Portugal remains one of Europe's unspoilt gems. This land of traditional villages and vibrant cities has a countryside strewn with historical treasures and a wide assortment of World Heritage sites - natural and cultural wonders that offer a window into this once great seafaring nation.
Portugal's lively capital, Lisbon, and its northern sibling, Porto, are magical places for the tourist, with picturesque neighbourhoods, broad plazas and old-fashioned trams still rattling through the streets. Both cities have their share of enticing urban life, with eclectic restaurants, colourful boutiques, bohemian cafes and stylish nightclubs that make good use of the waterside setting. Smaller towns offer their own enchantment, with well-preserved medieval quarters that invite exploring in towns like Ã‰vora, Coimbra, GuimarÃ£es and Braga .
Outside the cities, travellers can enjoy Portugal's warm sunny weather exploring centuries-old vineyards, visiting stone villages in the mountains or soaking up rays on the magnificent southern shoreline. Dramatic scenery lies all along the coast from windswept cliffs with edge-of-the-world views to wild dune-covered beaches.
More than just a static backdrop, the scenery sets the stage for outdoor adventure. Hiking, surfing, windsurfing, horse-riding, big game fishing, kayaking, diving, golfing and mountain biking are a few ways to spend a sun-drenched afternoon.
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