Portugal really has it all: a fascinating history, hospitable people, a trendy capital, majestic national parks in the north, hot southern beaches in every sense, a chain of tropical islands in the Atlantic. But today we will not tell you about the most popular tourist places, but we will share with you secrets and tell you about unusual places in Portugal that you may not have heard of yet.
Cave of Boca do Inferno
A beautiful cliff known as The Devil’s Mouth is close to the vacation destination of Cascais. The ocean waves that crash on the rocks at its base, enter the cave system within, and splash out violently from a hole a little higher are how it received its name. Since the turn of the 20th century, the cave has drawn tourists. The Sea Cave near Lisbon (1896), one of the first movies ever made, was shot inside.
The cliff is mainly remembered for being the location of Aleister Crowley’s 1930 self-deception, which made him a famous occultist. He convinced the poet Fernando Pessoa to release his suicide letter to the media, which was addressed to his mistress Hanni Yeager, who was 19 years old. Crowley attended the Berlin Gallery’s inauguration of a show featuring his work three weeks later. The occultist’s “suicide” was therefore viewed as nothing but a publicity stunt. The place is located in the vicinity of Lisbon, but guests of the city will still be more comfortable to get there using the Portugal coach hire.
This is one of the rare classic cinemas still in Lisbon. At the time of its opening in 1950, it was the largest auditorium in Portugal and had a capacity of 1,800 people. The cinema withstood the mass appearance of such halls in shopping centers and became a venue for festivals. In one month or another, you can get to the festival of French, Italian or Spanish cinema, as well as theatrical performances and concerts.
Spillway of Cowan dos Conchos
A man-made lake with a huge hole in the centre can be seen in the Serra da Estrela mountains. What appears to be a doorway to another world is actually a funnel that leads to a spillway tunnel. The construction of a hydroelectric power plant in 1955 resulted in the creation of a Lake Lagoa Serra da Estrela. The project’s engineers chose to drill a tunnel through the mountain rather than construct a pipeline to transport water from the lake to Lagoa Comprida. It appears that this is a wild portion of the lake due to the lack of any other surrounding constructions. Few people knew about Covan dos Conchos until 2016, when social media users began to actively distribute photos with him. The lake in the Serra da Estrela nature reserve is located far from major cities, so to get to it, it is better to use a bus hire Portugal.
The old Amoreiras reservoir is located next to the park of the same name in Lisbon. It is not used, but is open to visitors and special occasions – exhibitions and private parties. The interior consists of huge marble squares, central columns and a large pool of clear water. There is also an ancient fountain from which water flows into the aqueduct. You can climb the stairs to the roof, which offers amazing views of the surroundings.
This town will become a discovery and a place where you will take dozens of selfies. The thing is that houses here have certain standards that are forbidden to be changed. All of them are pure white with doors, frames and windows in blue, yellow or green. And the city council always makes sure that the authentic conservative look is preserved in the town. Sometimes it will seem that you are stuck somewhere between Santorini and Chefchaouen. The city is about 100 km from Lisbon, so you can use the Portugal charter bus to get there.
Torel is perhaps the most secret garden in the Portuguese capital. Everyone knows that it exists, but few tourists have been there. Torel is located on a tree-lined hill and features a fountain, statues, and green walls. Comfortable benches allow you to enjoy the views, and a walk near the neighboring mansions is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the architecture of the 18th century.
The phrase “the most Portuguese village of all Portuguese” is frequently used to describe this place. This phrase was the main prize of the national competition for the most authentic village in the country, and it was Monsanto who won the honorary title. An unusual village in the east of the country has become famous for its stone houses, although it is worth a visit without it. As a result, the stones began to serve as a roof, wall or foundation. The most interesting thing is that the village is built on giant boulders, and some houses are carved right inside them. Most of the buildings here are made in the classic Portuguese architectural style Manueline – a local version of the Renaissance. The surrounding mountain peaks have always been considered important defensive positions – Monsanto even has the ruins of a Templar castle, destroyed by an explosion in the 19th century. However, the village is located equally far from Porto and from Lisbon, near the border with Spain, so you may need help with logistics – coach hire Portugal service.
The smallest bookstore Livraria Simão
This tiny bookstore in Lisbon is often referred to as the smallest bookstore in the world. Prada or not – even the owner himself does not know, but the size of this bookstore is simply claustrophobically small. There are barely enough bookshelves and worker Simau. It is worth seeing and looking for it in the Escadinhas de São Cristóvão area.