Portugal

Lisbon

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Sintra

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Porto

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One of Europe’s oldest nation-states, Portugal has managed to retain its Old World charm even as it embraces modern innovation. From culturally rich cities and historic hamlets to casual surf spots and far-flung islands, it offers a wealth of authentic experiences infused with the strains of fado, Portugal’s soulful and evocative national soundtrack. Lisbon, the country’s sun-drenched capital, known for its tiled façades and vintage trams, is also a sophisticated center for contemporary art and design. Less than two hours southwest lies Alentejo, a wine-lover’s dream and an up-and-coming destination for European wine travels, thanks to the stellar grape varietals and delicious local cuisine served up together at inviting tabernas. Journey north to the Douro River Valley, the home of Port wine, where terraced vineyards lead up to dramatic hilltop towns, and take in the sights by road, rail or river. The country’s Atlantic Coast is dotted with picturesque fishing villages and majestic sea cliffs; along The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region, there are pristine beaches, thermal springs and miles of limestone caves. The seafood caught here is legendary and the center of the region’s specialties. For those in search of further flung locales, the Azores and Madeira—both archipelagos of volcanic islands in the North Atlantic—offer uniquely beautiful landscapes featuring mild climates and their own cultures, dialects, cuisines and traditions. The mysteries and wonders of Portugal: elegant and rustic, unspoiled and accessible, entirely welcoming to the traveler in search of something still slightly off the beaten path.