Portugal Welcomes International Travelers
The beginning of June signals the renewal of plans for hopeful summer travelers, with Portugal announcing the reopening of its country to foreign visitors. This decision is not one made lightly; the Portugese government has announced certain health guidelines that will be in place for all those visiting Portugal’s colorful town and scenic landscapes (Turismo de Portugal, 2020). These safety measures include social distancing, mandatory face masks in public spaces, and temperature checks by walk-through camera systems (Navarro, 2020). Keep reading to discover some of Portugal’s hidden gems and top attractions!
A must see location on Portugal’s sparking coast is stunning Sintra, just a 30 minute train ride away from Lisbon! A visit to Sintra will feel like a fairytale experience, with its dewy forests, enchanting gardens, and dazzling palaces (Lonely Planet, 2019). The myriad of castles and manors in this picturesque town boast various architectural styles, from the intricate Gothic arches of the Monserrate Palace to the elegant stone wells of the Quinta de Regaleira (Santos, 2018). Sintra is full of historical wonders and it’s no surprise that the entire town is classified as a UNESCO world heritage site (Santos, 2018). Downtown Sintra is home to a charming medieval village, bustling with friendly locals and home to various restaurants situated atop beautiful plant-covered terraces (Santos, 2018).
Another awe-inspiring place to visit is the majestic town of Lamego, nestled within the heart of Douro Valley. Known for its resplendent Baroque architecture and sparkling wine, Lamego has drawn in visitors from all over the world (GoLisbon). Lamego traces its own history back as far as the Roman Empire, and the streets of Lamego bore witness to the crowning of Alfonso I, the first king of Portugal (Johnston, 2017). One great highlight of Lamego is certainly the monumental Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, famous for its breathtaking granite 686 step staircase decorated with baroque style tiles, fountains, and statues (GoLisbon).
Although COVID-19 is still a concern for both locals and visitors, Portugal has made clear that safety is a priority when opening the country back up. With numerous health guidelines and extra precautions taken by Portugal’s tourism board, there are many marvelous places in Portugal waiting to be safely explored!
GoLisbon. n.d. “Lamego and Douro Valley Guide.” GoLisbon, Accessed June 8, 2020. https://www.golisbon.com/portugal/cities/lamego.html.
Johnston, David. 2017. “Climbing the Stairway to Heaven in Lamego, Portugal.” Travelsewhere, July 18, 2017. https://www.travelsewhere.net/lamego/.
Lonely Planet. 2019. “Sintra Introduction.” Lonely Planet, August 8, 2019. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/a/nar/fb5954a7-19f7-4710-838a-4ca6faccc8d0/360369.
Navarro, Chadner. 2020. “Flights to Portugal from U.S. Will Resume June 4.” Condé Nast Traveler, June 10, 2020. https://www.cntraveler.com/story/flights-to-portugal-from-the-us-will-resume-june-4.
Santos, Nina. 2018. “Why Sintra, Portugal is Being Coined a Real-Life Fairytale.” Culture Trip, March 13, 2018. https://theculturetrip.com/europe/portugal/articles/why-sintra-portugal-is-being-coined-a-real-life-fairytale/.
Turismo De Portugal. 2020. “COVID-19 Measures Implemented in Portugal.” Visit Portugal, June 1, 2020. www.visitportugal.com/en/node/421175.