The Rarities of Arrábida

Towering over Lisbon's southern coastline, the great limestone ridge of the Serra da Arrábida, 40 km south of the city and clearly visible from its higher points, is home to the world’s oldest living examples of Mediterranean vegetation.
 

The City of Bragança

Situated high on a plateau near Portugal’s north-eastern frontier with Spain, the ancient city of Bragança was once the seat of the Dukes of Bragança, Portugal's fourth and final dynasty, which ruled the country from 1640 to 1910.
 

Port's Past and Present

It seems that Portugal's much-celebrated port wine was invented by chance. A shortage of French claret at the end of the 17th century had wealthy wine connoisseurs searching for suitable alternatives.
 

Giving Lisbon a Lift

The world's most original and attractive elevator tower is a filigree-style metal construction looming over downtown Lisbon.
 

Wild at Heart

The Iberian wolf might be an endangered species but several of them can be seen roaming free at the Centro de Recuperação do Lobo Ibérico (CRLI) near Mafra in central Portugal.
 

A Prized Writer

Recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, José Saramago was one of the most thought-provoking and influential novelists of our age, winning a succession of prestigious awards and literary accolades during his lifetime.
 

The Town of Nordeste

Largely unspoilt by the effects of modern development, Nordeste is a small outpost situated at the north-eastern tip of São Miguel island in the Azores.
 

The Winds of War

Napoleon's attempts to conquer the Iberian Peninsula came to an abrupt halt when his army under Marshall Massena encountered the Lines of Torres Vedras, a defensive stronghold designed to protect the Portuguese capital.
 

Let There Be Light

Benfica's magnificent Stadium of Light is a modern version of the one built in the early 1950s, which began life as a large open bowl before floodlights were added four years later.
 

Bar Excellence

One of the most inspired drinking establishments in the heart of the Portuguese capital is undoubtedly Pavilhão Chinês, whose previous incarnations include a theatre and grocery store.
 

The Town of Monchique

Tucked away in the Algarve hills, the small spa town of Monchique is popular for its bicarbonated spring waters, rich in sodium and flouride and known to aid respiratory problems and various other ailments.
 

Dolphins' Delight

It's extremely rare to see a large pod of bottlenose dolphins in European waters, but happily a family of three dozen or so are a regular sight in the Sado Estuary south of Lisbon.
 

Maximum Momentum

The Maximum Surfcamp in Peniche has capitalised on the town's rise to fame as a first-choice surfing destination by launching a value-added low season package between November and March priced from €199 per person per week, including accommodation and free use of all necessary equipment, most importantly surfboards and wet suits.
 

The Final Frontier

There's no place in Portugal as remote as Corvo, a single volcanic crater island set bold as brass in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
 

That Fado Feeling

Portugal's ever-popular and intensely heartfelt national song is known as fado. It holds UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage of Humanity award and is celebrated the world over as a major performing art.
 

The Águas Livres Aqueduct

Built in the 18th century, Lisbon's aqueduct has 109 arches in all and stretches 19 kilometres (11 miles) from Caneças to the Casa de Água reservoir in the city’s Amoreiras district.
 

The City of Guimarães

Celebrated as the cradle of the Portuguese nation, Guimarães played an important role in many of the events that led to the country's independence and witnessed the birth of Afonso Henriques I.
 

The Tea Queen

Although Catarina de Bragança, the queen-consort of Charles II, didn't introduce tea to England, she certainly made the afternoon tea dance fashionable and due to her influence it became a much more widely drunk beverage.
 

Poetry in Commotion

Portugal's most celebrated poet, Luís Vaz de Camões (c. 1524-1580), lived an extraordinarily eventful life by any stretch of the imagination. As a young man he fought in Morocco and paid with the loss of an eye, followed by a period of imprisonment in Lisbon for taking part in a street fight. He was released on condition that he served the king's militia in India, thus flinging him into a reckless and dangerous life of adventure.
 

