Most visitors to Portugal head for the sandy coves, pretty fishing villages, and manicured golf links of the Algarve.
But beyond the south coast resorts lies the least explored corner of Western Europe: a country of rugged landscapes, sophisticated cities, rural backwaters and sharply contrasting traditions.
Portugal appears to have no obvious geographical claim to nationhood, yet this western extremity of the Iberian Peninsula has existed within borders practically unchanged for nearly 800 years.
Its ten million people speak their own language, follow their own unique cultural traditions, and have a centuries-old history of proud independence from neighbouring Spain.
Portugal is so compact, and it's therefore easy to see so much from each of its elements. Scenically, the most interesting parts of the country are in the north: the Minho, green, damp, and often startling in its rural customs; and the splendid gorge and valley of the Douro, followed along its course by the railway, of which antiquated branch lines edge into remote Tras-os-Montes.
For modern interests, spend some time in both Lisbon and Porto, the only two cities of real size. And if it's monuments you require, the heart of the country – above all, Coimbra and Evora – retains a faded grandeur of days gone by.
The coast is virtually uninterrupted beach, and apart from the Algarve and a few pockets around Lisbon and Porto, resorts remain low-key and thoroughly Portuguese, with great stretches of deserted sands between them.
Perhaps the loveliest are along the northern Costa Verde, around Viana do Castelo, or, for isolation, the wild beaches of southern Alentejo.
Featuring apartment-type accommodations set in the heart of Vilamoura near the beach, Parque Mourabel, Oasis Village and Pe Do Lago makes for an ideal retreat for leisure travellers exploring .... More
Presenting tranquil ambience and comfortable accommodation, this property is an ideal place for a pleasant as well as a relaxing stay. GeneralConference facilities are also available for guests... More
Av. Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, 105 Map
Free Wi-Fi, Gym and Pool & Child Under 12 is Free
Offering stylish accommodations and modern facilities set within convenient distance to the city centre, Corinthia Hotel Lisbon makes for an ideal base for discerning travellers in Lisbon. ... More
Positive 24hr visit
The Best Western Hotel Inca Porto is your best choice for comfort, fun and value as it offers great accommodations with a casual charm, where you will have everything you could possibly need during... More
Deliciously quirky and character driven, the Monte Carlo Hotel with a unique location in the Bay of Funchal offers you the best views of the capital of Madeira, which makes it as an excellent base... More
Avenida do Parque. Volta do Faisao. Villamoura. Map
The Moura Golf Village Hotel Algarve is a self-catering property offering 50 family style villas that can accommodate up to 6 people, as well as the family pet. Cleaning service is offered 3 times... More
Eden Resort Hotel Albufeira provides comfortable accommodation amidst beautiful, landscaped gardens. The hotel is an ideal choice for holidaymakers as it offers a wide range of activities such as... More
Offering traditional Portuguese hospitality on the fashionable Avendida da Liberdade, this luxuriously appointed hotel is the perfect place to spend your relaxing holiday in Lisbon. GeneralYou... More
Featuring excellent service, high standards of comfort and a friendly atmosphere, this Eurostars Das Artes Hotel Porto is an ideal place to reside for both business as well as leisure travellers. ... More
Avenida do Mar e das Comunidades Madeirenses, 50 Map
Featuring posh accommodations overlooking the magnificent blue ocean, Porto Bay Santa Maria Adult Only Hotel Madeira makes for an ideal getaway in the southern Portugal island. Lying on the shores... More