Enjoy a rockin' nightlife in the major cities, lazily savor the scenery in medieval villages, or take your time absorbing the grandeur of the country's culture, castles and cathedrals in still sunny, still affordable Portugal.
The lovely capital city of Lisbon is the place to start, with a quick hop on the Metro or take the tram - especially for the steep climb to the Castle of St George - perched high atop one of Lisbon's seven hills, and offering visitors one of the best views of the city from its ramparts.
A short hop to Sintra with its massive fortress looming high above the picturesque town almost guarantees unforgettable photos and memories. A day trip from Lisbon may also include the medieval walled town of Evora offering a mix of beautiful country charm as well the macabre -- at the The Chapel of Bones lined with the skulls, femurs and tibias of thousands of the dead.
More religious associations also abound with a nearby journey to Fatima, the religious capital of Portugal where Our Lady of Fatima is said to have appeared in 1917.
Top tourist attractions in Portugal include St. George's Castle in Lisbon (left); the glorious public
gardens of Funchal, in Madiera (middle); and world class surfing along the coast at Ericeira (right).
Further afield lies Madeira, synonymous with its rich wine of the same name, which has been made on the island for hundreds of years. The region's capital, Funchal, is a wonderful town overlooking a tranquil harbor surrounded by beautiful gardens and green mountains.
What remains of Portugal is an intriguing mix of mountains, arid plains, volcanic islands and -- owing to its position along the Atlantic -- a magnificent
528-mile stretch of sandy Portugal beaches. And that includes one of the world's top rated surfing areas at Ericeira.
Finally, if you have the time and the travel budget also don't miss an unforgettable tour of the beautiful Azores Islands, a quick two-hour plane ride from Lisbon.
• In 2011, Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara caught the biggest wave (90 ft) ever surfed at Praia do Norte.
• The distinct sound you hear in Portuguese music is called Fado, the traditional genre that is often described as Portuguese soul music.
• The Portuguese Water Dog has been claimed to be a hypoallergenic dog breed in part because they do not shed. The breed made the headlines when U.S. President Barack Obama and his family adopted one as a pet in 2008.
• Although Portugal has given us explorers like Vasco de Gama and Ferdinand Magellan, today the most world famous person from Portugal is soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
More about Portugal tourist attractions around the Web:
Virtual Portugal - Online travel brochure covering the entire country with information on major cities and towns along the coast, up north, in the Alentejo and Argave regions, plus the complete Lisbon-in-your-pocket guide.
Travel Guide - Europe for Visitors - One-stop browsing for everything Lisbon - including guides & links to its culture & history, major attractions, hotels & restaurants, shopping, picture galleries, Web cams, and more.