcycle, in the winter the journey is best done by car... but with several stops. It is impossible to engage in this dream path without stopping to photograph, admire the landscape or enjoy an excellent meal. Without a doubt, one of the best winter destinations.
Fall in love with Madeira...
Internationally recognized for the ostensible New Year celebrations, Madeira is not just a party and a firework display. Set out to discover Funchal, but also to other places on the island, such as Santana or Porto Moniz, as well as the neighbouring island of Porto Santo.
...and the Azores
The green of the Azores is a timeless invitation to discover the secrets that these islands hide. It is true that the good weather makes the trip more desirable, but the archipelago is also one of the best winter destinations. Not only are the most touristic places less crowded, but Nature also reveals other charms.