Travelling in company has another charm. Whether it's Valentine's Day, another special date, or simply because you feel like surprising your sweetheart, there are many places where love is particularly in the air. It is true that when we are in love all places seem special, but All About Portugal wanted to help set the mood for romance and has gathered the ideal scenarios to meet arm-in-arm. Let the Cupid's arrow hit you full force and embark on this unforgettable road trip!
Aveiro could not be left out of this list, given that it is known as the "Portuguese Venice". A walk through the channels of the ria, with its small bridges and the colourful "moliceiros" (river craft), is of a beauty and charm without equal. Around it, the pastel-coloured buildings of the Art Nouveau style make up a peaceful and romantic setting. Take a "moliceiro" tour or a BUGA (free bicycle), visit the colourful striped wooden fishermen houses of Costa Nova and savour the famous local sweets "ovos-moles".
Baths of Luso
If you are looking for a programme aimed at total relaxation, the Baths of Luso in Mealhada are a great option. Surrounded by the magnificent and green Serra do Buçaco, here you can take care of your body, mind and soul, the first step to a perfect romantic retreat. Integrated within the Thermal Complex, the Grande Hotel de Luso allows direct access to the thermal infrastructures and offers romantic packages to brighten your stay.
Among the green cloak that surrounds the Serra do Açor, in the county of Arganil, we find the small historical village of Piódão, ensconced on the terraces. It is nicknamed "village crib" due to its perfectly preserved shale and slate houses, with blue painted windows and doors that, with the night lighting, remind you of an authentic crib. Can you imagine a more romantic scenario than this? Be sure to try the famous "chanfana" (traditional stew) and the "broa" (traditional bread).
Quinta das Lágrimas
Pedro and Inês. For the Portuguese, these two names suffice to know that we are talking about Quinta das Lágrimas, given this is the best-known Portuguese love story. Stage of a forbidden love between a Portuguese prince and a Galician aia (maid), the garden deserves a long visit, hand in hand with your better half. The charming hotel offers different romantic packages. Take the opportunity and visit Coimbra. If you're lucky, you may witness a famous Coimbra serenade or find a restaurant with live fado.
Baths of Monte Real
The Baths of Monte Real, in Leiria, are part of the Thermal Resort with the same name, which includes the Palace Hotel Monte Real and the Spa Monte Real, dating back to Roman times. Here, in this vast green area of 24 hectares, you can breathe tranquillity. And because wellness and the rebalancing of energies are linked to romance, the hotel offers "Body & Soul" romantic experiences. The perfect synergy between luxury and the simplicity of nature, which will certainly help create unique memories.
Grottoes of Mira d'Aire
If you want to surprise someone special with an unusual date, the Grottoes of Mira d'Aire, one of the Seven Natural Wonders, are a great choice. Located in Porto de Mós, they are the largest caves in Portugal and have been open to the public for 45 years. Its magnificent galleries with beautiful limestone formations and the crystal clear waters of its lakes create a truly magical atmosphere, intensified by the play of lights that illuminates the galleries. On special dates, make diners unforgettable!
To the inveterate romantics, what about a Templar Castle standing on a rocky island? The Almourol Castle, in Vila Nova da Barquinha, is a witness to the Christian Reconquest and also to the Order of the Templars in Portugal. In the middle of the Tagus River, this enigmatic castle seems to be taken from a postcard! Access is by river, on a small boat trip or, if you prefer, can schedule a more organized visit, to take your time and enjoy the mysticism of the place.
The medieval village of Óbidos, on the outskirts of Caldas da Rainha, with its beautifully preserved historical centre, is one of the most picturesque and romantic villages in the country. The castle, the whitewashed houses with yellow and blue details, the typical pavement and the entire bucolic setting are the perfect setting for a two-way escapade. Take the opportunity to take a stroll in the Óbidos Lagoon, where you can taste the fish stew and the famous "ginjinha" (liqueur) in a chocolate cup.
Bacalhôa Buddha Eden
Did you know that the largest eastern garden in Europe, with about 35 hectares, is located in Bombarral, in the district of Leiria? The Bacalhôa Buddha Eden, born as a form of protest to the destruction of the Bamyan Giant Buddhas, is known nowadays as the "garden of peace", an authentic retreat of tranquillity and romance, dominated by open-air works of art. Located within a wine farm, Quinta dos Loridos, you can also opt for a pleasurable wine tasting session with your better-half.
Pena National Palace
At the highest point of Serra de Sintra, stands the National Palace of Pena, one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. In the distance, it looks almost like a haunted castle, but as we approach and begin to unveil its colourful towers, it looks more like a fairytale castle. Stroll through its magnificent park and discover the corners of the beautiful village of Sintra. Is there a more romantic place than this?