The ocean holds many mysteries.
In our current, lightspeed-paced age of information, it can sometimes feel like every stone has been turned. But the world’s oceans still have secrets hidden beneath its watery depths. While the Kraken and mermaids may not exist, there are still plenty that’s unknown to us landlubbers about the deepest reaches of the ocean and the creatures that make it their domain.
In Portugal, the beaches are dramatic, the wine is cheap, and the cities are buzzing all night long—but casual travelers might not realize that just off the beaten path, there are quaint little villages and fortified hilltop towns that seem frozen in time.
From the first arrival of Celts, Greeks, and Phoenicians to the invading hoards of Visigoths, Vandals, and Suevi, people from across the continent have raided and fought over Portugal since the first millennium BC. In fact, Portugal’s capital is one of the oldest cities in the world, and after Athens, the second oldest capital in Europe. Thanks to this long and fractious history, the country is peppered with medieval fortified towns and hidden villages that feel as if they’ve been plucked from the pages of history. Many of these sights are inland, near the Spanish border, far from the crowded cities and beaches on the coast and closer to where the modern contours of the country began.
If you are looking for stunning photos and a great setting, check out Albania’s magical-looking towns and villages.
Albania’s rumpled mountains cover almost 75% of the country and even the Riviera is bordered by steep mountains that descend into a rugged coastline. This predominant mountainous terrain has determined the apparition of countless magical-looking towns and villages perched on abrupt slopes of the mountains or strategic hilltops with impactful views. Here are the most picturesque towns and villages in Albania.