One of the most interesting features of Portugal is its vastly changing landscape. Mother nature works quickly here and this amazing landscape will vary from wonderfully green mountains and valleys to rugged, dry desert in the space of a couple hours' drive. Full of history, as well as vibrant nightlife and delicious cuisine, Portugal pleases a wide range of tourists every year.
Lisbon is the country's capital and most important city. Portugal's second largest city is Porto, which sits along the Douro River. Another famous river is the Tagus.
Major cities and regions include:
The First County of Portugal was formed in 868 after the Reconquista, where Christians took back control of the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslims and Moors. It was formed into a kingdom in 1139 after the Battle of Ourique, when Afonso Henriques proclaimed himself king. In 1383 Portugal was almost taken over by the king of Spain, but claimed independence with the Battle of Aljubarrota. Portugal played a major role in exploring the world. Between 1580 and 1640, Portugal again came under Spanish rule when Phillip II named himself king. In 1910 the Portuguese monarchy was disposed of. Chaos led to takeover by dictator António de Oliveira Salazar. A military coup known as the Carnation Revolution in 1974 led to the establishment of a democracy.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Climate: Portugal is generally cool and rainy in the north and warm in the south.
Languages: Portuguese and Mirandese
Power: 230 V, 50 Hz
Time Zone: DST +0100 UTC
Igreja de São Roque
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
Torre de Belém
Pao de Acucar Bed & Breakfast
Hotel Jorge V