Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced many aspects of its culture: salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes, the Algarve’s beaches are a major destination and much of the nation’s architecture dates to the 1500s–1800s, when Portugal had a powerful maritime empire. 

Lisbon is set among hilly cobbled streets, and the coast that gives way from the colourful capital is the stuff of dreams with quaint seaside towns and golden beaches. Further south, the Algarve has excellent golf, Blue Flag shores and family-friendly attractions too.

Whichever patch of the country you plump for, all parts take pride in their love for good food, good wine and good times. Cinnamon-sprinkled custard tarts, grilled sardines, crisp wine and velvety port are all national treasures, so sampling them is a rite of passage for any holiday to Portugal.

NOTE UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice.