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Portugal is popular getaway for sun-starved Europeans and any traveler interested in beaches, culture and history.  But don’t let the postcard pretty scenery fool you, there’s lots of adrenaline-fueled activities to experience in this captivating country.  From climbing mountains to roaring down racetracks, Portugal has got enough high energy excursions to satisfy the most jaded visitor.  For a dose of daring, check out these exhilarating Portugal activities.

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Pena Palace in Sintra | Photo: R. Cummings-Yeates

Climb a mountain topped by a palace
Perched atop the Serra de Sintra,  the crayon-colored Pena Palace  is a UNESCO World  Heritage Site and one of Portugal’s most iconic landmarks. Surrounded by a sprawling 494-acre forest, most tourists hop a bus to reach the top of the mountain where the palace is located, but more adventurous travelers can also hike it. The Sintra hills are steep and uneven  but the lush vegetation and striking views make it worth it. Climb 850 feet to arrive at the jaw-dropping 19th century castle covered in painted tiles, carvings and religious iconography.

The Autodromo | Flickr CC: Tiago J. G. Fernandes

Race a Porsche down the Autodromo
After visiting the pristine beaches and fishing villages of the Algarve region, head to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, for some fast-paced fun. The facility offers a go-kart track, an off-road track and a racing school that supplies a choice of a Honda, Audi or Porsches to race. Live the ultimate race car dream of swerving in a Porsche while the scenery of the South Coast whips by as you glide down the track for two laps. You can also snag driving lessons for speed-demon circuit racing.

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Aerial view of old town of Porto

Grab a high flying helicopter view of Portugal
Float over Portugal’s spectacular Algarve coastline in a scenic helicopter ride. Pull on the headphones and hold on as the pilot dives down for close up views of beaches and countryside. Learn about this sea-faring nation’s long history with maritime industries as you fly through the clouds and over historic landmarks. 

Landscape in Douro Valley

Bike through vineyards
Roll through the verdant hills and fields of Portugal’s wine country on a bike tour that will supply a whole different perspective. Opt for a guided tour through the Douro Valley, the world’s first demarcated wine region, where you can visit historic villages, back roads and wine cellars or you can try a more leisurely self-guided tour and sip a little more of the region’s famous wines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged: Europe, Portugal

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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

Rosalind is a writer/author/blogger/teacher based in Chicago. She covers travel, lifestyle and arts topics and her credits include Salon, Hemispheres, Miami Herald, Woman's Day, Brides, Midwest Living, Go Magazine, Bravo Jet Set and The Rough Guide to Women Travel. Follow her hyphenated adventures with her blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, as well as on Twitter and Instagram @FarsightedGirl.
Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

@farsightedgirl

Journalist, author & blogger of #travel, culture, #music & fashion.#binder Lover of passion fruit. Climber of volcanoes. Teacher of #journalism. SATW Member
@businesstravel @Uber @Uber_CHI Not good☹ #uberfail - 11 hours ago
Rosalind Cummings-Yeates
Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

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