Portugal, Europe's hottest holiday destination, is now a member of tourism's major league alongside its exuberant neighbour Spain. A nation with a long sea-faring tradition, Portugal has one indisputable asset: some of the most beautiful coastline in Europe. From the wild coasts of the Alentejoto the beautiful beaches of the Algarve, there's plenty of room for sun-worshippers, surfers and hikers - with the exception perhaps of the highly prized seaside resorts around Faro.
A gentle sea breeze even makes its way into the winding alleyways and twisting flights of steps of Lisbonand Porto, both great places to explore at your leisure and on foot. With so much on offer, a couple of hours spent wandering around is rarely wasted in Portugal. And although the country is turned resolutely towards the choppy waters of the Atlantic, the towns and countryside inland both conceal great riches. Locations such as historic Evora, a living museum with a strong Moorish feel, the fairy-tale palaces ofSintraand the terraced vineyards of the Douro valleyall make Portugal a treasure trove for tourists.