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11 Serene Escapes in Portugal for Your Next Friendcation

photo: NYC to Paris
If it’s a cool and calm getaway you’re in search of this summer—while still soaking up authentic culture, a hit of European sophistication and a whole lot of beauty—then Portugal’s your place. These eleven gorgeous escapes offer some extremely blissed out places to lay your head, whether you prefer to stay on the grid or to jump clear off it. Grab your sunnies, swimwear and your sunscreen; you won’t need much else.

Reporter: Julie Pointer Adams
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Santa Clara 1728

Lisbon, Portugal
Set in a beautiful 18th-century home within a romantic Lisbon square, this stately but intimate space is the perfect place to unwind while visiting the city. The clean, Scandinavian-inspired furnishings make this light-filled gem an utterly calm sanctuary.
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Casas Caiadas

Sabugueiro, Portugal
This small group of repurposed ruins in rural Portugal is the exemplar of old world class mixed with modern style and swank amenities—and the effect is stunning. Accessible only in summertime, you’ll be spending your easygoing days poolside with a glass of Vinho Verde, enveloped by the olive tree-laden countryside.
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Santa Bárbara Eco-Beach Resort

Ribeira Grande, Portugal
Tucked between mountains and sea in the Azorean archipelago, this luxurious escape has been designed with quiet restraint, paired with bright, bold accents. With rooms that overlook multiple pools, the ocean and the rolling green hills of São Miguel Island, you’ll literally be bathing in beauty.
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Rosa Et Allearn more

This sweet, cozy townhouse is the ultimate, intimate hotel experience. With only six rooms, an in-house spa and plenty of customizable options for your stay (Interested in having a personal tailor fit you in your room for a bespoke suit? They can arrange that), you’ll feel very much at home here.
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Sublime Comporta

Grândola, Portugal
Labeled simply as a “country house retreat,” this immaculately designed wood and stucco frame house is the picture of tranquility. With a sophisticated beach-chic, airy style throughout, you won’t be surprised to find the deserted beaches of Comporta, pristine sand dunes and beautiful rice fields just beyond the property.

White Exclusive Suites & Villas

Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Say hello to mellow modern-bohemian (complete with colorful macramé hangings) mixed with the rough-hewn rock walls of a traditional Portuguese manor house. These uniquely inviting suites and villas are perched over the water in the Azores, where you’ll find endless opportunities to explore the surrounding natural beauty.  Or, take a breather and simply relax from the comfort of your suite.
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The Lumiares

Lisbon, Portugal
The Lumiares is a new, sparkly jewel of a hotel nestled in the fashionable Bairro Alto area of Lisbon. The rooms are modern with some packing a punch of color and some leaning more neutral, there's something for every palate. It is the perfect base from which to explore the fabulous bars, cafés, shops and culture of Barrio Alto and Chiado. Grab a cocktail at the rooftop bar overlooking Lisbon followed by dinner at the hotel's restaurant, Lumni.
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Casas na Areia

Comporta, Portugal
This four-building compound set upon the sand is simply like no other. Complete with reed walls, thatched roofs and a sandy-floored living room, this otherworldly escape is a true marriage of nature’s best and manmade creativity. Potential activities include lazing by the lap pool, horseback riding on the beach and exploring nearby Roman ruins.
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Casa no Tempo

Arraiolos, Portugal
This knockout whitewashed and renovated farmhouse in the Portuguese countryside is like something out of a very beautiful and cinematic dream. With clay block flooring, sumptuous-but-simple bedding and a space that’s pared to the most elegant essentials, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more calm and soothing hideaway. We especially fancy the pool, surrounded by wildflower fields.
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Pensao Favorita

Porto, Portugal
Located in Porto, Pensao Favorita is a quiet, welcome retreat in the heart of the city. With just twelve thoughtfully designed rooms, a terrace, garden and restaurant each boasting unique Portuguese touches (we especially love the tiling), you’ll be itching to get back here after a day of exploring.

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Cabanas no Rio

Comporta, Portugal
This stunning pair of recovered fisherman huts along the river Sado canal will instantly transport you to a simpler time.  Located just an hour south of Lisbon, the surrounding area is known for its laidback pace of life, white sandy beaches and exceptional wildlife watching, including dolphins, flamingoes and storks.

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