Portugal is the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe, its territory having been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times.
Portugal’s varied geography ranges from the verdant mountains and vineyards of the North to the rolling farmland and medieval villages of the Central region to the glamorous beaches of the Algarve along the southern coastline. An overview of the best places to visit in Portugal.
The fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal (after Lisbon, Porto, Braga), it is the largest city of the district of Coimbra, the Centro region and the Baixo Mondego subregion.
One of the best things to do in Coimbra is to simply get lost and discover the many historic attractions from the stunning Old Cathedral to the Gothic Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha, which contains the tomb of Queen Isabel.
There are nine major Azorean islands and an islet cluster, in three main groups. These are Flores and Corvo, to the west; Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, and Faial in the centre; and São Miguel, Santa Maria, and the Formigas Reef to the east. They extend for more than 600 km (370 mi) and lie in a northwest-southeast direction.
São Miguel is the largest island of the Azores and is known as “The Green Island” while Pico is home to the highest mountain in Portugal.
Along with the neighbouring city of Ílhavo, Aveiro is part of an urban agglomeration that includes 120,000 inhabitants, making it one of the most important populated regions by density in the Centro Region, and primary centre of the Intermunicipal Community of Aveiro and Baixo Vouga.
Aveiro’s many sightseeing gems include the Aveiro Cathedral, the São Gonçalinho Chapel and the Convento de Jesus. These all offer lovely architecture and art works.
Due to its well-preserved old town centre, still partially enclosed by medieval walls, and a large number of monuments dating from various historical periods, including a Roman Temple, Évora is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network.
Today, Evora is the capital of the Alentejo region, regarded for its well-preserved Old Town, which shelters more than 4,000 historic structures including the old Roman walls and temples.
One of Portugal’s internationally famous exports, port wine, is named after Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia, were responsible for the packaging, transport and export of the fortified wine.
At the heart of Porto is the charming pedestrian zone, the Ribeira, an atmospheric place on the river, buzzing in live music, cafes, restaurants and street vendors.
The archipelago is just under 400 kilometres (250 mi) north of Tenerife, Canary Islands. It includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands.
The region is noted for its Madeira wine, gastronomy, historical and cultural value, flora and fauna, landscapes which are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and embroidery artisans.
Sintra is also a major luxury dining and tourism destination within the Portuguese Riviera, as well as one of the wealthiest municipalities in the country.
Sintra is one of Portugal’s most expensive and sought after real estate markets, famed for its numerous historic villas and luxury estates, and is home to one of the largest foreign expat communities along the Portuguese Riviera.
The region of Óbidos, extending from the Atlantic to the interior of Estremadura Province along the rivers and lakes has been inhabited since the late Paleolithic.
Located on a hilltop in the Centro Region of western Portugal, Obidos is encircled by an old fortified wall. Besides the wall, the magnificent medieval castle and historic center of Obidos make up the city’s main attraction and can easily be walked.
Tourism and related activities are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve’s summer economy. Production of food, which includes fish and other seafood, different types of fruit such as oranges, figs, plums, carob beans, and almonds, is also economically important in the region.
Located in the country’s southernmost region, the Algarve offers a feast for the eyes, from tranquil landscapes of olive groves, traditional whitewashed villages to the wild, windswept coast with its dramatic cliffs dotted with summer resorts.
Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost areas of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains