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Portugal
Travel Guide

Albufeira featuring a coastal town, swimming and a sandy beach

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 showing heritage architecture and a city as well as a large group of people
Lisbon District
Known for Historical, Art and Museum
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and one of the most highly visited cities of Europe. Renowned as t is for its fine architecture, history, cuisine, culture and international trade, that’s hardly surprising.

Reasons to visit

  • Graca
  • Coracao de Jesus
  • São José
Dom Luis I Bridge featuring street scenes, a bridge and a river or creek
Porto
Known for River View, Port and Café
Portugal’s second-largest city captivates visitors with its rich history, award-winning wines and grand architecture.

Reasons to visit

  • Casa da Musica
  • Dom Luis I Bridge
  • Ribeira Square
Faro Island Beach showing general coastal views and a sandy beach
Faro
Known for Friendly People, Seafood and Marina
Faro is a picturesque, medieval city in the South of Portugal, with cobbled streets, café terraces and a natural park complete with beautiful lagoons. For those looking for more than just sun and beaches, Algarve’s capital won’t disappoint. This peaceful, whitewashed city has friendly people, good food and exciting bars, on top of the sun, sea and sand.

Reasons to visit

  • Faro Old Town
  • Faro Cathedral
  • Faro Island Beach
Albufeira featuring a sandy beach and landscape views as well as an individual male
Albufeira
Known for Beach View, Dining and Poolside Bars
Albufeira is a quaint coastal town where you’ll find some of the most beautiful and sunny beaches in Portugal. Cool off by swimming in the ocean or enjoy local dishes in a restaurant right on the beach. Of course, there’s more than just sea and sand. Wander the cobbled streets of the old city and visit the ruins of Paderne Castle. Go shopping for souvenirs in the city centre before spending your evenings in one of the many bars on the Strip.

Reasons to visit

  • Fisherman's Beach
  • Albufeira Old Town Square
  • Falesia Beach
Madeira
Funchal
Known for Dining, Sea and Garden
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
  • Monte Palace Gardens
  • Town Square
Setubal
Setubal
Known for Relaxing, Luxury and Natural Park
Explore upscale Setubal: its parks, fishing, football and more!

Portugal

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