The Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary at Fátima is one of Portugal’s most revered pilgrimage shrines and celebrates the appearance of Our Lady to three children in 1917. Visiting Fatima from Porto should be on everybody’s bucket list.
The Algarve is one of Europe’s most popular vacation destinations, where year-round sun and long, hot summers are pretty much guaranteed. Most people never look past the sweep of beaches, the golf courses of the pumping nightlife, but there’s plenty more to experience in the best towns on the Algarve.
The Porto institution that is the elegant bookstore of Livraria Lello is found at Rua das Carmelitas 144, and opened its doors in 1906. Its façade is a lacy and white-washed confection of Art Nouveau-meets Gothic revival and was painted by José Bielman with two figures representing Science and Art.
Just a hop and jump from both Porto and Coimbra, the seaside town of Aveiro is a miniature Portuguese version of Venice in Italy, riddled with canals and lined with stately townhouses. Instead of gondolas vying for your business, in this genteel old fishing port you can expect cheerily painted traditional moliceiro fishing boats in blue, white and yellow bobbing on the waterways leading off the Ria River.
The Algarve is Portugal’s premier – and probably Europe’s – holiday destination for sun-starved northerners and Faro is the center of the vacation action. The region is so much more than golf courses and beaches – day trips from Faro can include Moorish cities, a jaunt to Lisbon or getting out on the ocean to spot dolphins.