Portugal is the westernmost country in Europe and has only one neighboring country – Spain. The island of Madeira and the Azores in the Atlantic also belong to Portugal. Magnificent landscapes, exciting, colorful cities and the wild Atlantic make the country a really great and varied travel destination. See andyeducation.com for education in Portugal.
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Fast facts to know
- Almost all motorways are subject to tolls, billing is done via electronic payment systems.
- Portuguese are very hospitable and polite.
- Smaller shops often close between 1pm and 3pm.
- At the cheese, meat, bread counters and post office, a number must be taken before queuing.
- 93% of Portuguese are Catholics.
- Porto is the second largest city, has been extensively restored and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Portugal has an 830 km long Atlantic coast.
- Portugal has beautiful and varied landscapes.
- Portugal was once one of the greatest seafaring nations in the world.
- Because tap water contains a lot of chlorine, tap water should not be drunk.
- Travelers should protect themselves against ticks and sandflies in summer.
Exciting cities in Portugal
- Castelo de Vide
History of Portugal
- First settlement about 500,000 years ago.
- 800 BC Phoenicians found trading bases in the Algarve.
- 6th to 3rd century BC BC Immigration of the Celts who mixed with the Iberians.
- 206 BC Strong Romanization after the Second Punic War.
- 8th century Moorish rule.
- 15th century Portugal rises to become the leading European trading and maritime power, becomes a colonial power in the 16th century.
- 1580 Portugal falls to the Spanish Habsburgs for dynastic reasons.
- In 1755 an earthquake destroyed large parts of the capital Lisbon.
- 1761 Attack by Spain and France on the country, which is repelled.
- 1821 Liberal Revolution: Portugal obtains a constitution for the first time in its history.
- 1910 End of the monarchy by proclamation of the republic, King Manuel II flees into English exile.
- 1926 military coup ends the first republic.
- During World War II, Portugal remained neutral.
- Portugal is a founding member of NATO, created in 1949.
- From 1960 colonial war in Africa.
- 1974 renewed military coup with subsequent dictatorship
- The onset of the economic crisis leads to a general uprising, the Carnation Revolution.
- The 1976 constitution briefly defines the transition to socialism as a state goal.
- The constitutional amendment that came into force in 1982 replaced the Revolutionary Council, which had been important until then, with a constitutional court modeled on other democratic states.
Climate & travel weather in Portugal
- Temperate maritime climate with warm summers and mild winters.
- A little cooler in the north.
- In the south: Mediterranean climate.
- Mild, humid and changeable in the Azores.
- Recommended travel time:
- Generally recommended all year round.
- Sightseeing, city trips: spring & autumn.
- Beach holiday on the north coast: July and August.
- Madeira, Azores, Algarve: also recommended in winter.
Ideas for trips in Portugal
- Vasco da Gama, the longest bridge in Europe.
- Climb to the top of Pico Ruivo in Madeira.
- Old town of Guimaraes.
- Excursion to Sintra.
- Surfing on the Atlantic coast.
- Sanctuary on the Monta Santa Luzia.
- Ride the Tram 28 through Lisbon.
- Mythical rock formations in Evora.
- Reach the westernmost point of Europe.
- Fort „Fortress of Sagres“.
- Boat tour on the Douro through Porto.
- Explore the Oceanário in Lisbon.
- Kloster Jeronimos Monastery.
Eating & drinking in Portugal
- Fresh fish is very popular, but various meats are also often served (pork, beef, chicken).
- Favorite vegetables: broccoli, peas, turnips.
- Usually rice and potatoes as side dishes.
- Spartan breakfast, extensive lunch (12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.) and dinner (7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.).
- Portugal is one of the top ten wine producers in the world.
- Portuguese love coffee (usually black), milk coffee often served in a glass.
- Egg desserts are widespread in Portugal, with over 200 different types of pastries and cakes.
- Typical dishes:
- Pastéis de bacalhau (cod chopped and made into fine fishcakes)
- Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato (Mussel Meat – dip your bread in the fantastic olive oil, coriander, garlic and white wine sauce)
- Caldo verde (potato, onion, kale and pork sausage (chouriço) slices soup. )
- Sardinhas assadas (charcoal grilled sardines)
- Arroz de Pato (Crispy duck risotto with pork chouriço slices.)
- Cataplana (seafood, meat, onions, peppers and potatoes)
- Cozido à portuguesa (meat stew with beef, pork, chicken, sausages, potatoes, carrots, green and white cabbage)
- Bacalhau à brás (chopped cod with onions and potatoes lightly, add olives and parsley)
- Frango na púcara (Chicken casserole)
- Torta de Azeitão (soft, fluffy cake brushed with egg yolk and rolled up to perfection)
- Ovos moles de Aveiro (Paper-thin shell-shaped waffles with sweet egg yolk paste. )
- Polvo à lagareiro (squid, mostly cold, along with onions, olive oil and parsley)
- Arroz de marisco (rice with seafood)
- Cabrito assado (roast kid)
- Alheira de Mirandela (smoked sausages and chouriços)
- Caldeirada de peixe (fish stew made with various types of fish and seafood, tomatoes and herbs)
- Carne de porco à Alentaja (Marinated pork with clams)
- Carne de porco estufada com castanhas (pork stewed in onions, garlic and herbs with boiled chestnuts)
- Leitão assado (suckling pig stuffed with liver, cured ham and olives)
- Sopa da pedra (stew with beans, vegetables, sausage and meat)
- 65 kilometers of beach between Troia and Sines, Don Anna Beach, the most picturesque in all of Portugal.
- Nationalpalast Pena.
- The rust-red cliffs of Praia da Falésia.
- Wasserfälle Waterfalls of Ribeira Grande.
- Blumeninsel Madeira.
- Feuersee Lagoon of Fire.
- Madeira Laurel Forest.
- Furnas hot springs in the Azores.
- Santiago Lagoon.
- National Parks:
- Peneda-Gerês National Park.
- Alvao Natural Park.
- Southwest Alentejo Nationalpark.
- Ria Formosa Natural Park.