Portugal attracts many tourists each year; its one of the most beautiful destination in Europe, the country was visited by 12.8 million tourists, The main tourist areas are, by order of importance, the Greater Lisbon (Lisboa), the Algarve, Greater Porto and Northern Portugal (Porto e Norte), Portuguese Islands (Ilhas Portuguesas: Madeira and Azores), and Alentejo, Lisbon is, after Barcelona, the European city attracting most tourists, with 7 million tourists, the number grew 11.8% compared to previous years, Lisbon in recent years surpassed the Algarve as the leading tourist region in Portugal. Porto and Northern Portugal, especially the urban areas north of Douro River, was the tourist destination which grew most (11.9%) in last year and surpassed Madeira, as the third most visited destination. Today, most tourists in Portugal are British, French, Spanish or German, travel in low cost airliners, and are not only in search of the beach and the sun, but mostly searching culture, city breaks, gastronomy, nautical tourism or travel in business.
Tourist hotspots in Portugal are Lisbon, the Algarve and Madeira, but the Portuguese government is currently developing new destinations: the Douro Valley, Porto Santo Island, and Alentejo, Portugal has several other tourism regions such as Douro Sul, Templários, Dão-Lafões, Costa do Sol, Costa Azul, Planície Dourada, etc. Most of them are unknown to tourists and locals alike, these are being reorganized, and all these regions are grouped in tourism reference areas, which are widely known due to the fact that these are the traditional regions.
Costa Verde — the Portuguese green coast comprises all the northern coast of Portugal from the estuary of the Minho River to the city of Porto.
Costa de Prata — Silver coast. The coast of central Portugal from Porto to Lisbon. Nazaré, Foz de Arelho and São Martinho do Porto are 3 important places at the Costa de Prata.
Costa de Lisboa — Lisbon coast. The coast of the capital city and its important suburbs.
Montanhas — Mountainous and interior regions of northern and central Portugal, namely Serra da Estrela and Trás-os-Montes.