The quaint villages and sunny shores of Portugal
Portugal is a major destination for golf lovers and people seeking to unwind on a sunny beach.
The cities hold many undiscovered treasures. For instance, if you are looking for exotic scenery
and atmospheric side streets, the cities of Porto and Lisbon have a lot to offer. Outside the
cities are ancient villages, quaint vineyards and sunny shores.
Variations of hospitality
Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve offer a range of hotels from the very basic to the ultimate in
luxury. There are members of the usual international hotel chains, but staying in one of the
locally owned hotels will put you in touch with the home-grown centres of hospitality. An
alternative to a hotel is a pousada. Pousadas are palaces, convents and monasteries bought
up by the government and converted into tourist accommodation./p>
The land of golf and horse riding
Portugal attracts golfing tourists to its range of first class courses, but many golfers
recommend Quinta do Lago in the Algarve. Golf is not the only sport on offer. There are many
horse riding centres throughout the country. Numerous visitors to Portugal also take the
opportunity to gaze into the distance from the craggy cliffs of Cabo de Sao Vicente, near Sagres. For dramatic scenery and a touch of adventure, you should not miss Peneda-Geres,
the only national park in Portugal. There is also the Coa Valley Archaeological Park which
features rock carvings dating from 22,000 BC. History of another kind is found at Estoril
racetrack where motorcycle and car races are held.
The cultural life of Portugal
Portugal was once a major player in the spice and slavery markets. As a result, it was
visited and settled by sailors from Spain, France, Britain and Holland. The influence of
these cultures has affected the food, music and architecture of Portugal, giving the cultural
life an exotic flavour. If you appreciate the aroma of history, there are towns such as Evora, whose old
quarters feature streets, churches and buildings from the fifteenth century. Evora is also
home to many sites of megalithic relics and prehistoric cave paintings.
Beach resorts and spectacular sunsets
Portugal has several major beach resorts which were once sleepy fishing villages. Vilamoura and Albufeira are examples of these popular spots which offer a variety of
water sports and all the creature comforts you expect from a resort. There is also the
island of Porto Santo, which offers a largely untouched landscape where you can relax on
the beach without being bothered by huge crowds. The Alentejo area is an ideal Summer
holiday destination, with spectacular sunsets, Roman ruins, and a chapel decorated with