Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is a geographically diverse country that was once the best-kept secret in Western Europe. In recent years, increasing tourism and relatively inexpensive prices have led to thicker crowds, but there are still a great many undiscovered corners of this colorful country.
If you're visiting Portugal, some of the places you may want to visit include:
-Lisbon: The hilly and vibrant capital of Portugal offers sweeping sea views, historic neighborhoods, and excellent restaurants, particularly if you enjoy fresh seafood. As Western European capital cities go, Lisbon is also very affordable.
-Porto: "The Invincible City" is the major urban center in the northern part of Portugal, with a historic and well-preserved old town center that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
-Sintra: The famous hideout of English poet Lord Byron, Sintra is just minutes north of Lisbon by train but feels a world away from the urban hubbub. Surrounding the picturesque town are hills of rolling greenery and ancient ruins that are excellent to explore on foot.
-The Algarve: Portugal's southernmost region, which borders the Atlantic Ocean, has been a favorite holiday destination for many years. Its striking coastline is dotted with attractions both ancient and modern, including everything from castles and medieval ruins to golf courses and some of the most popular water parks in Portugal.
-The islands: Portugal cruises can take you through the exotic Azore Islands and Madeira Islands, which lie off the African coast. You can also base your entire holiday in these scenic and tropical archipelagoes, as their beaches are busy all year round, with perfect weather for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and camping.
For your stay in Portugal, book a vacation rental rather than a hotel. Vacation rental homes are widely available throughout all regions of Portugal, from the vineyards and olive groves of the north to the southern tips of the scenic Algarve. Options include beach villas, spacious condos, and trendy apartments in all budget ranges.
From Portugal, head into neighboring Spain to continue your exploration of the Iberian Peninsula, or cross the Mediterranean into Morocco to add some exotic spice to your vacation.