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Portugal Tours, Travel and ActivitiesPORTUGAL Tours, Travel and Activities

Portugal has a rich seafaring past, superb beach resorts, wistful towns and a landscape wreathed in olive groves, vineyards and wheat fields. Littered with UNESCO World Heritage sites and graced by one of Europe's most relaxed and attractive capitals, it also remains refreshingly affordable.

Savoring life slowly is a Portuguese passion, and much of the best is humble - traditional folk festivals; simple, honest food drowning in olive oil; music that pulls at the heart strings, recalling past love and glories; and markets overflowing with fish, fruit and flowers.

PORTUGAL TOURS & TRAVEL: Albufeira Tours, Faial Island Tours, Faro Tours, Flores Island Tours, Funchal Tours, Graciosa Island Tours, Lisbon Tours, Pico Island Tours, Ponta Delgada Tours, Porto Tours, Sao Jorge Tours, Terceira Island Tours,

Lisbon Tours, Travel and Activities Lisbon Tours, Travel and Activities LISBON Tours, Travel and Activities

Lisbon's position on seven low hills beside a river once lured traders and settlers, and it's still a stunning site. Add to that its cultural diversity, laid-back feel and architectural time warp, and you have one of the most enjoyable cities in Europe - and also one of the most economical.

At its heart are wide, tree-lined avenues graced by Art Nouveau buildings, mosaic pavements and street cafes. Seen from the river - one of the city's many great viewpoints - Lisbon is an impressionist picture of low-rise ochre and pastel, punctuated by church towers and domes.

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Porto Tours, Travel and Activities Porto Tours, Travel and Activities PORTO Tours, Travel and Activities

Portugal's second-biggest city, Porto (Oporto to foreigners), has a brawny beauty all its own. Built on granite bluffs above the Rio Douro, its heart is a tangle of World Heritage-listed lanes tumbling steeply down to a medieval waterfront.

The Alto Douro (upper Douro) east of Peso da Regua is a harsh, hot landscape heavily refashioned by two millennia of pumping out wine. Terraced vineyards wrap around every precipitous, crew-cut hillside, and whitewashed port-wine quintas (estates) dot the valley.

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The Algarve, Portugal Tours, Travel and Activities The Algarve, Portugal Tours, Travel and Activities THE ALGARVE, PORTUGAL Tours, Travel and Activities

It's holiday heaven in the Algarve - a role created by climate, geography, and personality, with year-round sunshine, long beaches, natural bays, dramatic cliffs and warm seas. Between Faro and Lagos it's all apartment blocks, whitewashed villas and golf courses, providing hassle-free holiday facilities whose rowdier relatives live on the Spanish costas (coastal regions).

Lagos is the good-looking carnival queen of the main resorts. Praia da Rocha has the best beach on the coast - a golden, rose-tinted jewel and an apartment-block magnet, with sophistication lurking amid the concrete. Albufeira, with a pretty town center, is also packed with facilities, but more British- and German-centric.

Out at the Algarve's edges, it's a different story. Sagres in the southwest is smaller and sweeter. North of here, the wild, west-facing shores have small, appealing resorts and offer Portugal's best surfing.


The Islands of Portugal Tours, Travel and Activities The Islands of Portugal Tours, Travel and Activities THE ISLANDS OF PORTUGAL Tours, Travel and Activities

The Islands of Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira Island, offer up a leisurely pace of life, dreamy lagoons, and friendly locals. In other words, they are ideal vacation spots. Located in the Atlantic, the Azores are made up of nine islands (all of volcanic origin) that vary in size but all offer charming villages and serene environs.

Madeira Island is famed for its wine, striking scenery and a New Year's Eve with spectacular fireworks. Oenophiles will quickly recognize Madeira as the source of, what else? Madeira wine. The popular year-round resort is also noted for its local pastries, most famously the Bolo de mel (translation: sugarcane). The rich, dense cake is served all around the island and is always broken by hand (local custom dictates going sans knife). Madeira is also known for its embroidery artisans, so make sure to check out the beautiful works of art and other treasure at the lovely shops.

THE ISLANDS OF PORTUGAL TOURS & TRAVEL: MADEIRA: Funchal Tours, AZORES: Faial Island Tours, Flores Island Tours, Graciosa Island Tours, Pico Island Tours, Ponta Delgada Tours, Sao Jorge Tours, Terceira Island Tours,


Lagos, on the south coast of the Algarve, is one of the country's most popular tourist resorts. Most visitors are drawn to the superb beaches, which include Meia Praia, a vast strip of sand to the east, and the more secluded Praia do Pinhão to the south.

The Douro is one of Portugal's scenic highlights, with some 125 miles (200km) of bold, expansive panoramas stretching from the city of Porto all the way to the Spanish border. In the upper reaches, port-wine vineyards wrap around every crew-cut hillside, interrupted in parts by stark white manor houses.

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