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My Top 4 Favorite Places Since Moving to Portugal

My Top 4 Favorite Places Since Moving to Portugal

by Ross Cambell

When you think about moving to Portugal, you may need to consider the paperwork involved with such a big move or the applications that must be applied for to gain residency. You may also need to think about hiring a moving company or an overseas shipper to move your car as well as many other aspects of making the move. Moving overseas can be a daunting thing to do but once the move has been made, you will find that all the struggle you may need to undertake will be well worth it in the long run. As an American expat, it seemed that I had to fight to get into the country and it was a little tough to get settled in as it took me a few weeks to find the right house, but that’s not what this story is about. It’s about all that I love about Portugal and after a year of living here, I have found many things that I now feel I could not bear to live without. Here’s a little overview of some of my favorite places in Portugal and why they make my experience here so enjoyable.

Beautiful Azores

Faial View

Photo: Pixabay CCO Public Domain

The Azores islands is one of my favorite places to visit in Portugal it’s been one of my main destinations throughout the year. Thanks to plenty of time off at work, I’ve been able to travel out to the stunning chain of volcanic islands five times now, and I remember each visit distinctly.

I don’t head to the Azores for the same reason as many people. While I do enjoy extreme sports, I don’t necessarily want to scale the peaks of Pico, or experience the brutal heat of an active volcano. I just like the relaxed pace of the islands, the beautiful sites and all the shops and markets available. I could spend days hopping islands and frequenting the little markets throughout the chain. Santa Maria is my favorite island of them all though. It’s a low-key and relaxed portion of Azores that’s mostly farming, but also home to some pristine beaches. If you love the ocean like I do, it’s the place to be.

The Sintra Castles

Sintra castle

Photo: Pixabay CCO Public Domain

As a huge history buff, there’s something truly special about walking up to the foot of a massive castle and gazing up at the monstrous stone walls towering up into the sky. There’s countless different types of architecture to be seen in the many castles of Portugal, which is particularly exciting to me because of the history behind the design and because architecture has always fascinated me. The Pena Palace is one of my favorite landmarks to visit as it has a brilliant red stone and just looks like a fairy tale castle of sorts and I could spend a whole day just walking around that magnificent building, but I’m also partial to the Quinta da Regaleira. It’s usually less crowded and has such a vast network of gardens to explore that’s it’s perfect way to spend a nice sunny day outdoors.


Cascais beach

Photo: Pexels Public Domain

Cascais is a beautiful beach town near Lisbon and it’s one of my favorite sections of Portugal to visit. It’s not a fast-paced part of the world at all. The area is very calm, and it’s a good place to relax in the water, or to watch boats glide by. I love to rent a bicycle and travel around from one beach to another while enjoying a day in the area. There are also quite a few good little shops to visit and lots of friendly people to become acquainted with. I don’t gravitate toward the tourist attractions, and that’s likely why I enjoy this calm section of Portugal so much.


Port in Lisboa

Photo: Pixabay Public Domain

For shopping I enjoy making a day trip into Lisbon. This hustling and bustling city is very different from most of the places that I like to spend my time, but it’s absolutely brimming with exciting locations to explore. There are dozens of little districts that all offer their own unique shops. I enjoy walking around and taking in all the sights while learning what everyone has to offer. I thoroughly enjoy shopping and learning about the heritage of the area, and there are hundreds of opportunities to do both in Lisbon. One of my favorite areas of Lisbon is down at the port. I can spend hours just sitting near the water watching the ships come and go, and have done so quite a few times since I moved to Portugal.

Those are just a few of my most enjoyable memories in Portugal over the last year. I’m sure I’ll visit many additional locations over the next few years and come up with even more reasons to love living in this country. It’s an exciting place to live with a beautiful culture, beautiful scenery and a way of life that just fits me. Relaxation, natural beauty, charming people and a list of things to do that goes on for miles may not be for everyone, but it’s certainly what my life needs and I can’t imagine a better place to live.


Ross Cambell is an American expat living in Portugal. If you need help moving to Portugal, check out A-1 Auto Transport!

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