PT - Portugal

Portugal is a western European state that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and borders Spain (Galicia to the north, Castile and León, Extremadura and Andalusia to the east).

To know:
The name of Portugal, land of the Lusitanians, derives from Portus Cale, the name of the ancient settlement located at the mouth of the Douro river.

When to go:
Although the extent of the territory is rather limited (less than 1/3 of Italy) Portugal has strong climatic differences. In the north the climate is Atlantic, mild and very rainy during the autumn season. To the south, the climate, influenced by the masses of hot air from Africa, is typically Mediterranean and therefore very dry. The innermost lands, towards the border with Spain, are less affected by the oceanic influence and their climate has more continental characteristics. In the Azores archipelago, made up of nine mountainous islands of volcanic origin, the climate is temperate and humid; spontaneous vegetation is reduced to short stretches of forest. The archipelago of Madeira is called the flower of the ocean. It is of volcanic origin and its climate is sub-tropical, with very little thermal excursion: mild and constant, which allows tourism throughout the year.

Territories and tourist destinations.
The territory of Portugal is divisible into five continental geographical regions plus two overseas territories:

      Northern Portugal – A historic region considered the cradle of the nation. Includes the second largest city, Porto.
The region of northern Portugal (Região do Norte in Portuguese) comprises the following three territories:
Douro Litoral – Territory occupied largely by the metropolitan area of ​​Porto, the second city of the country and famous for the export of fine wines obtained from the vineyards in the Douro valley. Since 2001 the Alto Douro wine-growing region (Região Vinhateira do Alto Douro) has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Minho – With very green landscapes, the territory takes its name from the river of the same name that marks the border with Spanish Galicia for a long stretch. The most interesting cities are Braga, nicknamed “Portuguese Rome” because of its many churches and Guimarães, 56 km from Porto]. The latter city played a fundamental role in the birth of Portugal as a nation. His count Alfonso Henriques (1109 – 1185), strong of the victories over the Moors, rebelled against the condition of vassalage to the king of Castile, Alfonso VII making his county (Portokale) independent. The area of ​​the coast, often referred to as “Costa Verde” is not suitable for swimming due to the cold waters of the ocean and the humid climate. Holiday centers on the Costa Verde are Vila do Conde and Póvoa de Varzim, attached to each other and, in fact, a suburb of Porto, as the terminus of the metro line “B”. Another center of interest is Viana do Castelo, located about forty kilometers further north, at the mouth of the Lima river.
Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro – Braganza (Bragança), a small capital of the area, is located a short distance from the borders with Spain. Its dukes obtained the crown of Portugal in 1640 and maintained it, through cadet branches, until 1910, the year of the abolition of the monarchical institute and the proclamation of the republic. Vila Real, closer to Porto, is at the center of extensive vineyards from which fine wines are obtained, including the famous Mateus.
Central Portugal – Includes the following territories:
Beira – Beira is a region divided into three territories, Alta, Bassa and Litorale. The main center of the Beira Litorale is Coimbra, the medieval capital of Portugal, on a hill that overlooks the Rio Mondego on top of which stands the complex of the ancient university. At the mouth of the Rio Mondego is the seaside resort of Figueira da Foz. About sixty kilometers north of Coimbra is the lagoon city of Aveiro, a fishing port of ancient tradition as attested by the “moliceiros”, boats vaguely resembling Venetian gondolas.
Among the centers of Beira Alta, mention should be made of Guarda, a medieval city located on a plateau north of Serra da Estrela at an altitude of 1057 m a.s.l. The Serra da Estrela (I monti della Stella) is the highest mountain range in mainland Portugal (1993 m a.s.l.). Loriga, the only ski resort in Portugal, is located on the Serra. In the valley of the river Côa, a tributary of the Douro, hundreds of cave paintings from the Paleolithic period were found during the construction of a dam. The construction of the dam was suspended and in 1995 the place was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The historic city of Beira Alta is Viseu where Viriato, a Lusitanian hero who lived in the 2nd century BC, set his camp leading from there a victorious campaign against the Roman legions stationed in the territory.
Extremadura – As the name indicates (extreme land) it is the westernmost region of the country, washed by the Atlantic Ocean. It includes two famous art centers, Alcobaça, famous for its Cistercian abbey and, just twenty km further south, Batalha with another convent of great architectural interest. The most renowned of the seaside resorts of Extremadura is Nazaré, an ancient fishing village that still wears traditional costumes. Peniche is another tourist center on the Atlantic coast. 26 km inside is Óbidos, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal which has kept its structure as a medieval village intact.
      Lisbon Region – Lisbon Region – Geographically part of Extremadura, the Lisbon Region includes the capital and its surroundings. Queluz, Sintra, Mafra, home to ancient royal residences, are a destination for day trips from Lisbon, as well as the two internationally renowned seaside resorts of Cascais and Estoril. Less known, the Costa de Caparica, which stretches on the southern bank of the mouth of the Tagus and is very popular with Lisbon residents on hot summer days. Setúbal is an industrial center on the Rio Sado estuary, 32 km south of Lisbon. The city is surrounded by beautiful beaches, the most renowned of which is Sesimbra
      Alentejo – The Alentejo territory is largely made up of slightly undulating plains. The landscapes are quite monotonous, interrupted by cork and olive groves. Always the kingdom of the latifundia, the Alentejo is an arid land which has been tried to remedy with large water reservoirs created by the barrier of rare rivers. The capital of Alto Alentejo is Évora with vestiges of Roman times including the ruins of a famous Corinthian temple called Diana. The capital of Baixo Alentejo is Beja, of Celtic origin. It was baptized by the Romans “Pax Iulia” and from that period retains traces of walls. There is one of the most beautiful pousadas in Portugal, obtained from an ancient Franciscan convent. Among the smaller towns, Marvão should be mentioned, a short distance from the Spanish border, entirely surrounded by medieval walls. Ribatejo – From the very fertile soil, Ribatejo extends, as its name indicates, on both banks of the Tagus River and roughly corresponds to the province of Santarem. The region is renowned for breeding black bulls and thoroughbred (Lusitanian) horses. Given its inhabitants’ attachment to agriculture-related activities, Ribatejo is one of Portugal’s most traditional lands. Its tourist interest is determined by popular festivals. Vila Franca de Xira is famous for the bullfights on horseback (tourada in Portuguese) which take place between June and October. In Tomar there is the imposing “Convento de Cristo”, declared a World Heritage Site in 1983. Fátima is instead a destination for religious tourism.
      Algarve – The beaches and sun of the Algarve and its capital, Faro, and the peaceful rhythm of the Basso Alentejo. It is the region with the greatest tourist flow.
      Azores – The archipelago of Madeira includes the island of the same name where Funchal is located, among the major destinations of international tourism.

Showing 1–12 of 40 results

Showing 1–12 of 40 results