To say that Portugal is emerging as a hot spot for tourism in Europe would be a significant understatement. It is also an emerging destination for Portugal River Cruises. Truth be told, the country is now on the radars of many seasoned travelers; yet that’s a relatively new development, which many people may find surprising given Portugal’s rich history and the fact that the country’s borders have not changed in 900 years. Portugal’s limited tourism throughout much of the 20th century is linked to a military dictatorship that stripped the country of much of its wealth and limited its advancement alongside the rest of Western Europe. A political upheaval in 1974 transformed the Iberian nation into a Democracy, and twelve years later Portugal joined the European Union. Those two events helped to revitalize the country; and as tourism slowly expanded, word soon spread of the wonders found within those ancient borders.
Portugal benefits from a unique location along the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula. And because the country stretches along most of the North-South axis of the peninsula, a Scenic Portugal river cruise provides the opportunity to explore a broad range of climates and landscapes, all relatively close to one another. In the north, lush, vine- and- tree-covered mountains dominate the terrain, which transitions to rockier mountains punctuated by steep slopes as one heads south. The desert-like Alentejo region covers much of the southern half of the country, but it gives way to the Algarve, a stretch of sun-soaked beaches and golf resorts that run along the Mediterranean coast.