At 900 years old, Portugal is the oldest country in Europe, and its borders have never changed.
Begin your adventure in the capital city of Lisbon, which was once the center of world exploration. Lisbon’s attractive tile-covered houses make it one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, while its unique Fado music makes it attractive to the ear as well.
Considered the best day trip from Lisbon, Sintra was initially home to the Portuguese nobles. Set amidst pine covered hills of the Serra de Sintra, these places are now open to the public.
While in Portugal, you might also want to head further south to plunge into the warm waters of the Algarve, spend a few days in the Azores, or travel north to Porto and the Douro Valley wine country.
Begin your meals with one of the flavorful Portuguese soups, so thick that sometimes they can be eaten with a fork. The Portuguese also consume so much bacalhau (dried cod) that locals will tell you there 1001 ways to cook it. Two other delicacies include grilled sardines and caldeirada, a potato-based stew that can be made from several types of fish.
And speaking of salt, in many Portuguese restaurants, a salad will come sprinkled with salt – so if you’re watching your intake, ask for it “sem sal” (without salt) or “sem tempero” (no conditioning).
Genuine souvenirs of Portugal include cork accessories, Portuguese ceramic tiles, its famous port, azeite (Portuguese olive oil), and cheese.