Safest Places in Portugal for Solo Female Travel


1, Madeira

Madeira is a captivating archipelago that lies in the North Atlantic Ocean, southwest of Portugal, luring tourists around the year with its natural scenery and pleasant climate. This Portuguese gem comprises four islands, with Madeira Island being the largest amongst them. Known as the 'Garden of the Atlantic,' Madeira boasts exotic floral landscapes, lush vineyards, and the unique Laurel forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The islands also feature awe-inspiring volcanic geological formations, scenic hiking paths, particularly the levada walks, and the bustling marketplaces 'Mercados dos Lavradores' in the capital city, Funchal. Renowned for its New Year's fireworks display, one of the world's largest, and the fortified Madeira wine, the island is also the birthplace of the football legend, Cristiano Ronaldo. This idyllic archipelago offers a blend of natural enchantment and cultural fascination.


2, Sintra

Nestled in the foothills of Portugal's Sintra Mountains, just a half hour drive from the capital, Lisbon, the picturesque town of Sintra is an alluring blend of natural beauty and rich history. Known for its romantic 19th-century architectures, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a veritable treasure trove of captivating palaces, mysterious gardens, and ancient castles. Highlights include the pastel-colored Pena Palace, the mysterious Quinta da Regaleira, and the ancient Moorish Castle, which offers breathtaking views from its hilltop vantage point. The charming old town streets are equally inviting, filled with traditional pastries shops and authentic Portuguese restaurants. With its regal hilltop features and surrounding natural beauty, Sintra provides a fairytale backdrop that's perfect for a day trip or an extended stay.


3, Azores

The Azores, a stunning archipelago in the mid-Atlantic, is one of Portugal's best-kept secrets, offering visitors a surreal blend of breathtaking natural landscapes. Composed of nine volcanic islands, the Azores are famed for their lush green terrain interspersed with colorful hydrangea-lined roads, magnificent geysers, sparkling azure lakes and verdant crater fields. The islands also cater to a wide range of adventure activities such as whale watching, diving, hiking and birdwatching. Known as a strong bastion of Portuguese culture, Azores feature charming old towns abundant with historical architecture, local gastronomy, and vibrant festivals. The peaceful, laid-back ambiance and spectacular scenic beauty make Azores a unique travel destination.

Meet new people

Get the Travel Ladies app to meet new people, find travel buddies, share solo travel experiences and stay with locals through couch surfing.
Download from App StoreDownload from Google Play
Get the Travel Ladies App

4, Lisbon

Lisbon, the coastal capital city of Portugal, is beautifully situated along the Atlantic coast, bathed in Mediterranean sunlight and blessed with a rich tapestry of cultural and historical attractions. Known for its stunning pastel-colored buildings, ornate architecture, and magnificent hilltop vistas, Lisbon provides a feast for the eyes of every wanderlust traveler. This vibrant city showcases a unique blend of tradition and innovation, with its winding, cobbled alleyways leading to modern hubs of nightlife, shopping and dining. Key highlights include the historic Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the lively neighbourhood of Bairro Alto, and the iconic 28 tram. Furthermore, Lisbon's gastronomic scene, featuring the infamous custard tarts 'Pasteis de Nata' and fresh seafood, adds another layer to its irresistible charm.


5, Coimbra

Situated in central Portugal, Coimbra sits alluringly along the banks of the Mondego River, offering a treasure trove of historical and cultural gems. Regally known for housing the University of Coimbra, one of the world's oldest academic institutions, the city melds modernity and tradition effortlessly. It is particularly renowned for its preserved medieval old town, relic-filled museums, charming café culture, and Fado music, a melancholic genre of music that speaks deeply of love, pain, and longing. Adding to the allure of Coimbra are the intricately designed gardens and beautiful parks, making it an exceptional mix of natural beauty and historical richness.


6, Ericeira

Ericeira, located along the Portuguese Atlantic coast, approximately 35 km northwest of Lisbon, is globally acclaimed as a surfing destination. Recognized as a World Surfing Reserve, the first one in Europe, it is well-appreciated for its consistent swells throughout the year and diverse surfing spots such as the Pedra Branca, Reef, Ribeira d'Ilhas and Coxos. Beyond the thriving surf scene, Ericeira charms its visitors with picturesque white and blue-hued traditional houses, narrow cobblestone streets, lush vineyards, and staggering sea views. Renowned for its fresh seafood, restaurants and seaside cafes serve the catch of the day in traditional Portuguese style that food lovers would immensely enjoy. The town’s relaxed atmosphere combined with its local cultural richness make it a must-see destination for travelers wanting to explore the genuine side of Portugal.


