Situated on the west side of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal’s location on the Atlantic Ocean not only means that fantastic water sporting facilities are on offer through most of the luxury hotels but that the country has a rich sea-faring past. One of the oldest nations in Europe, its numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the vast range of architectural styles bear testament to the different ancient peoples, including Celts, Suevians, Visigoths, Romans and Arabs, who arrived by sea and made Portugal their home. By taking a holiday in Portugal one gets to enjoy the diverse landscapes which include superb beach resorts, quaint little towns, sweeping mountain ranges, amazing golf courses, port wine vineyards and The Douro Valley with its expansive panoramas.
To the extreme south, The Algarve, a golfer’s paradise, offers superb sandy beaches broken up by grottos and soaring red cliffs on its south coast, while the north, sheltered by the ranges of Espinhaço de Cão, Monchique and Caldeirão, is verdant and dotted with fig trees, orange groves and almond trees.
The subtropical island of Madeira which hosts many resorts, lies over 960 kilometres southwest of Lisbon and is famous for its rugged volcanic beauty and hearty wine of the same name. Amazing bird sanctuaries, wildlife reserves and fine beaches can be found a short boat trip away. Wherever one goes in Portugal, the pace of life is slow, making it the ideal place to wind down.