Photographer's Note

DISCOVER PORTUGAL

An independent kingdom since 1143, Portugal established its continental frontiers in 1297 and is one of the oldest nations in Europe.

Situated on the west side of the Iberian Peninsula, its geographic location along the Atlantic coast soon determined its vocation to the sea.

In 1415, the Portuguese set sail on an epic voyage that would make them the first to discover the ocean routes to India, Brazil, China and Japan, and at the same time founded settlements on the east and west coasts of Africa.

Traces of this worldwide historic presence may be seen as trademarks of the Portuguese genius. The Portuguese language became one of the most widely spoken in the world, and the Portuguese people were privileged for being exposed to so many different civilizations. The vast monumental, artistic and archaeological heritage does witness not only the 850 years of history of encounters with distant cultures, but also the presence in the territory of more ancient peoples (Celts, Suevians, Visigoths, Romans and Arabs).

The natural advantages of a sunny country with such diverse geographic features have turned Portugal into a chosen destination for many holidaymakers, an ideal place for practicing water sports and playing golf, offering modern tourism facilities, and quaint and personalized means of accommodation, such as turismo de habitao (privately owned homes ranging from wonderful farmhouses to manor houses), hotis de charme or pousadas.

A member-country of the European Union since 1986, Portugal currently enjoys a steady economic growth. For centuries Portugal has kept the greatest treasure of a renowned reputation for hospitality that makes the country a haven of congeniality and safety.

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Additional Photos by Jorge Jacinto (JorgeJacinto) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 164 W: 0 N: 130] (1033)
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