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One of the oldest nations in Europe, Portugal has a rich history which can still be explored in the intriguing towns and churches that are dotted across its varied landscape. Spend your time hiking through olive groves. Laze on long sandy shores and surf along Atlantic waves. Visit historic villages and eat custard tarts sprinkled with powdered cinnamon. The north has lush valleys, vineyards, Baroque mansions, and spectacular scenery in the Parque Nacional da Peneda-Geres. The Beiras region presents a white-sand coastline along the Atlantic, forest-clad mountains and includes the ancient university town of Coimbra. Lisbon, the capital, is a city of fado music and seafaring history, featuring winding medieval streets and buildings of crumbling grandeur. In the south, the Algarve boasts orange groves, rugged cliffs and fabulous beaches. Portugal's hostels offer accommodation and a range of activities in the most enticing parts of the country.