Europe's paradise, is the 15th most popular destination worldwide,
according to the World Tourism Organization.
The natural advantages of a sunny country with diverse geographic
features, the genuine hospitality of the Portuguese people and the
nation's vast monumental, artistic and archaeological heritage have
turned Portugal into the chosen destination for international
Portugal's strength as a holiday destination is its diversity -
mountains, vast arid plains, sub-tropical volcanic islands and lush
meadows, as well as hundreds of kilometres of gleaming white beaches
offering the opportunity for a rejuvenating yet restful break at any
time of the year.
For a relatively small nation, Portugal has surprising gastronomic
variety featuring homemade bread, meat and shellfish.
food is inexpensive, delicious and served in generous portions.
Meals may be complemented with Portugal's good quality wines (vinhos)
or port - the drink synonymous with Portugal.
The nation's best-known musical form is the melancholic fado (songs
believed to have originated from the pinings of 16th-century
sailors), while traditional folk dancing remains popular in rural
Portugal's rich literary tradition also has its origins in the 16th
century, with the publication of works by the dramatist Gil Vicente
and the poet Luís de Camões.
The most striking craft is the making of decorative tiles known as
azulejos, a technique the Portuguese learnt from the Moors.
Portugal remains one of the most affordable and fascinating
destinations in the world.