Nestled between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, it’s no surprise that Portugal has abundant seafood and beautiful beaches. Yet the landscape unfolds in astonishing variety from the coastline to the lush vineyards of the Douro River Valley to a mountainous, green interior dotted with castles. Celtic, Roman, and Islamic influences are evident in the land and its people, whose apparent reserve belies a welcoming and friendly nature. From big cities to tiny villages, a popular pursuit is to meet with friends and family and linger over strong coffee and pastries as the hours glide by.

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