Portugal is a country
located in Southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the westernmost
country of mainland Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west
and south and by Spain to the north and east. The Atlantic archipelagos of the
Azores and Madeira are Portuguese territory as well. The country is named after
its second largest city, Porto, whose Latin name was Portus Cale.
Portugal is one of most visited countries in the world, receiving millions
foreign tourists each year. Tourism is playing an increasingly important role in
Portugal's economy. Tourist hotspots in Portugal are Lisbon, Algarve and
Madeira. The Portuguese government continues to promote and develop new tourist
destinations, such as the Douro Valley, the island of Porto Santo, and Alentejo.
The main tourist regions can be broken-down into: the Greater Lisbon
(Portuguese: Lisboa), the Algarve, Greater Porto and Northern Portugal
(Portuguese: Porto and Norte), the Portuguese Islands (Portuguese: Ilhas
Portuguesas: Madeira and Azores), and Alentejo. Other tourist regions include
Douro Sul, Templários, Dão-Lafões, Costa do Sol, Costa Azul, Planície Dourada,
that are unknown to many tourists or visitors.
Most of these regions are grouped in tourism reference areas, which continue to
be in a state of reorganization and evolution, some based on the traditional
regions of Portugal: the Costa Verde (Green Coast); Costa da Prata (Silver
Coast)); Costa de Lisboa (Lisbon Coast); Montanhas (Mountains); Planícies
(Plains); Algarve; and the islands of the archipelagos of Madeira and the