Take a new adventure this summer. Experience Portugal.
Sharing a border with Spain, Portugal occupies the westernmost portion of the Iberian peninsula. Despite being a similar size to Maine, Portugal has a diverse history and culture that rivals its larger European counterparts. Similarly to Spain, you can see the impact of Roman and Moorish empires on the Iberian Peninsula. Ancient ruins and intricately designed architecture immediately catch the eye, with stone castles and fortifying walls running throughout the hilltops as reminders of the past. Beyond architecture, the Portuguese have a rich history of exploration, pioneering the Age of Discovery and European colonialism.
Grab a freshly baked loaf of bread, local cheese, and some smoked meats to enjoy some of the simple traditions of Portuguese food. Maybe instead you go for chargrilled fish or cataplana (a traditional seafood stew). No matter what you want, Portuguese food mixes the harvests from the countryside and the wealth of coastline, and you can always finish it off with a glass of northern Portugal's prized Port wine for dessert.
On the weekends, you can easily access Portugal's diverse set of natural beauty. From hiking in national parks to walking along cliffs on the Atlantic coast, there is no shortage of views throughout the country. To offset the rocky cliffs, you can take a relaxing day on a sandy beach and kick your feet up after a long week.
The Portuguese people are quite lively and always are looking for a reason to have a festival. Throughout the year there are countless celebrations that give locals a reason to live life to its fullest. Spend your summer with time at a Portuguese festival and living life with the Portuguese people, you won't be disappointed.