Home to spectacular architecture, well-lit streets and breathtaking coastal views, Portugal is a visual treat like no other.
From the golden beaches and medieval architecture to the well-lit cobblestone streets, the Portugal experience, if nothing else, is a visually stunning one, with its favourable location along Europe’s Atlantic coast making for breathtaking views year-round.
“Most of Portugal’s towns and cities along the coast are blessed with beautiful light which reflects onto white-tiled streets,” photographer Kevin Faingnaert explains. “Everything is designed around luminosity, shade and shadows.”
While the location of cities like Porto and Lisbon are a photographer’s paradise, it’s the architecture and ambiance within the city that are what really draw you in. While in the modern day cities like Porto and Lisbon have become hubs of cultural and technological innovation, the area remains home to soaring gothic castles, medieval cathedrals and ancient ruins.
“Lisbon’s long history can really be seen in its architecture,” Faingnaert observes. “Inhabited since the times of Roman and Moorish conquest, it became a Christian monarchy, a republic, a dictatorship and now a European tech hub.”
This is contrasted nicely with the vibrant graffiti art and public murals, a direct product from the arts scene that is thriving among the nation’s youngest generation.
Closer to the coast, the crisp light facade of the buildings seems to blend together, while the burnt orange Spanish tiles complement the backdrop of the ocean in a postcard-esque manner. The subtle charm meshes with the bustling and busy streets where mustard yellow trams cruise on by.
“Every town, almost every street, is different in architecture, although it all fits together,” Faingnaert exclaims.
Views around Lisbon are further bolstered with its seven world-famous miradouros spread across the cityscape. Among the most popular of these hillside viewpoints are Miradouro da Garça, Miradouro de Santa Catarina and Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, rounding out a few of the best scenic views and horizons that Lisbon has to offer.
Porto, on the other hand, offers equally breathtaking views that seem to be drawn in by reflection and quiet moments of daily life. With a similar mix of storied and 21st-century architecture, the backdrop offers ordinary glimpses of laundry hanging in the coastal winds, the uneven streets and subsequent ocean views of the hillside slanted landscape and the sound of wine glasses clinking nearby.
Whether the day calls for Porto’s on-trend rooftop bars or the miradouros, the Atlantic breezes offer an inescapable feeling of paradise.
Words by Braeden Alexander – Photography Kevin Faingnaert.