There is much to see and do in Portugal, as our past articles have shown – for example, you can’t leave Portugal without exploring Óbidos, downtown Lisbon and the Azores! If you’re craving a holiday rich in culture and history, this country will also deliver on that. After all, there are so many historic points of interest throughout Portugal that you’ll find it impossible to see everything in one go.
You can find the perfect accommodation in our Pousadas of Portugal, no matter where you are, as they offer you the perfect base to explore the rich history of this ancient country.
1. Vale do Côa Archaeological Park
The rock engravings in this archaeological park are unmissable, especially if you love truly ancient history! This open-air Paleolithic site is located in northeast Portugal and contains engravings that were discovered in the early 1990s during the construction of a dam in the valley of the Côa River.
There are thousands of drawings of animals (like horses and bovines) and people, which are dated from 22,000 to 10,000 BC. The dam project was cancelled in order to preserve this finding, which you can visit and explore!
2. Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen
What better place to have a panoramic view of the capital than at the Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen? This viewpoint used to be called Miradouro da Graça, but has now been renamed after Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, a Portuguese poet and writer of Danish descent that created beautiful stories adored by the Portuguese.
In this site, you can also find her bust and a plaque with one of her poems, though you’ll need to know Portuguese in order to read it! Our basic guides may come in handy to get started, so check them out here, here and here.
3. Capelinha das Aparições
This chapel is located inside the Sanctuary of Fátima and marks the exact spot where the Virgin Mary is said to have shown herself to three shepherds on the 13th of May, June, July, September and October. She is said to have made the request to build the chapel during one of these apparitions; before, in this place, stood a holm-oak tree where the shepherds used to go pray.
This site is visited by countless people every single year, many of whom go on a peregrination that culminates at the chapel.
4. National Palace of Queluz
Nicknamed the ‘Portuguese Versailles’, this beautiful palace was the official royal residence of queen Dona Maria I and her husband, Dom Pedro III, during the 18th century. Later, it was a discreet place for her incarceration, as she descended into madness following the King’s death in 1786.
This palace is one of the last Rococo buildings to be designed in Europe, and its construction began in 1747. In 1908, it became the property of the state and has been extensively restored after a big fire destroyed one-third of its interior in 1934.
5. Aqueduct of Pegões
There are 180 arches in this 16th-century aqueduct, so make sure to see them all when you visit! The aqueduct was built to bring water to the Convent of Christ in Tomar, under the command of King Filipe I. spanning 6km and reaching a maximum height of 30m, this aqueduct is a beautiful monument which you can walk on and admire the sights – and well as the history of the place!
You won’t lack for things to see and do in Portugal, especially if you’re looking for slices of history. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our historic Pousadas, which are just the cherry on top of a history-rich cake!