Ilha de Tavira
Sandy islands (all part of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa) stretch along the coast from Cacela Velha to just west of Faro, and this is one of the finest. The huge beach at the island’s eastern end, opposite Tavira, has water sports, a campground and cafe-restaurants. Outside high season, the island feels wonderfully remote and empty, but during July and August it’s busy.
Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela
Fascinating both for its natural and cultural history, Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela was one of Portugal’s first designated parks, and at 1011 sq km remains the country’s largest protected area. The rugged boulder-strewn meadows and icy lakes of its high country form one of Portugal’s most distinct and unexpected landscapes.