Portugal

Travel Guide
Albufeira which includes a beach, swimming and a coastal town

Home of Vasco da Gama, port wine and a European tea plantation, this country on the Iberian Peninsula is renowned for its historic cities and Atlantic islands.

Portugal was one of the colonial era’s central powers. From its shores came the first European to reach India by sea. The Portuguese also conquered much of South America. Today, Portugal is no longer colonizing, but its cities reveal the nation’s former glory. Tour its famous port towns and explore its picturesque Atlantic islands.

Lisbon, Portugal's capital, shows off the country’s riches from the height of its colonial empire. Tour its Belém port district. From here, world-famous explorers like Vasco da Gama set sail centuries ago. Da Gama’s body is buried in the lengthy 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) and his statue stands atop the grand Rua Augusta Arch. Lisbon also displays Portugal’s own history as a country colonized by other empires. Explore the hilltop fortress of the 11th-century Castelo de São Jorge, which features traces of Roman, Visigoth and Moorish peoples.

While Lisbon is a city built on imports, the large city of Porto thrives due to one of the country’s best-known exports: port, the sweet dessert wine. Explore the wine country surrounding the city, where terraced vineyards blanket the hills along valleys of the winding Douro River. Porto’s hillside cityscape features both Baroque and modern architectural masterworks amid colorful townhouses.

One attraction that sets Portugal apart from its European neighbors is the Azores archipelago far from its shores but within its Atlantic borders. Fly to this collection of nine volcanic islands for some of the best outdoor adventures in Portugal. Towering over the archipelago is the country’s highest peak, Mount Pico. Climb to the top for excellent views over the Azores’ central islands. The main island of São Miguel features volcanic hot springs, a picturesque crater lake at its center and one of Europe’s few tea plantations.

Begin your stay in Portugal by flying into an international airport outside Lisbon or one near Ponta Delgada on São Miguel. Untamed volcanic wilderness and former imperial riches await.

Popular cities in Portugal

Lisbon which includes a city and heritage architecture as well as a large group of people
Lisbon District
Known for Historical, Art and Museums
Stroll the Portuguese capital’s stone streets, where sounds of local musicians fill the air and freshly caught fish is served at kerbside restaurants.

Reasons to visit

  • Castle of Sao Jorge
  • Carmo Convent
  • Commerce Square
Dom Luis I Bridge showing street scenes, a bridge and a river or creek
Porto
Known for River View, Ports and Cafes
Portugal’s second-largest city captivates visitors with its rich history, award-winning wines and grand architecture.

Reasons to visit

  • Dom Luis I Bridge
  • Casa da Musica
  • Ribeira Square
Albufeira which includes a beach and landscape views as well as an individual male
Albufeira
Known for Beach View, Dining and Poolside Bars
Relax on the beaches, explore the old town and eat tasty seafood in one of Portugal’s most popular vacation destinations.

Reasons to visit

  • Albufeira Old Town Square
  • Falesia Beach
  • Praia dos Alemães
Tres Irmaos Beach showing a sandy beach, general coastal views and rugged coastline
Portimao
Known for Beach View, Dining and Marinas
Stroll along the scenic waterfront promenade, wander around the shop-lined pedestrianized streets of the old quarter and dine on fresh seafood at outdoor cafés. 

Reasons to visit

  • Rocha Beach
  • Portimao Marina
  • Alvor Beach
Faro Island Beach featuring a sandy beach and general coastal views
Faro
Known for Friendly People, Dining and Marinas
A gateway to the Ria Formosa nature park, this city has a walled core of historic buildings surrounded by scenic sandbars, beaches and marshlands.

Reasons to visit

  • Faro Old Town
  • Faro Cathedral
Madeira
Funchal
Known for Dining, Sea and Gardens
The capital of the Portuguese island of Madeira is a beautiful city on the southern coast offering beaches, historic buildings and marine wildlife adventures.

Reasons to visit

  • Madeira Botanical Garden
  • Town Square

Portugal

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