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The Flying Man

One of the most inventive characters of the 18th century must surely have been Bartolomeu Lourenço de Gusmão, the Brazilian-born genius who created the earliest known flying machine he christened the Passarola, a fire-powered aircraft which he showcased to Portugal's king and queen in Lisbon's Terreiro do Paço square on the 8th of August 1709.

The Spa Town of Luso

The attractive little town of Luso on the north-west slope of the Serra do Buçaco lies just 3 km from the northern tip of Buçaco National Park, one of the jewels in the Centro tourist region's crown.

The Last Old Place

Latin but not Mediterranean, cosmopolitan but not over-crowded, Portugal is a country where a large percentage of people live as they've always lived, in small, peaceful villages far away from busy main roads and heavy traffic.

Mother of All Parties

Put a note in your diary, June is the month when Lisbon explodes into life with dancing in the streets and sardines sizzling on every corner. It's the month of the Santos Populares or Festas de Lisboa.

The City of Viseu

Surrounded by vineyards, orchards and pine-forests, the charming city of Viseu has been a major crossroads since the time of the Romans who chose its site for a military camp, one of the largest in the Iberian Peninsula. Traditionally, it is also the birthplace of Viriatus the Lusitanian who died in 146 BC after defying the Roman legions for five years before the Roman Decimus Junius Brutus established the camp there in 138 BC.

The Magnificent Jerónimos Monastery

When visitors arrive in Lisbon's historical centre of Belém, the first building they see is the imposing Jerónimos Monastery, impressive for its sheer size and without doubt one of the most spectacular monuments in the whole of Europe.

The Historic Town of Tomar

Situated in a large and beautiful valley on the banks of the River Nabão in central Portugal, Tomar is very closely linked to the Knights Templar and one of the most important chapters of Portuguese history.

The Allure of the Alentejo

With its colourful vistas, wide-open roads and dazzling whitewashed villages, the great expanse of the Alentejo is perhaps the most vivid of Portugal’s landscapes. Occupying nearly a third of the mainland, the region is most dazzling in springtime when wild flowers saturate the lush meadows and pastures.

The Estufa Fria Plantation

One of Lisbon's lesser-known but extremely pleasant tourist attractions is Estufa Fria, formerly known as the Winter Garden, a horticultural wonderland of tropical plants and flowers hidden away in the north-west corner of the city's centrally-located Edward the Seventh Park (Parque Eduardo VII).

A Long and Chequered Past

Having existed as a country for almost nine centuries, Portugal is one of the oldest places in Europe with strong traces of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic culture to be seen across the land. Most notable of these are the collective tombs cut out of the rock at Palmela, Cascais and Alapraia near Estoril.

The Resort Town of Cascais

With its picturesque beaches and quaint fishing boat-bobbing waters, Cascais is far removed from the hustle and bustle of nearby Lisbon.

The Cristo Rei Statue

Visible from most parts of Lisbon and beyond, the imposing statue of Christ the King (Cristo Rei) stands a striking 82 metres (270 feet) high on its angular pedestal overlooking the south bank of the River Tagus.