Located on the western coast of the Iberian peninsula, Portugal attracts a large number of tourists each year due to its superb climate and abundant natural surroundings with a wide range of activities. While many visitors come to enjoy the vibrant cities of Lisbon, Sintra, and Porto, others come to relax on the stunning beaches that grace the country’s coastline. Portugal features a picturesque and diverse landscape, making it a delight for tourists to explore and wander around the islands of Azores and Madeira. The country is blessed with natural beauty and is home to some of the most exquisite national parks on the planet. Here we have compiled a list of the top National parks in Portugal.
10 Finest National Parks In Portugal
Discover the finest national parks in Portugal that provide a glimpse into the vibrant wildlife of the country and offer an unforgettable experience!
- Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais
- Peneda-Geres National Park
- Arrabida Natural Park
- Southwest Alentejo And Vicenti Coast
- Natural Park of Serra Da Estrela
- Montesinho Natural Park
- Ria Formosa Natural Park
- National Park of Litoral Norte
- Natural Park of Alvao
- Douro International Natural Park
1. Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais
The Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal, covering an area of 145 square kilometers. This park encompasses numerous amazing attractions that will captivate any visitor. The park is particularly renowned for its historical sites that are sure to leave you in awe. Some of the must-see sights include the Castle of Moors, which dates back to the 8th century, and the Esque Pena Palace, which majestically rises above the surrounding trees and is situated on a hilltop. Nature enthusiasts who visit here will appreciate the stunning park with its diverse landscapes. The Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais has an abundance of breathtaking sights to offer if you are willing to thoroughly explore its entirety.
Location: Sintra-Cascais, PortugalOpening Hours: 9am-8pmAdmission Fee: (6/4/18)Euros (adult/children/family)
Must Read: 9 Most Memorable Churches In Lisbon For Your Portuguese Holiday
2. Peneda-Geres National Park
Situated in the northern part of Portugal, the Peneda-Geres National Park is the sole national park of the country. It was established with the aim of conserving and safeguarding the wildlife and the distinct landscapes. The Geres Mountains, despite being harsh and captivating, offer an intriguing exploration experience. The trails and pathways within the park wind their way through the pristine surroundings, revealing a multitude of fascinating sites, ranging from the unique granaries to the exceptional rock formations. Additionally, there are numerous stunning waterfalls to admire. The park’s ruins are a must-see as well. To fully make the most of your visit, it is recommended to consult the Portugal National Park map online, as the area is vast, and a map will undoubtedly prove useful.
Location: Peneda-Geres National Park, PortugalTiming: 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5:30pmEntry Fee: 2 Euros per car
Recommended Reading: 10 Must-Visit Theme Parks In Portugal That Will Enhance Your Vacation with More Excitement and Fun
3. Arrabida Natural Park
The magnificent sandy beaches, splendid rock cliffs, undulating mountains, and flourishing vegetation are just a few of the inherent features of the Arrabida Natural Park. The region’s Mediterranean climate has fostered an abundance of flora and fauna, painting the landscape with vibrant hues. This park is a popular escape for those residing in Lisbon. Figueirinha and Galapinhos are the pristine beaches in this area, and a leisurely stroll along the soothing coastal paths will replenish your soul as the gentle ocean breeze cools your skin. Embark on a boat trip to truly appreciate the beauty of the coast from a distance. Being out on the water, under the radiant sun, you will be treated to an endless and awe-inspiring panorama that stretches before your eyes.
Location: Parque Natural da Arrabida, PortugalTiming: 10am to 6pmEntry Fee: Free admission
Recommended Reading: Azores Islands: An Informative Guide to this Magnificent Natural Wonder in Portugal
4. Southwest Alentejo And Vicenti Coast
The southwestern corner of Portugal will astonish you with this gorgeous natural park. The never-ending shores and the breathtaking cliffs will simply take our breath away. The beaches here are enhanced by the soft sands and sparkling sunlight in the nearby waters. This serene spot is incredibly tranquil and will assist you in unwinding after a day brimming with activities.