7, Faro

Faro, the charming capital of the Algarve region in Portugal, offers a blend of immersive culture, enchanting natural beauty, and fascinating historical perspectives. Situated on the southernmost tip of the country, bordered by sparkling turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Faro captivates visitors with its magnetic allure. The city is renowned for its captivating Old Town adorned with cobbled streets and grand monuments such as the neoclassical Arco da Vila. Faro's picturesque marina, cathedral, exquisite seafood restaurants, and atmospheric cafes provide a delightful experience. Not to forget, it is the gateway to the Ria Formosa Natural Park—a haven for bird-watching enthusiasts—and offers vibrant nightlife attracting party-lovers worldwide.


8, Aveiro

Situated on the west coast of Portugal, Aveiro is known as the Venice of Portugal, presenting a delightful maze of canals, charming color-painted houses, and captivating Art Nouveau architecture. Often overlooked by travelers, this charming maritime city is renowned for its historical seaport, abundance of salt pans, and its magnificent collection of religious sites such as the Aveiro Cathedral. Aveiro's waterways, adorned with traditional Moliceiro gondola-like boats, are a tribute to the city's prosperous fishing past. Also famous for its sweet delicacy called "ovos moles", Aveiro offers a unique blend of historical allure and culinary excellence that leaves visitors enchanted.


9, Baleal

Baleal, a small island-like region situated off the coast of Portugal's Silver Coast, is renowned for its extraordinary natural beauty. Connected to the mainland by a tombolo, Baleal boasts expansive sandy beaches and clear waters that are a magnet for surfers from all around the globe, earning it a reputation as one of Portugal's premier surfing destinations. Beyond its surfing appeal, the region captivates visitors with its charming fishing village ambiance, presenting an exceptional mix of traditional Portuguese culture, delectable seafood cuisine, and panoramic seascapes. The welcoming local community, mild weather, and action-packed outdoor activities make Baleal a unique destination for an unforgettable sun-soaked adventure.


10, Albufeira

Situated in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, Albufeira is an enticing coastal city known for its picturesque golden beaches and clear, turquoise waters. This long-time fishing village turned popular vacation spot draws visitors with its charm through its old town suffused with whitewashed houses and cobblestone streets, lined with restaurants, bars and shops. Albufeira is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, traditional Portuguese gastronomy and stunning sea-cave explorations. The city also boasts various water sports opportunities along the Albufeira Marina and hosts the striking Paderne Castle, a well-preserved 12th-century fortress. Whether it's for relaxation or adventure, Albufeira offers a delightful mix of history, culture, and Mediterranean beach experiences in a warm and sunny climate.


11, Peniche

Located on the western coast of Portugal, Peniche is a charming fishing town renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, centuries-old cultural history, and thrilling water sports. This idyllic destination is best known for being the Surf Capital of Europe, with its spectacular beaches like Supertubos offering world-class surfing opportunities. Besides its thrilling waves, the town boasts alluring attractions including the 16th-century Peniche Fort, which stands as a historical testament to the city's past. Just off the coast, the Berlengas archipelago, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, lures visitors with its striking landscapes and diverse flora and fauna. Whether you are a surfer, a history enthusiast, or a nature lover, Peniche offers a unique blend of adventure, heritage, and tranquillity.

Sao Miguel

12, Sao Miguel

Sao Miguel, Portugal, located in the Azores archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, is known as the "Green Island" due to its vibrant landscapes of verdant pastures, crater lakes, scenic seacoasts, and hot springs. The island impressively combines cosmopolitan city life in the capital, Ponta Delgada, with numerous natural attractions. Sao Miguel is renowned for its beautiful 18th-century architecture, botanical gardens, and the enchanting Sete Cidades twin lakes. The rich marine life, including various species of whales and dolphins, promises unforgettable whale-watching experiences. For food lovers, local Azorean culinary delights are a feast not to be missed, accentuating the charm of this island getaway.


13, Funchal

Funchal, nestled on the sun-drenched southern coastline of Portugal's exotic Madeira Island, beckons travelers with its scintillating blend of natural beauty, cultural wealth, and easy-going Mediterranean charm. Renowned for its terraced landscapes, stunningly beautiful gardens like Monte Palace Tropical Garden and the Madeira Botanical Gardens, Funchal is a horticulturalist's dream. The city effortlessly merges historic, centuries-old structures, exemplified by its captivating Se Cathedral, with modern elements such as the CR7 Museum dedicated to Portugal's football legend - Cristiano Ronaldo, who was born here. Funchal is also famous for its fruits and vegetables market, Mercado dos Lavradores, and its traditional New Year's Eve fireworks display, regarded as one of the world's most extraordinary. In a nutshell, Funchal is the perfect cocktail of relaxing beach life, invigorating mountain hikes, and vibrant city culture – there is something for every travel enthusiast.


