Perhaps not so popular as its more famous neighbours in the Mediterranean, Portugal has quite a number of attractions just waiting to be discovered. Historical treasures, many of them World Heritage sites, abound in its cities and towns. From its massive mountains to its stunning shoreline, Portugal has all kinds of dramatic scenery. Ancient monasteries, great manor houses, elegant resorts and quaint villages, not to mention sprawling vineyards that produce some of the world’s best wines, await you in this warm, sun-kissed country.
For over 100 years, tourists have enjoyed Madeira’s rugged volcanic peaks, beautiful tropical coastline and climate that's never too hot or cold. Madeira lace and Madeira wine are both still produced here in the Old World tradition. Many hidden valleys, peaks and botanical gardens are just waiting to be explored.
- Monte Sled Ride, Funchal’s centuries-old fun ride that lets you slide down a mountain slope in a wicker basket chair controlled by guides.
- The Wine Lodge of the Madeira Wine Association, to sample and purchase some of the world-renowned Madeira wines.
- Botanical Gardens, noted for their wide-ranging collection of indigenous and rare plants.
- Cabo Girao, the world’s second-highest sea cliff that plunges over 1500 feet (457m) from the cliff top to the waves below.
- Camacha, the inland village that is the heart of Madeira’s acclaimed and centuries old fine wickerwork industry.
- Pico Do Arieiro, Madeira’s third highest peak (5965 feet / 1818m above sea level) offers striking views of the island’s rugged interior and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Quinta Das Cruzes Museum, to view antiques, furniture, sculptures, Flemish paintings, ivory, porcelain, and Chinese pottery from the 15th to 19th centuries.
Explore the bustling streets of Lisbon, “must sees” are the imposing Castelo de Sao Jorge overlooking the city, the Mosterio de Jerónimos and Torre de Belem perched on the banks of the river Tagus Hope on a bike in nearby Sintra and discover the spectacular Sintra Palace.
Also known as Lisboa to the native Portuguese, Lisbon has earned its title as capital of Portugal. Discover why this city reigns above all others as you stroll along elaborate mosaic sidewalks and pass by the Monument to the Discoveries. A quick trolley ride transports you to the cobblestone district of Baixa. Or if you choose, be lured off and pampered in the resort cities of Cascais and Estoril.
- Fatima, the village where numerous sightings of the Blessed Virgin Mary have been reported.
- Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, or Jeronimo's Monastery, the remarkable 15th monastery that is a beautiful and unique example of Manueline architecture.
- Explore the streets of Lisbon from Rossio Square to the main thoroughfare, the Avenida da Liberdade. Visit the monastery and the Maritime Museum, which houses miniature boats and original maps chronicling the history of navigation from the Middle Ages to today.
- Sintra, one of the most beautiful palaces in Portugal, and once the summer residence of Portuguese kings and aristocrats.