Lonely Planet dubs Portugal third best country to visit in 2018

Portugal has been named the third best country to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet in the travel guide book publisher’s annual Best In Travel book.

“Portugal has emerged from the long shadow cast by neighbouring Spain, seizing the spotlight as a dynamic centre for art, culture and cuisine,” the publisher writes.

It adds: “A spate of artfully designed museums have opened in the past two years, there’s now a celebrated microbrewery scene, and rock-star Portuguese chefs are creating culinary buzz from Lisbon to the glittering beaches of the Algarve (seven new restaurants received Michelin stars in 2017).”

Also highlighted are Portugal’s “incredible affordability and its natural wonders: in 2016, more than 300 beaches earned the coveted Blue Flag rating and two new biosphere reserves were named”.

“It’s no surprise everyone is talking about this small, seafaring nation,” Lonely Planet concludes.

Chile took the top spot of the list, followed by South Korea despite the country’s rising tensions with its northern neighbour.