Portugal Hotel and Travel Guide
At the extreme south-western edge of Europe lies a land that is often forgotten by the crowds and passed over as a holiday destination; Portugal!
And that's its big advantage as here one can find just about everything that other more popular destinations offer, but with less crowding, less commercialism and generally, less expense!
From the hustle of a modern and picturesque capital city where new and old mix harmoniously, across mountains and plains, through vineyards and meadows, along endless beaches and stunning coastlines to the most unspoilt and tranquil islands, Portugal offers all this and much, much more.
Portugal has emerged from its 'poor cousin' status and is embracing tourism in a mature and thoughtful fashion, welcoming travellers to this open, hospitable and friendly society. Now here is too far from the sea, making the national delight in seafood an almost countrywide obsession. No visit would be complete without this treat. Also sample the fine wines and local cheeses for some very pleasant surprises.
Unlike many modern cities, Lisbon with its colourful history, yellow trams (street cars) and Latin lifestyle has retained its vibrancy and much of its charm. Wander the old centre, rebuilt in the 18th Century then catch the tram to Belém, home of the famous custard tarts, 'pastéis de nata'.
Famous for its beaches, the Algarve forms the southern coastal strip. Most will arrive and depart through the airport in Faro; it's fairly central allowing good access to the charming holiday destinations on this entrancing coast.
Oporto (Porto) is attractively set at the mouth of the River Douro; on who's banks grow the grapes that make the famous Port wine named after Portugal's second city. Once the site of a major Napoleonic battle, charming lanes run down to the river walks that define this region. Take a boat trip up the river for a better view. To see precisely, view the Douro map.
Coimbra is Portugal's academic centre and was for a short time, its original capital. It is home to one of Europe's oldest Universities and contains some wonderful architecture. Relax and listen to Coimbra's particular style of Fado, Portugal's traditional music.
The main wine-producing region is Alentejo, also well known for its cheeses and smoked hams, where medieval villages and prehistoric monuments characterise this timeless land. Visit Évora, a historic city dating back over 2 millennia complete with Roman monuments.
Perhaps Portugal’s most stunning and diverse landscape is that which is found in the sub-tropical isle of Madeira. Picturesque coasts and sheer cliffs soon give way to the foothills of the mountains. Through banana plantations, vineyards, verdant valleys and some of the most ancient forest in Europe, every turn of the road offers unmatched panoramic opportunities. From the sunny and sophisticated capital Funchal, to the desolate northern coast, this is a mature destination that will not fail to impress!
There are so many interesting places to see in Portugal that words can hardly do it justice; the best option is, of course, to come and see for yourself!
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