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Explore Portugal’s hidden gems: 3 lesser-known destinations for the summer holidays

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 02, tags: summer -
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Portugal, with its diverse attractions from north to south and east to west, offers something for every traveler. However, for those who prefer quieter, less crowded spots, navigating this highly touristic country—which welcomed over 30 million visitors in 2023—can be a challenge. Let’s look at the hidden gems in Portugal that promise serene and scenic experiences, ideal for a peaceful summer holiday away from the bustling crowds.


Marvão, a medieval village in the Alentejo region near the Spanish border, offers top attractions like the Castle of Marvão with its stunning views and the Roman ruins of Ammaia in the nearby Serra de São Mamede Natural Park. With a population of just 2,972 in 2020, it’s ideal for those seeking tranquility.

Visitors can hike scenic hills, explore architectural gems, and enjoy local festivals like the July Music Festival and November’s Chestnut Festival. As José Saramago said, “From Marvão one can see the entire land.”

Serra da Lousã

Serra da Lousã, near Coimbra in central Portugal, is perfect for nature lovers and hikers. Key attractions include the 1080 Castle of Lousã, Fragas de São Simão with its unique wooden trail, and the ecological park’s protected forest. The village blends modern establishments with rural retreats in formerly abandoned villages, surrounded by forests and hills like the 1205-meter-high Alto do Trevim.

Visitors can explore nature-reclaimed slate villages and encounter wildlife like deer and wild boars. This humid yet captivating destination is ideal for active pursuits and scenic hikes, with proper gear recommended.


A small seaside village near Porto offers top attractions like Praia do Senhor da Pedra, a beach with a chapel and ocean views, and Passadiços da Ribeira do Espírito Santo, a designated hiking area. Praia de Miramar, the village’s main sandy beach, features a rocky ocean bed and easy access to cafes and restaurants, making it a perfect summer destination.

Unlike the crowded beaches of Lisbon and Porto, Praia de Miramar allows for undisturbed relaxation even in peak season. Visitors can enjoy a quiet afternoon or brunch by the beach and explore nearby hidden gems like Praia da Aguda, Praia de Brito, and Praia Azul Espinho.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

North American-based travel insurance company, headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Business lines include traditional travel insurance offerings for leisure travelers, a travel-agent errors- (wikipedia)

Hays Travel

Hays Travel Limited is an independent travel agent chain headquartered in Sunderland, England. As of February 2024, (wikipedia)

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