Portugal cities, attractions and photos

Portugal Travel Guide

Portugal is located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. The country is bordered by Spain. The capital city Lisbon is one of the most visitied cities in the country. Portugal is regarded as one of the most peaceful places to live in. Portugal is one of the major tourist spots in Europe and draws millions of tourists every year. From a host of sites designated as world heritage by UNESCO to gorgeous beaches, Portugal has a lot to offer to the visitor. The weather is pleasant for the most part of the year and the traditional hospitality of the people make visitors feel at home.

The region that is Portugal today was populated as far back as 30,000 BC. Farming started in this region in about 5,000 BC. Celtic tribes migrated here during the early first millennium BC and intermarried with locals, as a result of which different ethnic groups were formed. Portugal came under the rule of the Roman Empire in 219 BC and remained under their control for around two centuries.

Portugal was very powerful in the 15th and 16th centuries, and its culture was extremely influential on neighboring states. A lot of African countries were under Portuguese rule, among which Mozambique and Angola. The power of Portugal’s government began to diminish in the 19th century. In 1975, the country granted sovereignty to all of its African colonies.

Today, tourism accounts for 5 percent of the country’s GDP. The areas attracting the most tourists are Lisbon, Northern Portugal and Porto, the islands, the Algarve, and Alentejo. Newly developing destinations include the Douro Valley and Porto Santo Island. Other pleasant but relatively unknown destinations are Douro Sul, Costa do Sol, Costa Azul, Planicie Dourada, and more.

In addition, there are some traditional tourist regions in Portugal, the best-known of which is the so-called Green Coast (Costa Verde). It encompasses the entire northern coast of Portugal from the mouth of the Minho River to the city of Porto. The central Portuguese coast, also known as the Silver Coast (Costa da Prata), is another attraction. This economically developed region is home to traditional art treasuries, including crystal and porcelain. The tasty Bairrada wines and the sea had a strong impact on its cuisine and gastronomy. Of the islands, the Madeira and the Azores are the most popular.

Portugal features fascinating cities with ancient and modern attractions, vibrant medieval villages, pleasant seaside towns, ancient castles and a wealth of architectural and archaeological monuments.

Some fascinating attractions in Portugal include Evora's Roman temple in the museum town of Evora, the mesmerizing and romantic town of Sintra, the medieval gem of Obidos, and the fine port city of Porto (which actually gave the country its name, not the other way around). There are some world heritage hubs, including Batalha and Alcobaca, Tomar, and the Baroque city of Braga.

Finally, you should visit the pleasant fishing villages of Nazare, Tavira, and Ericeira, if only to delight in a fresh mouth-watering seafood dinner. The world heritage sites of Jeronimos Monastery, Batalha Abbey, Alcobaça Abbey, and Douro Valley are simply unforgettable. Bathalha Abbey is a Dominican covenant featuring original pieces of Late Gothic architecture, with elements of the Manueline style. The Jeronimos Monastery is among the most prominent examples of the Manueline style, which was previously home to the Hieronymite order. In 1983, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Alcobaça Abbey is found in the town of Alcobaça. Together with the church, this Roman Catholic Monastery is the first Gothic building in Portugal. The Douro Valley is famous as the home of port wine. It is a spectacular area with terraces on hills, which fall down steeply to the river banks.

You will always remember the fascinating prehistoric rock art of Laurisilva Forest, Angra do Heroismo, and Côa Valley. Wine buffs will revel in Pico Island Vineyard Culture. And if that is not enough, you can acquaint yourself further with the seven wonders of Portugal.

Lisbon: A truly romantic, Mediterranean setting.

Sintra - romantic atmosphere, castles, palaces, and historic architecture.