More than 90,000 km² represent the area of the country in the South-West of the old continent. As it occupies a large part of the Atlantic coast of the Iberian peninsula, mainland Portugal has a very extensive coastline, which exceeds 1,200 kilometres, to which the coasts of the Azores and Madeira are added. The Tagus naturally divides this country in two, but today we are going to talk about the administrative division, an aspect that has changed over the years and we can summarise today that the Portuguese country has 18 continental districts. However, the most important are 5 main regions (North, Centre, Lisbon Region, Alentejo, the Algarve) and the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.
Northern Portugal is currently the most populated region. It is bordered to the South by the central region, to the North and East by Spain and to the West by the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises 5 municipalities: Porto, Braga, Vila Real, Bragança and Viana do Castelo. It is an area rich in culture and history. Leaving Porto and climbing along the Duero, you can contemplate an exuberant nature. Far from the hustle and bustle of hordes of tourists who fill the Portuguese beaches in the summer, you will find in the North a moment of calm, tranquillity and culture.
> Porto: is the world capital of Northern Portugal. Stroll through its narrow streets to enjoy its authentic culture and smell the aromas of this city. A real warmth emerges from this destination of character that has a lot to offer its visitors. Try the typical gastronomy of the city, take the tram to visit the famous neighbourhoods, stroll through the different markets to smell the aroma of local products...there is so much to see and discover that you will never forget your stay in Porto!
> Viana do Castelo: In this city, also known as "the treasure of the Costa Verde", you will find a mix of medieval buildings and coastal landscapes. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful destinations in Portugal.
> Chaves: in the heart of the province of Trás-os-Montes, Chaves is located around the famous Tâmega River. This ancient Roman city is full of charm and worth seeing. Considered for a long time as the economic heart of its region, Chaves has many things to discover, including culinary specialties such as Pastel de Chaves which will delight the foodies.
> Braga: it represents Portuguese elegance in all its splendour and has places that could be recognised among thousands of others. It was chosen in 2012 as the European Capital of Youth, and is full of activities and unique places to visit, such as Braga Castle or the Basilica de los Congregados.
> Ponte de Lima: located on the banks of the homonymous river, this city surrounded by a valley manages to conquer those who visit it. Its medieval bridge is considered one of the most beautiful in the country, as well as its traditional tiled houses, which will leave you amazed.
It is bordered to the North by the central region, to the Northeast, to the South and East by Alentejo, and to the South and West by the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the country and the largest city in the country. It transcends the ages and is always a must to visit if you choose Portugal as a destination. The city of 7 hills will never cease to amaze you!
Among the most important places of the city are the Belém district and its sublime tower, but also the Jerónimos Monastery. To enjoy breathtaking views and a historic visit, the Sao Jorge Castle is the perfect place. But if you are looking for a more authentic city tour to immerse yourself in the culture, then do not miss the neighbourhood of La Mouraria, where you will find many restaurants that will allow you to discover the Portuguese cuisine. For children, we recommend a visit to the giant aquarium of Lisbon, which presents the ocean with 5 themes. You will discover the seabed and its multicoloured inhabitants.
> Cascais: This former fishing village is located near Lisbon and is the ideal place for water sports enthusiasts who like surfing. Exhibitions of paintings at the Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães, shopping at the Mercado da Vila or relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches. Cascais has everything for you!
> Sintra: Between the hills of the mountains of Serra de Sintra is this wonderful city which benefits from the spectacular landscape of the famous Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais. Although the romantic style of its buildings is what characterises it the most, its imposing Gothic national palace is perhaps the most striking element. Its cobbled streets and traditional houses create a magical atmosphere.
This beautiful region is located in the South-central part of the country and consists of the following regions: Baixo Alentejo, Alto Alentejo, Alentejo Central and Alentejo Litoral. This land of meadows is home to truly impressive places like its capital Évora and the city of Elvas, whose historic centres have been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. For its part, it is the star attraction that Portugal has long kept secret.
> Comporta: it is the lost paradise of Portugal, the most glamorous place of the country, kept secret for a long time. With its wild beaches and pine forests, a visit to Comporta guarantees a real moment of intimacy. A few hours from Lisbon, its most elegant sister offers visitors activities and unique places throughout Portugal.
If you want to enjoy the most authentic atmosphere of the country, marked by tradition, you must not miss: a horseback ride on the beaches, excursions in the desert, lunch in delicious restaurants and a tour of the picturesque city. Comporta is a magical city that seems to have been gently laid on a strip of white sand. Let yourself be seduced by the waves and discover this city that combines luxury and tradition in a perfect way.
Its limit lies by the North region, to the South by the regions of Alentejo and Lisbon. To the West, it is the Atlantic and to the East is Spain. It mainly includes the districts of Castelo Branco and Coimbra.
> The city of Coimbra: characterised by its narrow and picturesque streets and its medieval arcades, it houses the oldest university in the country and one of the oldest in Europe and is still active. In addition, the complex boasts a truly impressive network of buildings and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This destination offers something that will captivate the little ones: Portugal dos Pequenitos, a miniature world focused on children's leisure and learning the way of life of the past.
> Castelo Branco: narrow streets that hide sixteenth century houses proudly displaying the typical ornamentation of the time, an imposing medieval castle, river beaches, gardens of a palace and a marked trace of the past in its historical centre. With all this and much more, Castelo Branco becomes an essential place of the Centro Region of Portugal.
This region in Southern Portugal, bordered by Alentejo in the North and Andalusia in the East, is the most visited in the country. The Algarve is appreciated for its beaches and its exceptional sunshine. It also offers incredible places for hiking or mountain biking and discovering the wild nature of Portugal.
> Faro: Explore the narrow streets of its charming historic centre. Faro becomes the perfect opportunity to stroll quietly away from hordes of tourists. Discover the history of this region of the Algarve and immerse yourself in a unique atmosphere. This destination has a lot to offer to those who take the trouble to visit it. Do not miss the Sé Cathedral in Faro, an emblematic monument of the city radiating charm. A true mosaic of styles concentrated in a single building with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance influences.
> Tavira: this port city is a small treasure of the Algarve region! This charming place extends along a river, which creates a quiet atmosphere in the place: a true paradise. Inside its historic centre, you can visit its churches and small cobblestone streets that represent the quintessence of Portugal.
> Lagos: It is a tourist town in the Algarve region, but it is nonetheless picturesque. This authentic corner offers many places to visit, such as the Ponta da Bandeira fort or the former slave market. You get lost in the alleys of the historic centre and admire the charm of the Municipal Market, the central square of the city.
> Sagres: right next to Cap St Vincent, Sagres is a must during a stay in the Algarve! Here you can do a lot of activities like surfing, hiking or a walk along the coast to admire the cliffs. This is the perfect place if you want some peace and quiet away from the multitude of tourists who come to the beaches during the summer. To enjoy a day at the beach, do not hesitate to visit Praia da Mareta, Praia do Tonel or Praia da Baleeira. Do not miss a visit to the fortress of Sagres for a moment rich in discoveries and in history.
> Quinta do Lago: one of the most exclusive tourist resorts of Portugal and the most famous of the Algarve is also a must. With a beautiful beach and a golf course with endless possibilities, this destination is perfect for those who want to practice this sport during their holidays. Quinta do lago is the ideal combination of luxury, tranquillity and comfort.