The westernmost country in Europe, Portugal’s charm is in its diversity. The country alternates between gorgeous scenery and vibrant modern cities, making Portugal one of the best places in Europe to seek out a small and intimate hotel to add a touch of exclusivity to your vacation. From the ultra-cool Porto in the north to the blissful Algarve on the south coast, you can truly lose yourself in Portugal.
Small Hotels in Portugal: Escapio’s picks for the best vacation destinations in Portugal
Fall in Love with Enigmatic Porto
Vibrant, colorful and full of local flair, Porto is the center for Portugal’s quirky artists and young professionals. Its youthful glow is complimented by historic hotspots such as Ribeira Square. As well as being a great place to book into a small hotel, the square is the beating heart of Porto. Fall in love with this UNESCO World Heritage Site of medieval alleyways and pastel-colored facades as you meander past store fronts, bars and restaurants serving up plates of freshly-caught fish and traditional Portuguese Cataplana de Marisco (seafood stew). Porto is also known for its production of Port, the sweet fortified wine that is exclusively produced in the Douro Valley close by. For a touch of adventure, book a small hotel in Portugal’s port-producing heartland and be surrounded by rich countryside and miles of vineyards. Wine tastings are a must while visiting Porto and some of the most picturesque estates can be found around this incredible region.
Lisbon: Relish the Charm of Portugal’s Capital
A small hotel in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, gives you exclusivity in the heart of one of Western Europe’s most spirited cities. Be enraptured while taking a pre-war tram through Lisbon’s historic center, passing through sites like Baxia and Alfama. Jump off here and continue your exploration on foot. Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest districts, and was once a place of poverty and squalor on the outskirts of Lisbon’s city limits. Today it’s one of the city’s big tourist centers, famous for its picturesque castle and tiled ‘azulejo’ buildings. Its narrow cobbled streets and intimate community atmosphere offer a glimpse of traditional Lisbon. Book a small hotel near Lisbon’s Bairro Alto, the heart of the city where you’ll find cultural and historic wonders alongside excellent wine bars and Lisbon’s top restaurants. Here you will find the gothic Carmo Convent and the breathtaking 17th century Church of Sao Roque, both magnificent examples of Lisbon’s illustrious architectural past. Venture up to the viewing platform at the Miradouro de Santa Catarina to catch the sun as it sets over the River Tagus.
Idyllic Small Hotels in the Algarve
Portugal’s Algarve region is stunning, and an intimate retreat along the country’s blissful southern coast will charm any visitor seeking sun, sea and sand – but that’s not all the area has to offer. A small hotel anywhere in Portugal’s Algarve is your gateway to wide golden beaches, attractive cities, cascading cliffsides and turquoise water hiding all manner of wonders. The heart of the action can be found in Faro, which offers partygoers and culture vultures a wealth of activities to explore. The Algarve’s west coast, however, is a slightly more wild affair, where the rocky coastline and windswept beaches feel the full force of the Atlantic. Small, intimate hotels can be found in the quaint villages and seaside towns which dot the west coast, with many located around the historic city of Lagos. With its pretty walled old town and access to visually impressive beaches, Lagos’s diversity is one of the many reasons a small hotel in Portugal is the perfect choice for a vacation.