Often overlooked for its popular European cousins, Lisbon specializes in lulling tourists into its laid-back charm. Perched atop seven hills, its alleyways wind between colorful, centuries-old buildings. Fanciful St. George's Castle peeks out to the skyline, lending an Old World-mystery to the burgeoning cosmopolitan city. And despite the modern sleek buildings that are slowly rising throughout the city, village life holds strong.
Porto has long been a hot destination for wine lovers – it's the go-to place to find the best of that sweet, tasty port wine. But this city by the sea has more to offer than vinho. Porto (or Oporto, as it's sometimes called) is an attractive European minimetropolis on Portugal's northwestern coast where visitors can get their fill of culture and the outdoors. Travelers can visit the city's wealth of museums, admire its varied architecture, relax in its verdant parks and, of course, hit the beach.
The Azores (pronounced "ah-SORSH" by locals) is the kind of place you'd imagine to be the backdrop of a fantasy novel. That kind of end-of-the-earth setting where the characters encounter mystical creatures, bewitching lands and elixirs that give you magical powers. In a way, the Azores is that fantastical place. The Azores, a group of nine islands located about 1,000 miles off the coast of mainland Portugal, were formed by a series of earthquakes and eruptions that took place thousands of years ago. Its Atlantic climate has given way to evergreen vegetation to take hold of its remaining debris, resulting in landscapes that are otherworldly and ripe for exploration.
Best Places to Visit in Europe