This Western most part of mainland Europe on the Iberian Peninsula is a real playground of Europe. Named after the second largest city, Porto, in the 15th and 16th century the country pioneered the Age of Discovery and expanded western influence and established the first global empire becoming one of the world’s major economic, political and military powers, and ultimately dividing the world with Spain.
Portugal is now one of the most visited countries in Europe as it has all the trappings of a classic European country: cobbled villages beneath the shadows of medieval castles, gorgeous sun-kissed beaches, culinary tradition and plenty of history. Whether you’re taking in grand cities and listening to the melancholic sounds of a Fadista in Lisbon, swimming in the turquoise waters of the Algarve, sipping a glass of Port in Porto, it is obvious why Portugal is on everyones ‘must-visit’ lists.
USA Today has even gone as far as nominating Portugal to be the best European country of 2014. It’s hard to disagree.