Portugal is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira. It is the oldest state in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe,.The Pre-Celts, Celts, Carthaginians and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigoths and Suebi making of this destination the diverse and interesting spot that it is today. The country’s history and culture, gastronomy and wines, are among the main attractions, along with the beaches, surfing, music festivals, golf, the multiplicity of landscapes and, above all, the Portuguese people, who are seen as affable, open and sincere.
Lisbon and Porto are two very attractive cities both bathed by the river Tagus which gives them its charisma and different environment. Visit their historic neighborhoods and streets with tiled façades, or some examples of modern architecture and urban art. Lisbon is a city with a special flair, which comes from the Tagus river and the proximity of the sea. Porto, an ancient city, has a World Heritage historic center and it is the point of arrival of the River Douro, on whose valley slopes the famous Port wine is cultivated.
The presence of the Atlantic Ocean with its sunny summers and mild winters make of Portugal a holiday destination renowned for sun and sea and walks on the beach throughout the year. The Portuguese coast stretches for more than 850 km offering a diversity of landscapes that allows you to choose between the rougher and cooler sea in the north and the warm, placid waters of the south. The mainland and the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores alike, offer ideal conditions for surfing boasting world championships, the 1st surfing reserve in Europe and the 2nd at world level.
The Natural Parks and Reserves, Geoparks and Biosphere Reserves recognized by UNESCO offer excellent outdoor activities, such as bird watching, canyoning and nature trails , good to go on foot or by bike.
If you are into golf, Portugal is one of the best golf destination in Europe and the world. Many golf courses have been designed by renowned architects like Robert Trent Jones, Rocky Roquemore, Sir Henry Cotton, Arnold Palmer, among others. However, what best defines them is their unquestionable quality and scenic beauty, as they are often in unspoilt areas and have the sea as a backdrop.
If you like walking for a purpose, The Portuguese Road to Santiago and the Paths of Fátima are another way of focusing on knowledge, nature and culture.
Once here, do not miss some of UNESCO World Heritage sites and traditions:
Monasteries and convents of historic and artistic importance, outstanding monuments, historic centers, cultural landscapes which offer some of the most beautiful natural scenery in Portugal and cultural shows like Fado, the Cante Alentejano [Alentejo singing] and the Mediterranean diet. And yet, the arts and crafts that unite Intangible Cultural Heritage, such as the manufacture of rattles, the manufacture of the black pottery of Bisalhães, the art of the Royal Falconry, and the manufacture of clay dolls in Estremoz.
Greatly appreciated and usually leaves good memories on the visitor is its culinary scene. The country’s location and the proximity of the Atlantic explain the prominence which is given to fish and seafood which taste even better when paired with its well know quality wines. Port wine has been a great ambassador of Portugal for centuries, and nowadays it is accompanied by other genuinely Portuguese products, like the pastel de nata ,confectionery made in the convents and
the mastery of talented chefs who has also raised Portuguese cooking to best cuisines in the world standard.