Birds of a Feather

Portugal is synonymous with bird-watching; the two go hand-in-hand. Rich in both salt and freshwater wetlands, the country has a great abundance of birdlife all year round, some of which is quite rare. The combined characteristics of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts attract a wider variety of species than many other destinations. Indeed, it's a preferred place of permanent habitation for many birds and an ideal spot for extended stopovers for others during migration.
 

Footloose in Lisbon

Compact and cosmopolitan, Lisbon is a walker's dream come true. There's much that can be seen in just a couple of hours, with plenty of refreshments available along the way.
 

The Town of Porto Moniz

Set high on a hill looking over the seafront, Porto Moniz is a remote coastal town located at the north-westernmost point of Madeira, well sheltered by a narrow peninsula that points toward a picturesque islet called Ilhéu Mole.
 

The Town of Lagos

The Moors, Romans and Phoenicians helped create the charming town of Lagos in the western Algarve and parts of its ancient wall still stand guard. A modern statue of Henry the Navigator holding a sextant and gazing out to sea recalls the port’s most memorable role in Portugal's history.
 

A Family Affair

Lawrence's has a history like no other place in Portugal. Arguably the second-oldest hotel establishment in Europe, and without doubt the most ancient in all the Iberian Peninsula, it is intimate enough for guests to quickly absorb its exquisite 18th-century character.
 

Fit for a Queen

Enveloped in a Moorish wall, the diminutive whitewashed village of Óbidos was deemed so enchanting that it was gifted to a queen, not once but many times throughout the centuries.
 

The Village of Sintra

Lying at the east end of a rocky range of mountains just 26 km west of the centre of Lisbon, the fairy-tale setting of Sintra is one of the oldest places in Portugal.
 

River of Gold

Iberia's third longest river, the majestic Rio Douro, gathers waters from over fifty major tributaries to form the peninsula's largest river basin.
 

The Town of Amarante

Situated 56 km east of Porto, the pretty town of Amarante is set immaculately along the banks of the River Tâmega.
 

In the Pink

1942 was a very turbulent year but it did spawn one of the world's most iconic and popular table wines.
 

Way Out West

Recalling times from days gone by, Aldeia da Cuada on Flores in the Azores is a rare treat on the very western edge of Europe.
 

Mother of All Parties

Put a note in next year's diary, June is the month when Lisbon explodes into life with dancing in the streets and sardines sizzling on every corner - it is the month of the Santos Populares (Popular Saints).
 

Beacon of Faith

Over four million people visit a village called Fátima in the centre of Portugal each year where three children saw the Virgin Mary almost a century ago.
 

A Fish for All Occasions

The versatility of the dried salted cod known as bacalhau has long-established it as the Portuguese national dish.
 

World's Smallest Guesthouse

Blink and you might easily miss the Portuguez Inn as you stroll down Rua Dom Frei Caetano Brandão in the northern city of Braga - but that's the whole point.
 

A Seafaring Story

The history of Portugal's ground-breaking association with the seas spanned a hundred years from 1415-1515. Widely labelled as the Age of the Discoveries, this epoch-making period saw Portuguese navigators sail across uncharted seas to break out of the confines of Europe and discover the New World.
 

Sounds of a Nation

Portugal has a rich musical heritage, flavoured by the meanderings of early medieval troubadours when Europe's south-westernmost country ruled half the world. Today it's the soulful ballads of the fervent fado singers in Lisbon's ancient Alfama and Bairro Alto quarters who continue to entrance visitors from far-away lands.
 

The Best of Belém

Take a stroll down Lisbon's memory lane, in the historic square mile of Belém, where Portugal's fearless adventurers set sail for unknown lands in the 15th century.
 

All the Fury of Furnas

One of Europe’s best-kept spa secrets is Furnas, a live volcanic showpiece located on the eastern side of São Miguel island in the Azores.
 

All Quiet in the Atlantic

Ocean hideaways don't get much more idyllic than Porto Santo, a pretty volcanic island off the Moroccan coast near Madeira.