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Holidays in Portugal
The Algarve, southern Portugal, is par excellence. An international tourist hub, including many national and Europeans, particularly British. The weather and water temperature are the main factors contributing to the huge growth of tourism in this region.
Lisbon already attracts many tourists with its history and monuments (such as the Aqueduct, the Cathedral, the Pombaline, the Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery). Its major tourist attractions are the National Museums of Ancient Art, Coach and Tile, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Centro Cultural de Belém and São Carlos National Theatre. Also the Lisbon Oceanarium, the nightlife and the whole area surrounding the premises of the World Expo 1998.
The Setúbal Peninsula has many natural and cultural characteristics emphasizing the Capuchin Convent, beaches and Almada Sesimbra, the natural bay of Seixal, the salt of Alcochete, the tide mills, the typical boats of the Tagus and Sado, the old fishing villages and across the river fauna and flora.
In the north, Porto is the city that has gained a prominent place in the cultural panorama of the country and Europe. It was the European Capital of Culture in 2001. The Serralves Foundation and the Casa da Musica are a must see, plus the Tower of the Clerics (ex-libris of the city) also highlighting the Teatro Nacional São João, the Gardens of the Crystal Palace and the entire area of the centers history.
Madeira & Azores
Madeira is also an international tourist attraction, with its mild climate and lush landscapes and at New Year has the greatest show of fireworks in the world. Its know also for its flowers, the internationally known Madeira wine and its characteristic cuisine.
The World Heritage
On the World Heritage list are the historic centers of Porto, Angra Heroism, Guimarães, Évora and Sintra. Also on the list are Jeronimos Monastery, Tower of Belem, the Monastery of Alcobaça Monastery of Batalha, the Convento de Cristo in Tomar, the rock art sites in the Coa Valley, the Forest laurel forest of Madeira, and the wine landscapes and Pico Alto Douro Wine Region.
The Algarve and Madeira are the perfect places to play golf, top of the list for Portuguese and foreign tourists. Portugal is a country where there is, besides many other sports, surfing.
Among the best spots are Guincho, Peniche, Ericeira Carcavelos, St. Peter and St. John Estoril, Costa da Caparica and St.Torpes.
Other major tourist attractions are the cities of Braga (Historical Center, Bom Jesus and Bracalândia), Viseu (Centro Historico, and Castle Theatre), Chaves (historical center and spa), Coimbra (university, Jewry and Little Portugal), Vila Real (Solar de Mateus and Municipal Theater), and the surrounding region Covilhã (Serra da Estrela), the Historic Villages of Beira Baixa and Beira Alta, Monsaraz and Marvão.
Portuguese forests also attract many touists, most notably the Portuguese National Park (the Peneda-Geres).