It is impressive how Portugal’s significant achievements exceed its medium-sized territory in the southwest of Europe. Portugal is considered the oldest European nation present during the Age of Discovery in the 1760s. It successfully conquered North America and Asia, giving way to Portugal’s reign of being a powerful empire like Spain.
Portugal is Spain’s neighboring country, occupying only 92,212 square kilometers of land area. It is home to about 10 million habitants among its 18 districts and two autonomous regions managed through Parliamentary Particracy. Under this governance, people select a Party who will then appoint its representatives to govern the country.
Portugal has a promising economy, driven mainly by food, textiles, tourism, and technology industries. The country exports vehicles, electrical machinery, and oil to Italy, Netherlands, and Belgium. On the other hand, its tourism is booming as Portugal emerges as a sought-after destination among beach travelers.
Portugal has a Mediterranean climate that beach enthusiasts mainly prefer. It shares an identical environment with Spain though Portugal is more temperate throughout the year brought by the Atlantic Ocean.
If you stay in the northern part, Portugal’s north part experiences a temperate climate with scattered rain showers. The central part, though, has a dry climate getting drier as you go farther south. Tourists often prefer to stay in Lisbon because of its mild winter and temperate summer.
It is advisable to visit during September and October if you root for Portugal’s beaches, while March to May is advisable if you want to see its lush sceneries in full bloom. The peak season for tourists is usually in July and August as there are several holidays celebrated during those months.
Portugal’s Transport System
You can easily navigate Portugal by taking a bus, train, rental car, or motorbikes. Shorter routes are easily reached by local and rural buses. You can book tickets in advance or purchase from available ticket desks. Portugal has a few private bus companies operating here and there, so you will not run out of options when traveling. Make sure to check the timetables to know departure times and plan your itinerary.
Comboios de Portugal operates trains in Portugal. The rail route tours you in the scenic nature spots of the country, and the view can be relaxing when you pass by rural areas. You can ride trains for longer routes.
Traditional Portuguese Delicacies
Foreigners may not know that Portugal is the one who introduced tempura to Japan and samosa to India. Portuguese flavors are as rich as its history. During its conquest, the Portuguese successfully passed on Christianity and the dishes of their country.
Bacalhau is Portugal’s national dish. Because of its proximity and love for seawater, the locals have invented hundreds of ways to prepare the dish. A typical Bacalhau is made of salted and air-dried codfish, roasted or incorporated with other traditional words.
Alheira De Mirandela
This dish resembles a sausage stuffed with several types of meat and pieces of bread inside. Locals prepare the smoked sausage alongside fried egg or fries. Historical accounts state that this dish symbolizes Portuguese Jews’ conversion to Christianity in the past.
Bifana is not your typical sandwich. It is a traditional sandwich filled with thin pork slices marinated in white wine, paprika, and garlic. It is best devoured with mustard sauce.
Caldo Verde is a creamy soup dish made from cabbage, potato puree, and smoked sausage. The dish is notable for its rich flavor and comfort food among the locals.
Portugal’s Seaside Culture
Portugal is an empire shaped by its surrounding waters. Even if the country flourishes in the machinery and textile industry, its paradise-like beaches bring Portugal its reputation of being the best tourist destination globally.
This beach is located on the west coast of Portugal, ideal for surfing, surfing classes, and extreme watersport activities. There are also tour boats available if you prefer to take in the calm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Camilo Beach offers stunning rock formations, sandstone cliffs, turquoise seawaters, and white sand that you can reach by walking through a wooden staircase. There are also cheerful crowds and lines of restaurants to explore Portugal’s iconic dishes.
Guincho Beach is the go-to place for windsurfing and kitesurfing, where you can immerse yourself in the noisy sea breeze. It is ideal for visitors who prefer to bathe under the sun since there is a small amount of shade in the area.
Portugal’s beaches are just a tiny part of the country’s scenic beauty. If you are not fond of the beach, you can visit about 17 heritage sites hailed by UNESCO, such as the Sintra, Evora, Porto, Batalha Monastery, and more. Portugal is also teeming with beautiful churches, historic towns, and street markets to explore.