A Guide to Portugal

Portugal is a country whose history and culture can be traced back to the Roman Empire. The country is the proud home to 15 World Heritage Sites. Portuguese, one of the romance languages, is its official language. Mirandese is the co-official language in some parts of North Eastern Portugal. When compared to other European countries like France, Spain and Italy, Portugal boasts a high level of English proficiency. Popular tourist sites are its capital city Lisbon, Algarve and Madeira. Douro Valley and the Alentejo area are slowly gaining popularity.

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Travelling is fun when you are well-prepared for all eventualities. You must have single trip insurance to take care of any health concerns or accidents that may happen. Research all your options and take your time to choose one best suited for your needs. Go through the official webpage of the airline you plan to use. You will come across a surprising number of do’s and don’ts and some of the privileges you may be entitled to. Make the best use of these. That’s said, let’s check out the hotspots.

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Lisbon: After Athens, Lisbon is the oldest capital in the world. It has a natural harbour. In fact, it was this feature that brought all those ancients cultures to its shores. The city’s beautiful architecture stands testimony to its rich history. You’ll find a bit of Venice, San Francisco and a sprinkle of Rome and Istanbul on the shores of this peaceful city. Things to do include dolphin-watching, visiting palaces, lazing on sandy beaches, visiting natural parks, golfing and chilling out in casinos.

Algarve: Algarve is a haven for tourists who love extreme sports like surfing, body boarding, water skating, speed boating, jet skiing, wind surfing, kite surfing or parasailing. Its beaches are dotted with plenty of cliffs and caves worth exploring. In short, the place is a photographer’s paradise. At one time, a large number of Iberian Lynx were found in Algarve. None have been spotted recently.

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Madeira: An archipelago in North Atlantic, Madeira is famous for its flowers and fortified wine. From March through December, there is always some carnival or festival going on in Madeira. Every December, the island features the world’s largest fireworks show. In 2006, the show earned the island a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Porto Santo is an island about 43 km from Madeira. It is known for inclusive holiday resorts.

Douro Valley: The wine-growing area of this valley is a World Heritage Site. There are two nature parks in the region: International Douro Nature Park and Alvao Nature Park.

Alentejo is the South-Central region of Portugal. Elvas and Evora are cities that are heritage sites. The landscape and the old buildings are breathtakingly beautiful and evoke images of a distant past.

In short, Portugal has a lot to offer an informed tourist.