Portugal is often overshadowed by Spain, the northern neighbor with which it shares the Iberian Peninsula. However, Portugal offers a travel experience just as fascinating with fewer crowds and at noticeably cheaper prices. You can find a number of cheap hotel deals in Portugal, particularly in Lisbon, Colmbra, Sintra, and Porto, that will help you stretch your tourism dollars even further.
Like Rome, Portugal's capital, Lisbon, spans seven hills. St. George's Castle, a fortified Moorish-style citadel, sits on the highest hill in the Moorish Alfama quarter. Closer to the Tagus River is the Jerónimos Monastery, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its phantasmagorical architecture. The most interesting of Lisbon's many museums may be the Museu da Farmácia, which covers the history of pharmacology from 4,000 B.C. to the Space Age. There are many fine Portugal hotels and designer boutiques on Avenida da Liberdade, while Rossio Square is the place to shop for leather goods, port, and cherry liqueur.
Portugal's other cities and towns are equally entrancing. Coastal Sintra, a day trip from Lisbon, has castles and buildings dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries. The English poet Lord Byron called Sintra the most beautiful town in the world. In medieval times, Tomar was the headquarters for the mysterious Knights Templars, and their architectural monuments dominate the cityscape. Guimarães to the north is another city whose historic architecture is well preserved. Guimarães is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Explore Serra de Arrábida, the beautiful park located in the Sado River estuary along the Arrábida Hills. Sun lovers will discover a number of secluded beaches in Arrábida perfect for romantic picnics. Film fans may recognize its stretch of road as the highway where Irma Bund shoots Tracy Bond at the end of the James Bond movie, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." In the spring and early summer, Arrábida is covered with a glorious mantle of wild flowers. Alentejo is another scenic destination in the countryside, a rural landscape scattered with olives and Portugal's famous, indigenous cork trees.
Portugal is a destination that consistently gives good value for your tourism dollars, and you'll find many top Portugal holiday packages and other great Portugal hotel deals from Expedia. Portugal isn't the travel secret it once was, though, and in the spring, summer, and early fall, hotels in Portugal can fill up fast. To ensure the best, cheap Portugal hotel deal and reservations at special discount rates, book your rooms well in advance.