A Country Guide to Portugal

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Some of the finest tourist hotspots are the proud possessions of this former ‘The Sick Man of Europe’. Of course, like many of its neighbours, Portugal has also experienced some turbulent times. During the 15th and 16th Centuries, some despotic leaders ruled the country, and the trend continued till the recent past when Estado Novo ruled Portugal from 1932 to 1974. But all that is history now with the country realising its tourism potential and expanding its horizons in the global tourist map.

Portugal is home to several World Heritage Sites along with a number of other natural and cultural hotspots that are enough to keep anyone interested. With so much diversity and inviting weather to complement, the country has simply taken off vertically. Once inside the countryside, the picturesque environs dotted by rugged coastline will literally sweep you off your feet.

Indulge in aquatic adventures on the pristine white sandy beaches and watch how the Portuguese fishermen mend their nets beside brightly painted sardine boats. The Portuguese coastal lifestyle cannot be correctly appreciated until a visit to one of the coastal villages with cobbled streets, neatly whitewashed houses, and castles that just never cease to amaze.

You’ll feel pampered with choices in Portugal. The socially active folks can look forward to interaction with warm and friendly Portuguese people, while those looking for relaxation can hit the pristine beaches, and those looking to dig out some history can visit the medieval remnants in historic cities, like Porto, Braga, Coimbra, or Lisbon. The love-struck folks can look forward to spend a night or two in romantic Pousada, which is a converted farm, monastery or a manor house.

The sports fanatics have ample golfing, tennis, fishing, horse riding, windsurfing, and water-skiing opportunities throughout the country. One of the other not-to-be-missed activities while in Portugal is an opportunity to listen to Fado (Portugal’s ethnic soulful music) in one of the numerous fairs organized across the country. You will also relish the rich folk traditions on display in these fairs along with port-wine tasting and fish suppers.

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