Portugal is blessed with amazing beaches along its extensive coastline and is perfect for sunbathers and water-sports fans. Sea life enthusiasts will enjoy dolphin and whale-watching tours off the Algarve coastline and Lisbon's Oceanário aquarium. There is more to Portugal: Roman and Caliphate occupations and later conflicts with France and Spain have left their mark with numerous castles and fortifications, including the Silves (or Xelb) Castle built to protect the Moorish capital in the Algarve, the Castelo de Guimarães where Portugal's first monarch was born and the formidable star-shaped fortifications around Elvas. An abundance of magnificent palaces and religious architecture includes the fairytale Pena Palace and the grandiose Mosteiro Pálacio Nacional de Mafra. Walkers will relish the 8 km Passadiços do Paiva scenic walkway through the Arouca Geopark, passing waterfalls and serene pools. For kids, attractions include plenty of water parks, especially around Lisbon and the Algarve.