Situated on the Iberian peninsula in the south-west of Europe, Portugal is the most western part of mainland Europe. Sandwiched between Spain to the north and east and the Atlantic to the west and south, Portugal's borders have remained settled for hundreds of years. Portugal has three main rivers which dissect the country into three. The Minho river in the north forms part of its northern boundary and cuts through the mountainous regions of the north which extend down into the Douro valley to the south. South of the Douro river the mountains slope down into central Portugal and the plains surrounding the Tejo river. Below this are the regions of Alentejo and the Algarve. Alentejo is the largest yet least densely populated area of Portugal and is a region of wide open inland spaces with a coastline of high cliffs and small cove beaches.
Out into the Atlantic are the Azores, an archipelago consisting of nine islands, and Madeira, also form part of Portugal and offer breath taking views and tropical climate all year round.
Portuguese is spoken by all of the 10million people of Portugal. The little known language of Mirandese, is also recognised as a co-official language in some municipalities in the north east, however it retains less than 5000 native speakers today.