Burgau Beach, Algarve

Burgau Beach, Algarve

photo by Francisco Santos (wikimedia commons)

Portugal Off the Beaten Track

photo by  Agne27 (Flickr Creative Commons)Oporto Vineyards and Douro River photo by Agne27 (Flickr Creative Commons)

Much of Portugal is probably considered off the beaten track, apart from its cities and the main coastal resorts of the Algarve you’ll never feel that you are anywhere but the real Portugal.  A campervan hire or motorhome rental is a great way to see some of Portugal’s best kept secrets; in fact some of these places are so undiscovered that even in the height of summer that you can be totally on your own.  

The Algarve.  Surprisingly there are still some relatively undiscovered places here, the coast may be busy but for a different view of the Algarve make your way to the Costa Vicentina Natural Park.  This is where the Moors once lived and is a great place to visit if you enjoy walking or trekking in an area rich in wild flowers and ancient castles.

Porto Santo. Porto Santo is one of the islands off the Portuguese coast in the Atlantic and was once home to Christopher Columbus.  Take a ferry from nearby Maderia; another very beautiful island also off the beaten track, to get here.  Here you will find 6 miles of pure white beach attached to a small island.  It may be small but the island still has a golf course, game fishing, horse riding, diving and for visitors who enjoy walking the island’s interior has some rugged walking terrain.  Come here for the day or a few days, this is as near to a dessert island as you will find in Europe.

Northern Portugal.  Much of northern Portugal is regarded as off the beaten track, so where ever you pick in the region you won’t go wrong, however amongst one of the best is the Duoro Valley.  Dominated by ancient vineyards the area also has some magnificent castles, protected heritage sites as well as thick forests and wild beaches.

The South West.  South of Lisbon is one of the best preserved stretch of coastline in the whole of Europe.  Reaching from Porto Covo down to Burgau, the area is home to many unique species of animal and plant life, it also has some great cliffs and beaches.  Although this area is home to a national park it is never crowded and if you are prepared to walk you will always find a secluded spot even in the height of summer.

All these places are made for visitors with a motorhome rental or campervan hire because much of the coastline and the parks are, as suggested, off the beaten track which means that hotels are very few and far between.  Having a home away from home where you can stay for the night is a great advantage allowing you to stop just that little bit longer and enjoy your surroundings.

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