Portugal’s Hidden Treasures: Unusual Destinations for the Adventurous Traveler

By Kate

Finding unique travel destinations in Portugal can be challenging, especially if you’re looking for more adventurous and off-the-beaten-path experiences. We get it; we’ve been there ourselves and did some exploring.

After much research and exploration, we discovered that this beautiful country is bursting with hidden gems just waiting to be explored. This blog will take you on a journey through Portugal’s least-known townsenchanting landscapes, and picturesque islands – all of which promise an adventure like no other.

Ready to uncover the unexpected?

Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations in Portugal

Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations in Portugal

When exploring Portugal, don’t forget to venture off the beaten path and discover hidden gems like the Berlengas Islands in Leiria or Porto Moniz in Madeira – perfect for adventurous travellers looking for unique experiences.

Berlengas Islands, Leiria

We love the Berlengas Islands in Leiria. The boat ride there is fun! This small group of islands has a lot to see. We love the Fort of São João Baptista a lot. It was built in the 1500s and it’s very cool to explore.

Plus, we enjoy strolling around the island’s paths and watching seabirds flying high up above us on clear sunny days. But what we love most is snorkelling in crystal-clear waters full of colourful fish and corals, seeing them all underwater is just amazing!

Porto Moniz, Madeira

Porto Moniz in Madeira is a remarkable destination that shouldn’t be missed. It’s known for its natural swimming pools, formed by volcanic rocks, where you can take a refreshing dip surrounded by stunning ocean views.

These pools are filled with crystal-clear seawater and offer a unique swimming experience. The area also boasts beautiful cliffs and lush green landscapes, perfect for hiking and exploring nature.

If you’re looking for adventure and breathtaking scenery, Porto Moniz is the place to go!

Buracas do Casmilo

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination in Portugal, the Buracas do Casmilo is a must-visit. Located in the Algarve region, this unique geological formation offers a fascinating experience for adventurous travellers.

The Buracas do Casmilo are natural limestone caves that have been formed over millions of years by water erosion. Inside the caves, you’ll find stunning stalactites and stalagmites that create a magical atmosphere.

Exploring these caves is like entering another world, as you navigate through narrow passages and marvel at the intricate rock formations. It’s truly an unforgettable adventure that will leave you in awe of Portugal’s hidden treasures.


Piodao is a unique and picturesque village nestled in the heart of Portugal’s Serra do Acor mountains. Known for its charming, whitewashed houses with slate roofs, Piodao offers an enchanting escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

As you wander through its narrow cobblestone streets, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The village is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Whether you’re interested in hiking along scenic trails or simply soaking up the peaceful atmosphere, Piodao is sure to captivate your adventurous spirit.

Covao dos Conchos

Covao dos Conchos is a unique and mesmerizing destination tucked away in the Serra da Estrela mountain range of Portugal. It is home to an extraordinary man-made reservoir that looks like something out of a fantasy film.

The most striking feature of this reservoir is its unusual circular shape, which gives it an otherworldly appearance. It seems as if it was plucked straight from a fairytale! To reach Covao dos Conchos, you’ll embark on a scenic hike through picturesque landscapes until you come face to face with this hidden marvel.

As you stand at the edge and look down into the water-filled crater, you can’t help but feel awe-inspired by its beauty. This off-the-beaten-path gem is perfect for adventurous travellers seeking something truly extraordinary.

Unique Landmarks and Landscapes

Unique Landmarks and Landscapes

– Explore the medieval charm of Obidos, a picturesque town with well-preserved walls and cobblestone streets.


Monsanto is a unique and unusual destination in Portugal that is worth exploring. Located in the central part of the country, this small village is known for its charming stone houses built into huge granite boulders.

It feels like stepping into a fairytale with its narrow streets and picturesque views. The castle at the top of the hill offers panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside. You can also visit the Romanesque-style church and enjoy a leisurely stroll through nature trails nearby.

Monsanto is truly a hidden gem that will captivate adventurous travellers.

Costa Nova do Prado

Costa Nova do Prado is a unique and picturesque destination in Portugal that you won’t want to miss. This small town is known for its charming striped houses, which are painted in vibrant colours.

These houses were originally used by fishermen as storage sheds for their fishing gear, but now they have been transformed into eye-catching vacation homes. You can take a stroll along the beach promenade and admire the beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean while enjoying some delicious seafood at one of the local restaurants.

Costa Nova do Prado offers a tranquil and laid-back atmosphere, making it perfect for those who want to escape the crowds and relax by the seaside. It’s definitely a hidden gem that adventurous travellers should explore when visiting Portugal.


Obidos is a small town in Portugal that feels like stepping back in time. With its well-preserved medieval walls and charming cobblestone streets, it’s a hidden gem for history lovers.

As you wander through the narrow alleys, you’ll come across whitewashed houses adorned with colorful bougainvillaea flowers. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the impressive Obidos Castle, which has been converted into a hotel where you can spend the night.

And if you happen to visit during July or August, make sure to attend the Obidos Medieval Festival, where locals dress up in period costumes and reenact scenes from medieval times.

