5 Crowd Free Places to Visit in Portugal During Off-Season

Post-Covid, ‘escaping the crowds’ has become much more than a vague, ‘that would be nice’ scenario. For many, it has become a determining factor as to whether to take a holiday at all. Unless you are up for some off the grid exploring, taking a holiday during the summer season is likely to involve quite a bit of mixing with your fellow human beings. But if you can travel outside peak seasons, Portugal is an ideal location for getting away from it all. Stay in self-catering accommodations and avoid the constant interaction with other people integral in hotel based vacations. And if you hire a car you’ll be able to easily visit those lesser-known places, just one of the many delights of the richly diverse Portugal.


5 Crowd Free Places to Visit in Portugal During Off-Season


Peneda-Geres National Park

places to visit in portugal Parque Nacional da Peneda Geres Peneda-Geres National Park Photo by Francois Philipp
Parque Nacional da Peneda-Geres, Photo by Francois Philipp

Lose yourself in this stunning national park, situated around a 100k from Porto, in northern Portugal. Its ancient, granite villages are largely unchanged since the 12th century. And the park is littered with castles and monuments dating back to Roman times. Outside of the villages, wolves, boars, and wild horses still roam. And a wealth of flora and fauna along with countless spectacular views, sparkling rivers, and delightful waterfalls, await. Base yourself in or near the park. Or take a guided tour from Porto and let someone else do the driving.

Nazare

Visit this gorgeous sandy crescent in summer and you’ll be hard put to avoid the crowds as Nazare is probably Portugal’s most famous fishing village. Although it can’t really be described as a village these days. However, visit in winter when the waves are high, and you’re in for a treat. 

The Nazare canyon is the largest underwater canyon in Europe. And it’s this hidden asset that gives Nazare its world-famous waves. Off-season you can really enjoy the unspoiled charm of the red-roofed town. There’s not a chain store in sight but you will enjoy seafood as good as anywhere.

places to visit in portugal Nazare, Photo by Jan vT | Unplash
Nazare, Photo by Jan vT | Unsplash

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Odeceixe

It’s a 3k walk from the little town of Odeceixe, along the lush valley of the river Seixe, to the beach. The river wraps itself around the beach, giving great surfing conditions on one side and calmer river bathing on the other. Situated on the border of the Algarve and Alentego regions the beach is popular in summer. But visit out of season and you’ll have plenty of space to yourself.

places to visit in portugal Praia de Odeceixe, Photo by Vitor Oliveira from Torres Vedras
Praia de Odeceixe, Photo by Vitor Oliveira from Torres Vedras

Alcácer do Sal

Set in a landscape of rice fields and coniferous woodland, this ancient stronghold on the banks of the Sado is an ideal base from which to explore the pristine and largely deserted beaches of the Troia Peninsula. Stroll the waterfront beneath the wrought-iron balconies looking out over the river. Or explore the Moorish castle, churches, and cobbled streets.

Alcácer do Sal, along the Sado River, showing the Reconquista Moorish Castle, Photo by Joaomartinho63 | Wikimedia
Alcácer do Sal, along the Sado River, showing the Reconquista Moorish Castle, Photo by Joaomartinho63 | Wikimedia

Sao Miguel Island

The Azores may be a world-famous tourist destination, but Sao Miguel, the largest of the islands, offers plenty of scope for getting well away from everybody else. Kayaking, diving, surfing, sailing, fishing, hiking, cycling, it’s hard to think of an outdoor activity that you can’t enjoy on this spectacularly beautiful volcanic island.

Mata do Canário Trail, Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal, Photo by Ravi Sarma
Mata do Canário Trail, Sete Cidades, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal, Photo by Ravi Sarma

We hope you get a chance to visit some of these beautiful places in Portugal!


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