For many travelers, Morocco might just be a short hop away by ferry or by one of the myriad budget airlines from Spain, but it's a much further distance to travel culturally.
The regular certainties of Europe are suddenly swept away by the arrival in full Technicolor of Africa and slam.
It's a complete sensory overload.
Spain is known for its friendliness, luminosity and its good-natured high spirits. Sun-drenched and untamed, passionate and majestic, this country releases a mysterious magic. Spain is littered with hundreds of glittering beaches; flamenco bailaores (dancers) swirling in flounces of colour; and toreros (bullfighters) strutting their stuff in the bullrings. Summer holidaymakers gather around great pans of paella, tortilla, gazpacho and pitchers of sangria…
While it's true that Portugal is no longer the Iberian Peninsula's best-kept secret, it's fairly easy to escape the crowds.
Even at the busiest resorts in the Algarve, it only takes a short bus ride or a walk across countryside to reveal rarely visited places that still offer the feeling of discovery - a sentiment close to the Portuguese soul.