Sao Miguel Island

Sao Miguel Island is a breathtaking destination in Portugal that is sure to captivate adventurous travellers. This island is one of the hidden treasures of Portugal, offering unique and unusual landscapes that are perfect for exploration.

From stunning volcanic lakes like Lagoa das Sete Cidades to beautiful hot springs at Caldeira Velha, Sao Miguel Island has it all. You can also hike through lush forests, visit charming coastal villages, and indulge in delicious local cuisine.

The island’s natural beauty and diverse attractions make it an exceptional place to discover and create unforgettable memories. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the hidden wonders of Sao Miguel Island!

Terceira Island

Terceira Island is a hidden gem that offers unique experiences for adventurous travellers in Portugal. Located in the Azores archipelago, this island boasts stunning landscapes and a fascinating cultural heritage.

Explore the historic city of Angra do Heroísmo, a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with charming cobblestone streets and colourful buildings. Immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty by hiking along scenic trails or swimming in beautiful volcanic lakes like Algar do Carvão.

Don’t miss out on the chance to witness traditional bullfights, known as touradas à corda, which take place throughout the year. Terceira Island truly captures the essence of Portugal’s hidden treasures with its unspoiled beauty and rich traditions.

Natural Wonders and Outdoor Activities

Natural Wonders and Outdoor Activities

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Cascata das 25 Fontes in Madeira, hike along the stunning Praia da Adraga beach, explore the ancient village of Sortelha, marvel at the picturesque Santana cottages, and discover the enchanting terraces of Sistelo.

Cascata das 25 Fontes, Madeira

At Cascata das 25 Fontes in Madeira, you can discover a breathtaking waterfall surrounded by lush nature. The name “Cascata das 25 Fontes” translates to “Waterfall of the 25 Springs,” and it’s easy to see why.

As you hike through the stunning Levada do Risco trail, you’ll come across not just one but twenty-five natural springs flowing into a crystal-clear lagoon. The cascading waterfalls and serene landscape create a peaceful atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation or exploring with your loved ones.

It’s an ideal spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers looking to escape the city and immerse themselves in Portugal’s beautiful outdoors.

Praia da Adraga

We absolutely loved our visit to Praia da Adraga, one of Portugal’s hidden treasures. This stunning beach is located near Sintra, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters.

The scenery here is absolutely breathtaking, making it the perfect spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the things that makes Praia da Adraga so special is its untouched beauty. Unlike other popular beaches in Portugal, this secluded gem remains relatively unknown to tourists, which means you can enjoy a peaceful and serene experience away from crowds.

Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll along the golden sand or brave the chilly Atlantic waters for a swim, Praia da Adraga offers something for everyone.

Don’t forget your camera when visiting Praia da Adraga – the picturesque landscape provides endless opportunities for capturing stunning photos. Soaking up the sun while enjoying the magnificent views of towering cliffs and crashing waves is an experience you won’t soon forget.


Sortelha is a truly unique destination in Portugal that adventurous travellers should not miss. This historic village is located in the eastern part of the country and is known for its well-preserved medieval charm.

As you wander through Sortelha’s narrow cobblestone streets, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The village is surrounded by ancient walls, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Exploring Sortelha feels like stepping into a fairy tale, with its stone houses and castle ruins dotting the landscape. Don’t forget to visit the Church of Santa Maria, which dates back to the 14th century and showcases stunning Gothic architecture.


Now let’s talk about Santana, one of the unique and unusual locations in Portugal that adventurous travellers should explore. Located on the island of Madeira, Santana is known for its traditional houses with triangular-shaped roofs made of straw.

These houses are called “palheiros” and they provide an interesting glimpse into the local culture and architecture. In addition to exploring these charming houses, visitors can also enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The area is perfect for hiking and nature lovers will appreciate the stunning landscapes that Santana has to offer. It’s definitely a hidden gem worth discovering in Portugal!


Sistelo is a small village in northern Portugal that offers a truly unique and picturesque experience. As you explore the area, you’ll be captivated by its breathtaking beauty and charming rural atmosphere.

The village is known for its stunning terraced fields, called “socalcos,” which are an agricultural marvel created by generations of local farmers. These lush green landscapes create a mesmerizing pattern on the hillsides, making Sistelo feel like something out of a fairytale.

In addition to the stunning scenery, there are also several hiking trails in the area that offer incredible views of the surrounding mountains and river valleys. It’s an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts who want to immerse themselves in Portugal’s natural beauty and experience something truly extraordinary.


In conclusion, Portugal is filled with hidden treasures that are waiting to be explored by adventurous travellers. From the enchanting Berlengas Islands in Leiria to the stunning landscapes of Obidos and Sao Miguel Island, there are unique and unusual destinations that offer a different side of this beautiful country.

Whether it’s discovering secret spots or venturing off the beaten path, Portugal has plenty of underrated places just waiting to be discovered. So grab your backpack and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Portugal’s best-kept secrets!

About the author

Hello there, fellow travellers! I'm Kate, one half of the Chandler's Travel duo, and my love for travel is matched only by my love for sharing it with others. For me, every journey is an opportunity to learn something new, be it a local tradition, a tasty dish, or simply a new way to see the world.

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