Portugal is blessed with over 3000 hours of sunshine a year and here, your spot in the sun can be on the unspoilt Atlantic coast, in the Algarve, the countryside inland, on a golf course or out at sea on a yacht. Portugal is a little place with a lot to do on a luxury holiday. The Algarve is one of the sunniest places around with some of the best beaches in Europe, a perfect escape for all the family. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced many aspects of its culture: salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes, the Algarve's beaches are a major destination and much of the nation’s architecture dates to the 1500s–1800s, when Portugal had a powerful maritime empire. Portugal's eclectic countryside is revealed in lush vineyards and sprawling olive groves, with small medieval villages that time forgot dotted throughout. The historic North is rich in culture, expounding strong maritime, ecclesiastical and literary traditions. The food across Portugal is wonderful, with the Algarve in the south being particularly famous for its fresh fish and seafood.