On the west of the Iberian Peninsula, the borders of Portugal have changed little since it first became an independent nation in the 12th century. The country is framed by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east, with mountain ranges and the Minho and Guadiana rivers marking the frontier with Portugal’s Spanish neighbours.
People in Portugal are typically a laid-back and friendly bunch, whilst the diversity of the country, with its forests and mountains inland and coastline of fantastic beaches and colourful cities, provides plenty of adventures and lasting memories for visitors.
Indeed, Portugal’s two main cities – Lisbon and Porto – reflect the former prestige and power which the country achieved as a sea-fairing superpower in the 14th to 18th centuries, with expansion to South America and parts of Africa and Asia making this small nation once very rich. The diversity and multiculturalism in Portugal’s big cities are sensed in the Angolan, Brazilian and Mozambican influences of contemporary Portuguese culture.
In the south of the country is the Algarve International Circuit close to Portimão, in the Algarve, Portugal’s most popular region for holidaymakers, with fantastic beaches and a superb climate all year round.