If you’re planning to explore the best but unusual places to visit in Portugal, a European country, and you don’t want your trip to consist of the same old stuff then you have come to the right place. Such as spending endless hours on the country’s tempting beaches or visiting the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Lisbon, then we have some top ideas for you, with their major tourist spots and their traditional cuisine. Portugal is a nation that is very sea themed. But the unique beaches are not the only thing you should visit while in this amazing country. Here are some of the more unique and unusual places in Portugal.
Weird But Beautiful Places of Portugal
1. The Grande Lago
Stretching for around 250km, the man-made lake in the Alentejo region was created as a reservoir to provide the arid sun-baked interior with water. But this practical plan resulted in the most unusual places in Portugal, with boats for hire from Amieira Marina, around an hour from Evora – home to one of those fantastically macabre bone chapels. Cruising leisurely along the still water, the glistening blue hides its own secrets – the submerged village of Luz, ancient Roman ruins and prehistoric rock art lie beneath since the valley was flooded.
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2. Azores Islands
If you’re looking for something truly unique and most unusual places to visit in Portugal, then go and see the whales in the Azores Islands. You’ll be able to get surprisingly close to these beautiful and majestic creatures and their dolphin friends while exploring the seas of these wonderful islands. Also, try snorkeling or diving while you’re there and you will be blown away by the beauty of nature. This unusual place to explore in Portugal is an attraction that you will not soon forget once you’ve left.
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3. Palaces of Sintra
Portuguese azulejos, traditional tiles glinting in the sun. The quirky ‘pepper pot’ towers, their minimalist white hiding ornate ceilings, and decorated rooms inside. The fairytale wonderland to be found in the gardens, carvings, and tunnels adding to the otherworldly atmosphere. A girl looks out between the pillars and yellow-painted walls of the Pena Palace at Sintra onto a misty view – one of my favorite memories of the country and among Portugal’s most unusual attractions. The white pepper pot towers of one of the former palaces of Sintra against a blue sky – Portugal’s most unusual attractions. Around 40 minutes from Lisbon, Sintra is a world away from the capital – the summer retreat of the royal family, the palaces scattered on the hillsides are all different, all unlike most European fortresses and palaces, and all unmissable.
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4. The Chapel of Bones
The Chapel of Bones located in Évora is a small part of the Royal Church of St. Francis, which was constructed by a troupe of monks in the late 1500s. As you might have guessed by the name, this chapel is rather unusual in that it’s home to a whole lot of human bones. These are openly on display in the building and were moved here from nearby cemeteries that were taking up too much land. It was decided such a course of action was necessary and the bones were put on display by the monks to remind people of their mortality. Although this unusual place to vacation in Portugal is pretty eerie, the chapel is extremely beautiful.
5. The Algarve
Looming above the town, the solid red battlements look as imposingly fearsome as they must have done to invaders centuries ago. Away from the beach resorts of the Algarve, this beautiful but weird place in Portugal lies a spot almost frozen in time, where the Moors and a Portuguese king fought for control of the castle at Silves. The mighty Moorish capital of Xelb was a prize for either side – until the river below began to silt up, ending trade and leaving this once strategic port abandoned. With its twisting cobbled streets, a cathedral built in the shadow of the castle, and a feeling that you might just have stepped back in time to the Middle Ages, it’s a world away from the endless golden sand which tempts most visitors to Portugal’s south.
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6. Drowned Village of Vilarinho da Furna
This weird place in Portugal to visit is a 2000+-year-old village. It has been submerged underwater since 1972, after the construction of a dam that would flood some areas in the region to create hydroelectricity. Now when the dam water levels drop, it’s windows and doors mysteriously rise showing the remains of what used to be there. That means that you might not be able to see much during your trip, but you could visit a museum dedicated to the village, which is located nearby at São João do Campo, and which has ensured that its history, which is thought to date back to 1 A.D. is never forgotten.
7. Lake of Vilarinho da Furna
The Boca do Inferno is certainly one of the coolest and oddest attractions in Portugal. Why? Well not only is this seaside cave a pretty unique natural attraction and one of the strangest places with stunning coastal views, but it’s also the place where the famous magician Aleister Crowley once faked his own death with the help of poet Fernando Pessoa back in 1930. There’s even a plaque at the cave commemorating the event, which saw Crowley ‘rise from the dead’ three weeks later in Berlin!
8. Portugal’s Corpse Bride
The Tomb of Inês de Castro in Alcobaca is the final resting place of Inês de Castro. Inês had fallen in love with Pedro, but it was disapproved of by his father, King Afonso IV. The king then killed her out of desperation that she and Pedro were in love. If all that sounds a bit morbid, well it is, but that doesn’t change the fact that her lavish tomb is one of those beautiful attractions that you simply must-see. This unusual place in Portugal is a true testament to Pedro’s love for Inês that she was interred in such luxury.
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9. McDonald’s Imperial
McDonald’s might not seem like a particularly cool or unusual place to see anywhere, let alone Portugal. However, the McDonald’s Imperial in Porto is a unique place in Portugal I mean it is probably the most beautiful, luxurious McDonald’s on the planet. Sure, the setting is a whole different matter but the food is no different than at any other McDonald’s.
10. The Volcanic Azores
The most westerly point of Europe and one of the most unusual places in Portugal, scattered in the Atlantic, lie the islands of the Azores. Like many parts of Portugal as Lisbon, they dot the ocean a thousand miles from the capital. The traditional white churches are the same, but here the villages are set among tea plantations and calderas, volcanic lakes shining blue and green in the sun. The underground heat warms thermal pools that feel like floating in the hottest of baths; elsewhere you can cook your lunch in special pots buried for hours until the traditional ‘cozido’ is ready to be eaten.
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11. Fort of Graça
This historic fort is a great place to take a few holiday snaps because it is basically a star-shaped military outpost with lots of unique features that were built between the years of 1763 and 1792. It has three separate layers of defense, unusual earthwork walls, and amazing intricate stonework interiors. You’ll find it one of the weirdest places in Portugal to visit if you’re a military or history buff, or just someone who appreciates unique architecture.
We hope this list of unusual places to visit in Portugal has inspired you. Enjoy Portuga! You might have loved reading this article and if you love to know more about Portugal kindly head to our other articles as well which will help you to get knowledge about.
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