Located on the west coast on the Iberian peninsula, Portugal draws a lot of tourists every year owing to its fantastic weather and rich environment with a lot of things to do. While a lot of people come to enjoy the lively cities of Lisbon, Sintra, and Porto. Others come to enjoy the magnificent beaches that are spread over the coastline of the place. Portugal has a very picturesque and varying landscape and is a treat for the tourists to explore and roam around in the islands of Azores and Madeira. The country is filled with natural beauty and has the most beautiful national parks that one can witness on this planet. Here we have compiled a list of the best National parks in Portugal.
10 Best National Parks In Portugal
Take a look at the best national parks in Portugal that offer a glimpse into the vibrant wildlife of the country and provide a lifetime experience!
- Sintra-Cascais Natural Park
- Peneda-Geres National Park
- Arrabida Natural Park
- Southwest Alentejo And Vicenti Coast
- Serra Da Estrela Natural Park
- Montesinho Natural Park
- Ria Formosa Natural Park
- Litoral Norte National Park
- Alvao Natural Park
- Douro International Natural Park
1. Sintra-Cascais Natural Park
The Sintra-Cascais National park is one of the most popular destinations for tourist n Portugal spread over an area of 145 square kilometers. This park contains a lot of amazing attractions that will appeal to any visitor. The park is mainly known for its historical sites that can leave you stunned. Some of the must see sights are the Castle of Moors that dates back to the 8th Century and the Esque Pena Palace that rises above the trees surrounding it and is prominently situated on hilltop. Nature lovers who visit here will love the stupendous park with diverse landscapes. The Sintra-Cascais Natural has a lot of breathtaking sights to offer if you are willing to explore it throughout its length and breadth.
Location: Sintra-Cascais, Portugal
Entry Fee: (6/4/18)Euros(adult/children/family)
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2. Peneda-Geres National Park
Situated in North Portugal, the Peneda-Geres is the only National park in Portugal. This national park was established to preserve and protect the wildlife and the unique landscapes. The Geres Mountains is inhospitable and fascinating to explore. The trails and the pathways here snake their way into and around the park’s perfect environment and it has a plethora of interesting sites ranging from the distinctive granaries to the unique rock formations. There are a lot of beautiful waterfalls here as well. You must see the ruins in this park. Also check the Portugal National Park map online as this is a vast area and to ensure to make the most of it, a map will certainly help.
Location: Peneda-Geres National park, Portugal
Timing: 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5:30pm
Entry Fee: 2Euros per car
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3. Arrabida Natural Park
The lovely sandy beaches, the beautiful rock cliffs, the low lying mountains, lush vegetation are some of the natural characteristics of the Arrabida Natural Park. The Mediterranean climate here has given forward abundant flora and fauna, enough to paint the landscape in vivid colors. A popular escape for the people living in Lisbon. Figueirinha and Galapinhos are the pristine beaches of this place, the scenic area can be enjoyed by taking a stroll along the soothing coastal paths that can soothe your soul as the breeze of the ocean gently cools your skin. Take a boat trip and experience the beauty of the coast from a distance, and being out on the water under the dazzling sun you will be greeted by a stunning and endless panorama that stretches before you.
Location: Parque Natural da Arrabida, Portugal
Timing: 10am to 6pm
Entry Fee: Free entry
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4. Southwest Alentejo And Vicenti Coast
The southwest corner of Portugal will surprise you with this beautiful natural park. The endless beaches and the stunning cliffs will just take our breath away. The beaches here are complemented by the soft sands and glistering sunlight in the nearby waters. This relaxing spot is very peaceful and will help you unwind after a day full of activities.
Location: Rua Serpa Pinto, 32, 7630-174 Odemira, Portugal
Entry Fee: Free entry
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5. Serra Da Estrela Natural Park
The Serra da Estrela Natural Park has a lot going for it. It comprises of the largest mountain of Portugal. This park is home to the highest peak in the country that is about 2000 meters in height and is surrounded by lovely valleys and an abundant array of flora and fauna. The lakes and forests here are spread across the mountains and the secluded woodland paths that lead to crystal clear waters make a visit to this place a magical experience.
Location: Serra da Estrela, Portugal
Timing: 9am to 10pm
Entry Fee: 10 Euros
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6. Montesinho Natural Park
The Montesinho Natural ark is a biodiversity hot spot. The scenery here along with it being one of the largest parks in the country makes it a must visit. The hills and valleys here give way to tranquil ponds and trickling streams before and goes down all the way to the overgrown forests that is sure to block your path. The weaving trails goes up the mountain that names the park and from the top, you can enjoy stunning views of the surroundings. The number of large mammals in Montesinho gives the lucky visitors a chance to catch glimpses of the Iberian wolf, lynx or the genet. The presence of these animals makes the Montesinho very important as they protect the natural habitat.
Location: Parque Florestal de Branganca, 5300-000, Braganca, Portugal
Entry Fee: Free entry
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7. Ria Formosa Natural Park
The Ria Formosa park is a favorite among the beach goers and the bird watchers as the place has a stunning view and a sweet setting under the sun to enjoy everything the park has to offer. The park is located down the South of Portugal in the Algarve, the warm climate here attracts visitors to the shores all throughout the year. The explorers who don’t like lounging on the beach for long can go and roam around in the nearby wetlands, lagoons or walk through the endless sands of Ria Formosa. The place boasts of magnificent migratory birds with the sky above being filled with them as well. The sound of the birds flocking near and around makes it a delight to be present in this place.
Location: 8700-225 Olhao, Portugal
Entry Fee: Free entry
8. Litoral Norte National Park
The Litoral Norte National Park or the Northern Litoral National Park is grassy park encompassing the Atlantic Ocean. It is located in the municipality of Esposende. This place is characterized by the sand dunes that were shaped by the strong ocean winds. The sight of long grass waving in the wind is very soothing. This park is a home to a variety of bird species including the seabirds. Litoral Norte National Park was created to protect and preserve the sand dunes and the wildlife including birds and fish, in their natural environment.
Location: Rua Professor José Pio Rodrigues 29, Fão, Portugal
Entry Fee: NA
9. Alvao Natural Park
Situated in the municipalities of Mondim de Basto and Vila Real, Alvao Natural Park is a protected area was founded in 1983. The park consists of two different ecosystems, the Upper Zone and the Bazal Zone. The Upper Zone is a mountainous area with granite formations and rocky cliffs. This zone is popular among the hikers and adventure seekers. The divide is demarcated by the Fisgal waterfall. The Olo river that flows through the park is lined by the rocky riverbeds and forest.
Location: Lugar do Barrio, 4880-164, Portugal
Entry Fee: NA
10. Douro International Natural Park
The Douro International Natural Park spans across the municipalities of Miranda do Douro, Mogadouro, Freixo de Espada à Cinta and Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo. Interestingly, it is set along the river that marks the border of Portugal and Spain. The river winds through the high rocky cliffs create a mesmerising sight. The contrast is even beautified by the green vegetation on either sides of the river covering the rocky surfaces of the cliffs. The river has small rapids on its way that add a visual – texture to the flow.
Location: The International Douro International Natural Park, Portugal
Timing: 10 am – 6am
Entry Fee: NA
Further Read: 14 Terrific Things To Do In Portugal To Soak In The Rich Portuguese Flavor
So, here we have the list of the 7 most beautiful Natural parks in Portugal, that have trails, beaches and allow hiking as well. Though Portugal has just one National Park, the place is blessed with a lot of natural parks. The best natural parks of Portugal have been mentioned here. Enjoy the serene beauty of this land to the fullest and have a safe journey. Plan a trip to Europe and go!
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