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Portugal Tourist Attractions


General Information

Portugal is a beautiful and extremely interesting country for tourists located in the western edge of Europe and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. The area of Portugal includes also the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira. Portugal is a republic with a capital in Lisbon and a population consisting in 99% of native Portuguese people; the majority of inhabitants are Catholic.

Portugal is mainly a mountain and highland country. Lowlands are located along coasts and in the river valleys of the Tagus and Sado. South from the river mouth of the Duero, there are coastal and sandy plains of central Portugal. By the lower part of the Tag and the Sado River, there is the plain of south Portugal. Portugal is an extremely beautiful part of Europe, abundant in rivers, forests and valleys in the north and with diversified coastal line full of beaches, cliffs and caves in the south. It is a country whose landscapes change diametrically at short distances.

Its geographic location at the place where routes from Africa and America cross, had also a decisive impact on its history and the great geographical discoveries made by Portuguese discoverers. At the beginning of 15th century, Portuguese sailors stared to reach the western coasts of Africa, India, Indonesia and China and reached also South America. Portugal was at that time a land of discoverers, colonizers and the center of international trade.

The golden era” of this country was put to an end together with the inquisition and as a result, the country was annexed to Spain and the national culture was repressed. Portugal regained its independence in the middle of the 17th century but it never regained its previous importance. The invasion of Napoleonic troops in the 19th century, loss of its colonies in Brazil and the civil war resulted in a fact that Portugal became one of the most under-developed countries in Europe. Throughout many decades of the 20th century, Portugal was under the dictatorship of many commanders and finally in the 70’s, as a result of coup d’etat called “ the carnation Revolution”, the dictatorship was put to en end and an open and pro-European policy was commenced in Portugal. In 1993, Portugal became a member of the European Union.

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