Bordering the Atlantic Ocean, the beaches along Portugal's rugged coastline are perfect for anyone looking to relax by the sea. Whilst away from the seaside you’ll discover historic towns with fairy-tale castles, cities with world-class restaurants and countryside that begs to be explored.
Portugal is birthplace to some of the world's first explorers.
Ferdinand Magellan was the first person to circumnavigate the globe; Vasco de Gama discovered the sea route to India; Bartholomew Diaz was the first to sail around the southern tip of Africa, which he called the Cape of Good Hope; and Álvares Cabral and others discovered new lands, including Brazil, parts of Africa and the Far East, claiming them for Portugal.
Named after the celebrated explorer, the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is 10.5 miles long, making it the longest in Europe
Portugal's capital city, Lisbon, is older than Rome and among the oldest cities in Europe, with archaeological finds dating back to 1200 BC.
Lisbon was devastated by a major earthquake in 1755.
Although the city was rebuilt within a few years, the quake led to the country losing much of its wealth and status.
Portugal is named after its second largest city, Porto, the Latin name of which was Portus Cale.
Portugal is a world leader in renewable energy. By July 2014 around 70 percent of its energy came from renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar power.
One of the largest solar farms in the world is located in south-east Portugal.
Portugal has a coastline spanning 497 miles and it's known to have 364 days of surf, making it one of the world's top surf spots.
Portugal is in south-western Europe. The country also includes the Madeira and Azores archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean.
With its mild climate, 3000 hours of sunshine per year and many miles of stunning beaches, Portugal makes for a great holiday destination all year round.
Portugal is one of the Europe's least expensive destinations, with simple meals and drinks, accommodation and public transport, pretty good value. The main tourist hotspots of Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve are the most expensive places to visit, but even here you’ll get a better deal on most things than in many other European countries.
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