Portugal is the westernmost country in continental Europe. It is located to the west of Spain on the Iberian Peninsula and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It has many attractions including a fascinating history, excellent cuisine, numerous palaces, castles, buildings, monuments, and towns of historical significance, important nature reserves and more. It is commonly associated with port wine, which is produced in its Douro Valley, and the fabulous beaches of the Algarve in southern Portugal. While these are worthy of their acclaim, visitors will quickly discover that Portugal has much more to offer than port wine and great beaches.
The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira offer boundless opportunities for outdoor discovery and adventure. On these islands and along Portugal’s coasts one can find world class whale watching, ancient Laurisilva forests, hundreds of species of birds, and abundant marine life.
The natural beauty of Portugal’s nature parks, reserves, beaches, rolling vineyards and winding rivers is matched by architectural beauty and artistic reminders of the country’s long and sophisticated heritage. There is the Palace of Sintra with its Moorish, Manueline, and Mudéjar -style designs, the Monserrate Palácio with its elaborate Gothic interior, Pena National Palace with its medley of styles, historic Belém Tower on the banks of the Tagus, and countless other monuments of historic and architectural importance around the country.