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Overview

Caught between the 21st century and its colorful past, Portugal is charmingly Old Europe with all the modern comforts. Castles are commonplace, and palaces and churches reflect the grandeur of Portugal's Golden Age of Discovery, when gold flowed in from Brazil. History is everywhere — the Celts built hillforts that can still be found in the north, the Moors ruled for centuries and left their mark in architectural and artistic styles. Itineraries can track the Knights Templar, trace the Sephardic Jews, visit religious pilgrimage sites (including Fátima), follow denominated wine trails or hop from one great garden to the next. Lisbon is ...

Caught between the 21st century and its colorful past, Portugal is charmingly Old Europe with all the modern comforts. Castles are commonplace, and palaces and churches reflect the grandeur of Portugal's Golden Age of Discovery, when gold flowed in from Brazil. History is everywhere — the Celts built hillforts that can still be found in the north, the Moors ruled for centuries and left their mark in architectural and artistic styles. Itineraries can track the Knights Templar, trace the Sephardic Jews, visit religious pilgrimage sites (including Fátima), follow denominated wine trails or hop from one great garden to the next. Lisbon is everyone's starting point, a city where an evening might begin with dinner by a cutting-edge chef and end with the timeless lament of a fadista in a tiny Alfama bar. Smaller cities worth visiting are Guimarães, filled with elegant churches and Medieval squares, and Ponte de Lima, surrounded by gracious manor houses — even a ducal palace — that welcome guests.

Barbara Rogers
About the Expert

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers has written or coauthored more than 30 guidebooks, including The Portugal Traveler, Drive Around Portugal, City Spots Munich, City Spots Helsinki, City Spots Stockholm, Eating New England, and the Maine section of Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Barbara Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located in Southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula.
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall