As one of the oldest nations in Europe, Portugal was a world power in the 15th and 16th centuries, before losing much of its wealth and status after the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake and its occupation during the Napoleonic Wars. During the majority of the 20th century, following a revolution that deposed the monarchy, repressive governments ran the country until a 1974 coup installed broad democratic reforms. Today, the Iberian Peninsula nation boasts a booming economy, enjoying its highest economic growth rate in nearly two decades. Fueled by record tourism, an increase in the housing market, a growing tech sector and strong exports, private investment has returned to levels prior to the 2008 global financial crisis. Experts admit, however, that Portugal’s reputation has yet to fully bounce back from the bailout years, and are watching closely to see how long the economic recovery can hold.

Destination: Lisbon