The Itinerary: Portugal

Achim Bednorz/Arcaid/Corbis

From Lisbon to Porto, spectacular seafood, off-the-beaten-path finds and a reverence for tradition abound.

A bit more formal and conservative than the Spanish, the Portuguese hold tight to their traditions. They love to show visitors the old soul of Portugal, graciously offering opportunities to experience it. (The financial crisis there, which appears to be easing, is deeply embarrassing to them.)

At the same time, amid the devotion to centuries-old cultural constants—seafood, port, blue-and-white tilework—there is a surprising willingness to modernize and update local customs and attractions. Only, of course, if done with proper respect to the past.

This itinerary, concentrated in Lisbon and the area surrounding Porto, works well for an extra-long weekend, providing a pleasurable taste of Portugal old and new.