Location: Rua Serpa Pinto, 32, 7630-174 Odemira, PortugalTiming: 24*7Entry Fee: Free entry
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5. Serra Da Estrela Natural Park
The Serra da Estrela Natural Park possesses a multitude of advantages. It includes the largest mountain in Portugal. This park serves as a habitat for the highest peak in the country that stands at about 2000 meters in elevation and is encompassed by lovely valleys and a rich variety of plants and animals. The lakes and forests in this area are spread across the mountains and the secluded paths through the woods that lead to crystal clear waters create a visit to this place a truly enchanting experience.
Location: Serra da Estrela, PortugalTiming: 9am to 10pmEntry Fee: 10 Euros
Suggested Read: 5 Finest Villas In Portugal That Will Enhance Your Holiday Experience
6. Montesinho Natural Park
The Montesinho Natural ark is a biodiversity hot spot. The scenery here, in addition to it being one of the largest parks in the country, makes it a must-visit location. The hills and valleys here give way to peaceful ponds and trickling streams before descending into the dense forests that are sure to obstruct your path. The winding trails ascend the mountain that lends its name to the park, and from the summit, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surroundings. The presence of numerous large mammals in Montesinho provides lucky visitors with the opportunity to catch glimpses of the Iberian wolf, lynx, or genet. The existence of these animals makes Montesinho incredibly important as they safeguard the natural habitat.
Location: Parque Florestal de Braganca, 5300-000, Braganca, PortugalTiming: 24*7Entry Fee: Free entry
Suggested Read: 11 Finest Locations To Explore In Portugal, The Hidden Jewel Of Europe
7. Ria Formosa Natural Reserve
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The Ria Formosa reserve is a favorite among beach enthusiasts and bird observers as the location offers a breathtaking view and a pleasant environment under the sunshine to enjoy all that the reserve has to offer. The reserve is situated in the southern part of Portugal in the Algarve, and its warm climate attracts visitors to its shores throughout the year. Explorers who do not wish to spend too much time lounging on the beach can explore the nearby wetlands, lagoons, or take a walk on the endless sands of Ria Formosa. The reserve is renowned for its magnificent migratory birds, with the sky above filled with them as well. The delightful sound of the birds gathering in and around the reserve adds to the joy of being present in this place.
Location: 8700-225 Olhao, PortugalTiming: 24*7Entry Fee: Free admission
8. Litoral Norte National Park
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The Litoral Norte National Park, also known as the Northern Litoral National Park, is a grassy park that extends along the Atlantic Ocean. It is situated in the municipality of Esposende. This location is characterized by sand dunes that have been shaped by strong ocean winds. The sight of tall grass swaying in the wind is extremely calming. The park is home to a variety of bird species, including seabirds. Litoral Norte National Park was established to protect and preserve the sand dunes and the wildlife, including birds and fish, in their natural habitat.
Location: Rua Professor José Pio Rodrigues 29, Fão, PortugalTiming: 24*7Entry Fee: Not applicable
9. Alvao Natural Park
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Situated in the municipalities of Mondim de Basto and Vila Real, Alvao Natural Park is a protected area that was established in 1983. The park consists of two distinct ecosystems, the Upper Zone and the Bazal Zone. The Upper Zone is a mountainous region with granite formations and rocky cliffs, making it popular among hikers and adventure seekers. The division is marked by the Fisgal waterfall. The Olo river, which flows through the park, is lined with rocky riverbeds and forests.
Place: Lugar do Barrio, 4880-164, PortugalTime: NAAdmission: NA
10. Douro International Natural Park
The Douro International Natural Park stretches across the territories of Miranda do Douro, Mogadouro, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, and Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo. Interestingly, it is situated along the river that demarcates the border of Portugal and Spain. The river meanders through the tall precipitous cliffs create a captivating spectacle. The contrast is further enhanced by the verdant vegetation on both sides of the river enveloping the rocky surfaces of the cliffs. The river has small rapids on its course that contribute a visual – texture to the stream.
Place: The International Douro International Natural Park, PortugalTime: 10 am – 6 amAdmission: NA
Further Read: 14 Terrific Things To Do In Portugal To Immerse In The Splendid Portuguese Flavor
Therefore, here we have the list of the 7 most exquisite Natural parks in Portugal, which have pathways, seashores, and allow trekking as well. Although Portugal only has one National Park, the region is blessed with numerous natural parks. The top natural parks of Portugal have been mentioned here. Indulge in the serene beauty of this land to the maximum and have a secure journey. Plan a journey to Europe and go!
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