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Discover Portugal most beautiful villages with Oscar

laurence foucher


What fascinates Oscar about Portugal is the diversity of its landscapes and traditions – a heart-stopper, beyond the popular Lisbon and Porto.

Oscar, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Óscar Araújo, I was born 36 years ago in beautiful Madeira Island. Today I live in Lisbon where I work as a dentist.

What are your passions?

My passions go way beyond my job: I’m passionate about traveling, music, and photography.

Portugal is a very popular destination in France – why do you think French people like this country so much?

Portugal is a very friendly country with great weather, beautiful places, amazing food, and a strong historic heritage. It’s also the promise of affordable, yet wonderful holidays... most of the people who discover this country fall in love with it.

You wrote a guide about Portugal most beautiful villages, yet most tourists go to Lisbon or Porto…

Lisbon and Porto are a must on your first visit, but Portugal has much more to offer than the big cities. It’s amazing how a small country like this can offer such diverse landscapes and traditions. I would advise to take a few extra days, rent a car and hit the road to discover and explore the most remote beautiful places as I show in my guide.

Portugal in 3 words?

Saudade, fado, and sea

What's your favorite place in Portugal, if you could only pick one?

Madeira Island, where I was born and am always happy to come back to. Let’s not forget that Portugal is more than the mainland and the islands are also worth to visit.

One Portuguese word we should learn before going?

Definitely “Obrigado” which means “thank you”. Many tourists come to Portugal and aren’t aware of the Portuguese identity and language and often take it as Spanish, saying “Gracias” instead of “Obrigado”.

One local meal we should absolutely try?

“Bacalhau” (dry codfish): it’s the most representative of the country and there are 1001 ways of cooking it, but the best are: “Bacalhau à Brás”, “Bacalhau à Gomes Sá”, Bacalhau com Broa” and “Bacalhau com Natas”. Everyone who comes to Portugal has to try it… and a Pastel de Nata for dessert, of course!

You can only follow 3 Instagrammers, who are they?

@zoumala, @zahos, and @miquelm. They’re all different in their style and I love their perspectives, techniques and the story they show in each photo.

The most beautiful villages of Portugal according to Oscar.

Vila Fernando. A tiny town in the Alentejo that’s very authentic and quiet. Everything here revolves around the church square.7350 Vila Fernando, Portugal.

Monsanto. Perched on a hilltop, Monsanto was awareded “the most Portuguese village in Portugal” in 1938. The sunset from the top of the castle is a must-see. 6060 Monsanto, Portugal

Belmonte. The hometown of Pedro Alvares Cabral who discovered Brazil in 1500. Broad view of the Serra da Estrela mountains.

Piodão. A good example of man’s ability to adapt harmoniously to the most inhospitable, but sublime places. Piodão, Portugal.

Monsaraz. This extremely beautiful medieval town has succeeded in preserving its own distinctive characteristic over the centuries. A travel back in time…   

Comporta. The most beautiful beaches (and the best restaurants) in the country, just one hour south of Lisbon, and the charm of a typical Alentejo village. 7580 Comporta, Portugal