Portugal Travel Guide
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No matter what kind of traveller you are, Portugal has something for you. A blisteringly beautiful example of nature's bounty, Portugal has shores like icing sugar, ocean so dazzlingly blue it looks photo-shopped, medieval castles, and captivating cities. But there is more to the country than the honeymoon paradise clichés people have gushed about for generations.
Portugal is electrifying, inspiring and surprising. Blessed with the best of the earth's treasures, this country is a superior geographical hybrid, and visitors searching for the picture perfect will be won over by the world-famous caves of Porto, breathtaking beaches and cliffs, mountain ranges as you move inland and fertile plains bearing towering oaks and pretty orange trees - all in one small, easily navigable country. Cape St Vincent can be buffeted by heavy storms, but Portugal generally sits on the sunny side of things, and everyone who spends some time with this land of open, relaxed culture will fall for the warm character of Portuguese people along with the warm weather. This is the southern European way of life, and everyone takes their time here.
Wanderers with hedonistic pursuits can really hone in on a lifestyle preoccupied with pleasure: the Algarve – the region of eternal spring - lives up to its reputation as an oversized and very beautiful sun-bed, where you can enjoy an alfresco breakfast of fresh seafood on the terrace all year round. Fish galore, hearty grilled specialities, down-to-earth local cuisine and noble wines will feed any foodie desire. Spas, saunas and relaxation can prepare nocturnal party goers on any budget for Lisbon's bars, rearing their heads to out-shine or out-decibel each other in sophisticated or artistic localities.
Culture vultures and architectural aficionados will be impressed by crenulated 10th century castles and dazzling Manueline cathedrals, the juxtaposition between remote villages and pulsating cities, opulent palaces and the ornate stucco of one of the world's most beautiful bookshops. Find out about saudade, the Portuguese blues, a nostalgic and difficult-to-translate melancholy which has shaped Portugal's arts, music, film, literature and even national identity in profound ways.
Those preoccupied with the aesthetic of travel will find Portugal's art a sublime assault on the senses. The country itself is a work of art, opening up like a huge lush garden full of dashes of colour from citrus trees and early year almond blossom, a texture telling its story through rough rock, crumbling monuments and silky sands, and the taste of salty sea air. Along with 10,000-year-old rock art, Lisbon dares with full-on contemporary design and a fashion scene great fun to explore, whilst new directions in Porto mean exciting renovation projects. Home to many stylistic traits and stemming whole artistic movements, Portugal's masterpieces and cutting edge creativity mean it has been, and continues to be a thriving environment for artisans, painters and poets.