14, Lagos

Lagos, beautifully ensconced on Portugal's southern Algarve coastline, is popular for its mesmerizing blend of tradition, history and attractive beaches, making it an enticing destination for tourists worldwide. This charming town packs a punch with its vibrant nightlife, a well-preserved old town brimming with unique architecture, including the beautiful Lagos castle and St. Anthony's church. Spectacular cliffs and the crystal clear waters of Praia Dona Ana and Meia Praia are inviting jewels for beach lovers and surfers. Lagos also has a rich seafaring heritage and is known as the launching point of many voyages during the Age of Discovery. With a bountiful array of fresh seafood from the surrounding Atlantic Ocean, the local gastronomic scene is a delight for food enthusiasts.


15, Porto

Porto, also known as Oporto, is a coastal city located in northwest Portugal, known for its rich history, charming cobblestone streets, and scenic views, stretching along the Douro River estuary. Famed for its production of fine port wine, this vibrant metropolitan area is teeming with culturally-rich sites such as the Ribeira district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, filled with medieval relics, narrow paths, and cafes. Its most renowned icon, the Dom Luís I Bridge, provides a panoramic view of the city and its historic port wine cellars that line the river bank. Additionally, Porto is home to the beautiful Livraria Lello, one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal and a spot that inspired J.K. Rowling's depiction of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series.


16, Braganca

Bragança, located in northeastern Portugal, is an illustrious city bursting with historical charm and natural beauty. Known for its striking medieval fortress, the Castle of Bragança, it boasts a rich illustrious past, along with its well-preserved old town complete with charming narrow streets and age-old houses. Visitors are not only drawn by the city’s intrinsic connection with the past but also its proximity to the Montesinho Natural Park, offering superb opportunities for hiking and wildlife spotting. Montesinho is also famous for gastronomy featuring the traditional smoked meats and other local specialties. With its vibrant folk culture and stunning mountainous backdrop, Bragança offers a unique travel experience, often underscored as a high point of authenticity within Portuguese heritage.


17, Chaves

Chaves, a captivating city nestled in the north of Portugal close to the Spanish border, is steeped in historical charm and natural beauty. Known for its rich Roman heritage, Chaves is punctuated with beautiful landmarks such as the 14th-century Fort of São Francisco and the Roman Bridge of Trajano. Visitors can soak in the therapeutic hot springs at Chaves Thermal Spa, which have been celebrated for centuries for their healing properties. With a range of traditional Portuguese cuisine to delight in, particularly the famous local smoked ham, ‘Presunto de Chaves’, the city offers a unique blend of history, cuisine and culture that leaves every traveller intrigued and wanting more.


18, Braga

Braga, nestled in the northwest part of Portugal, offers a captivating blend of ancient history, rich culture, and vibrant modern life. Known as the religious heart of the country, it boasts an impressive number of churches, the most famous probably being the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary. Its cobbled streets are lined with brunch cafes, exquisite eateries, and unique shops that bring the city's old-world charm to life. With its well-preserved remains from Roman times, stunning baroque architecture, and tranquil gardens such as Santa Barbara Garden, Braga is a city that persuasively combines tradition and tranquility with youthful energy and contemporary creativity.

Carrazeda de Ansiães

19, Carrazeda de Ansiães

Carrazeda de Ansiães is a charming town nestled in the tranquil landscape of northeastern Portugal's Douro wine region. Known for its gripping history and rich culture, the town's location on top of a hill provides panoramic views over the majestic, terraced vineyards, which have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status. Here you can explore the medieval Ansiães Castle ruins, which hosts one of the most significant archaeological sites in the region, or visit vineyards where you can savor Portugal's famous Port and Douro wines. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a wine lover, or a serene atmosphere seeker, Carrazeda de Ansiães offers a quintessential Portuguese experience amidst its notable landmarks and breathtaking scenery.


20, Sabrosa

Sabrosa is an idyllic small-town situated in the northern region of Portugal, specifically in the Vila Real district. Known for its unspoiled natural beauty, it is the gateway to the Alto Douro Wine Region, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where world-renowned Port wine is produced. Sabrosa is synonymous with rich history and tradition, as it is the birthplace of the famous explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, the first person to circumnavigate the globe. In addition to this, the town boasts exquisite architectural monuments, including the Church of São Salvador and the historic manor houses. Visitors to Sabrosa can immerse themselves in the local culture, taste the finest wines, and indulge in the regional cuisine, notably the succulent veal Arouquesa.

Frequently asked questions

What are the safest places in Portugal for solo female travellers?

The safest places in Portugal for solo female travellers are: