Rich in history and culture, this western-most European country is bordered by Spain and has a population of over 10 million. Although relatively small, it is a geographically diverse country with mountains and coastal plains.
The major cities such as Lisbon are charming, picturesque and certainly not short of things to see and do, from visiting the ancient neighbourhood of Alfama, the shopping and nightlife districts such as Baixa, Bairo Alta and Chiado, the peaceful square and gardens in Principe Real to the castles, monasteries and churches that sit atop the hills of Alfama and Graca. Don’t forget to visit to the imposing Tower of Belem, at the entrance to the Tagus and whilst you area there sample the famous Antiga Confeitaria de Belem Pasteis de Nata, reportedly the best in Lisbon. The best way to travel around the city is upon Tram 28, a charming wooden tram that connects Martim Moniz to Campo de Ourique. The museums, monuments, cathedrals and galleries are not to be missed and the viewpoints scattered around the city are simply breath taking. Parc das Nacoes encompasses an Oceanarium, beautiful public gardens and exhibition centres. Vibrant and colourful, effortlessly balancing tradition with modernity, why not pay a visit to the aristocratic district of Lapa, or the charming and authentic neighbourhood of Santos whilst you are there. Lisbon International Airport is located just 5.6 km from the city and the National Railway Service is modern and reliable.
The coastal towns are delightful, with an authentic appeal and quaint yet modern energy. Situated along the southern coastline of Portugal, the Algarve couldn’t be more perfect for walking, cycling, sightseeing and playing golf as well as water-based activities such as snorkelling, diving, sailing, kayaking and surfing. Inland, the Algarve is rural and relatively undeveloped. Visitors can explore roman ruins, spa towns, Moorish towns and megalithic monuments. The area is served by Faro International Airport, which is conveniently less than three hour’s flight from the UK.
Locals are incredibly friendly and welcoming towards visitors making for a warm and hospitable stay. Port is the national drink and there are many different varieties and vintages to sample, some 100 year-old bottles are worth up to €1,000. Portugal is famous for its traditional custard tarts (Pasteis de Nata), traditional Fado music, beautiful sunny weather, exquisite coastline and international surfing competitions.