Portugal is a nation rich in historical attractions. The country had its golden age at the time of geographical discoveries when Portugal controlled the spice trade from Asia and extended its commercial and military control to Brazil, to the African and Asian coasts.
Portuguese art was heavily influenced by the contacts that Portuguese soldiers and merchants had with Asian, Arab and African populations. This is particularly evident in the Manueline style, a typical style of Portugal from the 16th century and which is visible in the most important monuments of the country such as the Convent of Christ in Tomar, the Batalha Monastery, the Torre de Belém, the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, and in the Royal Palace of Sintra.
Among the most beautiful cities in the country, the capital Lisbon has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and a monumentality typical of the great European capitals, and which recalls the ancient grandeur of Portugal. The city is rich in monuments, museums and characteristic corners, it deserves a thorough visit.
Porto, whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also a city full of charm and significant monuments. The nearby and scenic Douro valley with its wine region is a place of great scenic beauty. Also part of the UNESCO sites, it is another destination not to be missed.
Portugal also has other tourist attractions. This is a country full of historic towns dominated by medieval fortresses and castles. Among the symbolic places we find cities like Coimbra with its historical university, Évora, Braga, Elvas and Guimarães. There are practically intact villages like Obidos. Spectacular medieval monasteries such as Alcobaça. But also world-famous Christian pilgrimage centers such as Fatima.
One of the most popular attractions in Portugal and the most important from a seaside point of view is undoubtedly the Algarve coast. This beautiful coastline is characterized by long beaches and cliffs. Along the Algarve coast there are well-known seaside resorts such as Albufeira, Lagos, Praia da Rocha and Portimão. In the Algarve there are also ancient medieval centers such as Tavira, Sagres, Lagos, Silves, Olhao, Faro.
The Algarve also encompasses coastal areas of great scenic beauty. These include the area of Praia Dona Ana and Ponta da Piedade near Lagos. Cabo de São Vicente at the most south-western end of Portugal is also very beautiful. Also worth visiting is the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina, along the western coast of the Algarve and Alentejo.
MADEIRA AND PORTO SANTO
Madeira is a refined and sophisticated destination, immersed in a spectacular landscape with a wonderful climate. Its vegetation is rich in tropical species. Madeira is a rugged and mountainous island with rocky shores overlooking the sea. Two thirds of the island are protected by a natural park. The Laurissilva forest of Madeira is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Porto Santo, is a small island located just north-east of Madeira and famous for its magnificent 9 km long sandy beach.
THE AZORES ISLANDS
The Azores, an archipelago lost in the Atlantic Ocean, are volcanic islands full of greenery and with wonderful natural landscapes. The landscape of the wine cultures of the island of Pico is part of the UNESCO heritage. The islands are a walkers’ paradise. In addition, whales can be seen in the waters off the archipelago between April and October. Among the most beautiful historical centers of the Azores, the central area of the city of Angra do Heroismo which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The climate of Portugal.
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