Portugal might appear as a tiny country on the map but it more than makes up with it's breathtaking landscape, glorious heritage, captivating history and diverse culture. Flanked by Spain on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, this southern European country perched on the Iberian Peninsula houses numerous gems worth exploring. A far cry from the poor country it once used to be, Portugal is now a developed country after the end of dictatorship and subsequent introduction of Democracy.
Portugal is a real boon for travel buffs. Not many countries offer the kind of landscape diversity as much as this European nation. Tourists can embark on an epic voyage and explore the green luscious mountains in the north, rocky terrains and steep slopes of the Center, desert landscape in the Aljenteo area and end it with the glitzy seaside resort - Algrave.
Be sure to visit the nation's capital - Lisbon and wander about the city's remarkable sight-seeing points. Kick-start the holiday by heading over to the beautiful and renowned Jeronimos Monastery church - home to the tomb of Vasco da Gama and other national eminent figures. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Belem Tower is a stunning structure, considered to be a masterpiece of military architecture. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum houses artifacts spanning over 4,000 years ago from classical and oriental antiquity to European art of the early 20th century. If travelling with family, be sure to head over to the incredible Oceanarium from Lisbon and educate yourself about the vibrant and colorful marine life.
Stop over at the pretty resort town of Sintra, located next to Libson. Adorned with pastel-colored villas and palaces, this royal sanctuary is well worth the visit. This destination is well known for the remarkable Sintra National Palace, highlighted for it's dramatic twin chimneys and intricate tilework. History aficionados will love paying a visit to the imposing Sao Jorge Castle in Lisbon, impressively housed atop a hill with a magnificent view of the capital's downtown. Other castles that ought to be visited are Convent of Christ in Tomar, Guimaraes Castle in Guimaraes and Silves Castle in Silves.
Drop by at Oporto and marvel at the historic monuments spruced around such as the elegant Clerigos Church sporting Baroque architecture. Admire the extraordinary views of the city and the River Douro by climbing the 200-odd steps. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Palacio da Bolsa is a former stock exchange palace and is designed in Neo-classical style. Do visit the Roman Temple, one of the most significant and iconic landmarks from the Portuguese city of Evora. Built in the 2nd or 3rd century AD, this ancient monument continues to draw hoards of tourists year after year. When you visit Braga, don't forget to head over to Bom Jesus do Monte, an important religious sanctuary and a notable pilgrimage site.
Take a trip to the islands of Madeira and Berlenga to view the wild life in it's natural habitat. Beach-a-holics can head over to the beaches perched along the Portuguese coast for much-needed sun-n-sand as well as indulge in activities such as surfing, kite-surfing and so forth. Sport enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that Portugal is a haven for golfing. Many resorts even offer classes and courses to learn the sport.
When it comes to shopping in Portugal, be on the look-out for Arraiolos carpets, glittering jewels, Madeira embroideries, blue and white pottery and so forth. The night-life in Portugal is shimmering with a variety of trendy bars and hip dance clubs spruced around the country. So don't be afraid to let your hair down and groove until the crack of dawn.
Portugal offers abundant stay options. The richie-rich who can afford to splurge can go for the best luxury hotels and private apartments, the country can boast of. Similarly budget travellers and backpackers needing cheap accommodations will find plenty of choices to cater to their needs.
Portugal experiences Mediterranean climate. The best time to visit the country would be during the spring and autumn months for the weather is pleasant and conducive for holidaying.