I've been to Portugal a few times and loved every minute of it, the last
time being April 2000, but just for three days. The whole countryside
was bathed in blooming Wisteria - a sight to behold. We based ourselves
in Ericea which we just happened upon after spending a day of meandering
the countryside, which is a fishing village on the west coast. (the quick
way is a 30 min. highway drive from the airport at Lisbon) Our last night
was spent at a musical concert in their lovely new centre - we were the
only tourists! The Lisbon Portuguese come on the weekends - this is now
their weekend getaway since the Algarve has become too commercial. We
spent a day visiting the monastery at (I hope I have it right) Matra -
not to be missed.
On previous visits we rented a car for three weeks and drove around the country staying only is pousadas - quite a treat. We particularly loved the north. My husband was a photographer so I now have lovely memories of all the out-of-way places we visited.