Travel photography: Portugal 2018 - The South

November 24, 2018

Alcobaça Monastery

The Cistercian Monastery of Alcobaça, founded in 1153, is one of the most important Monasteries of the whole country. It is one of the most visited historical sights with over a quarter million visitors a year.

Front facade of the Alcobaça. The portal and rose window of the church are original gothic (early 13th century), while the towers are baroque (18th century).
Inner courtyard
The church in the monastery is the largest Portuguese church to this day.
Renaissance water basin within the Gothic fountain house.


A member of the 'Most Ancient European Towns Network' and already an important center at Roman times, Évora is one of the most interesting historical sites in the country.

The Roman temple of Diana was built around the first century.
The city has a very complex, naturally grown layout with countless small alleys and streets.
The main square Praça do Giraldo.
The Royal Palace of Évora was one of the centers of the Portuguese Renaissance used by the Portuguese kings as a retreat from the court.
The 'Ruínas Fingidas' (feigned ruins) were built like this as some kind of garden decoration.
Interior of the Capela dos Ossos. To make room for new bodies in the cemetery, thousands of bones were exhumed and used to create this exceptional chapel.


Culturally and touristically Sintra is one of the most important places in Portugal. It is especially famous for its palaces and monuments.

Palácio Nacional da Pena above the clouds in morning light.
The national monument was erected by King Ferdinand as a summer residence in 1842 to 1854.
The Arches Yard, chapel and clock tower.
The rear side of the palace as seen from the Castelo dos Mouros.
The Castelo dos Mouros was erected my the Moores in the eighth or ninth century. It offers an amazing view from the walls in all directions, especially towards the Ocean.
The Quinta da Regaleira is an estate located near the historic center of Sintra. Visible are the main facade and parts of the lush vegetation of the surrounding park.
A famous structure on the premises of the Quinta da Regaleira is the large Initiation Well, once used for ceremonial purposes.

The Algarve

Portugals most southern and probably most famous region, the Algarve is a fascinating destination for landscape or bird photographers, surfers, kayakers, swimmers, sunbathers or anyone else who can appreciate its sandy beaches embedded within monumental cliffs.

Iconic view on Marinha beach at sunset.
The right time to take a picture of this spot is actually sunrise, when the sun illuminates the cliffs. But the one time I could have managed to get there in the morning the weather was quite awful, so I unfortunately kind of missed this amazing spot.
The end of the world. Cabo de São Vicente is the most south-eastern point towards the Atlantic Ocean. Before there was any knowledge that the Atlantic could be crossed this place was literally called the end of the world.
Cliffs in Lagos. The two sea stacks in the water are called 'Titanic' and 'Iceberg'.
Praia da Balança can only be accessed by a quite steep and narrow trail.
As I said - sandy beaches embedded within monumental cliffs.


Portugals capital city Lisbon is with about half a million inhabitants the largest city in Portugal and was the final stop of my trip. The city is situated on seven hills which leads to many interesting viewpoints.

Streetlife in the Rua Augusta. The statue of José I can be seen through the Arco da Rua Augusta in the background.
The traditional yellow trams in a narrow street are an iconic sight.
This image is the secret winner of the trip to me. That's because I expected absolutely nothing from it while I took it and even less so when I reviewed it on the cameras LCD. But after some post processing to handle the strong dynamic range it turned out to be on of my favorites.
The Igreja de Santa Engrácia serves as the National Pantheon and is the final resting place of many famous Portuguese personalities.
Monastery of São Vicente de Fora residing on top of one of the cities hills.
Another Monastery, the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belém is a late Gothic sacral building and also a famous landmark. It contains the sarcophagi of many Portuguese kings and also the tomb of Vasco da Gama.
Torre de Belém is a fortified tower at the mouth of the Tagus river. It was used as a defensive structure against naval raids.
The Ponte 25 de Abril at sunrise. The 3.2 km long suspension bridge crossing the Tagus was inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco which is quite apparent.
The same bridge, but from very different perspectives and the opposite time of day. Following the tradition I'm ending this article series with a sunset picture.

This concludes my little summary of the only big trip I was able to do this year. I hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks for reading!

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