Portugal, formed on the 5th of October 1143, is one of the oldest countries in Europe. Portugal is home to friendly and welcoming locals but it is a place for some foreigners who call Portugal their home. Portugal has a very rich history which can be seen through its buildings and historical landmarks.
Portugal is a popular destination for many tourists. Not only is Portugal known for its historical sites, but it is also known for its food, beaches, Fado music, wine, and of course, its football scene.
There are many things to do and many places to see in Portugal. If you are keen on knowing what Portugal has to offer, we will talk about what Portugal is known for, and it is not just Cristiano Ronaldo. Read on and discover Portugal!
What Is Portugal Famous For?
Located along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula is Portugal, one of Europe’s oldest countries. Being situated along the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is famous for its beaches in the Azores and Madeira. Portugal is also known for its fresh seafood.
But, Portugal is not only known for its beaches and seafood. Portugal is also known for many other things such as their music scene and football scene. It is also a country that is very popular for its port wine.
Aside from the beaches, food, and other tourist sites, Portugal is also known for its Portuguese explorers such as Ferdinand Magellan and Vasco da Gama.
Let’s dive deep into what Portugal is known for!
Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal and it is also the largest city with an estimated population of over 540,00. Being the capital city of Portugal, tourists will almost always visit Lisbon to experience what the city has to offer.
Lisbon is famous for its historic landmarks, colorful buildings, good food, music, and nightlife.
Some of Lisbon’s landmarks include the Tagus River, the São Jorge Castle, the Tower of Belém, Santa Justa Lift, Jéronimos Monastery, Carmo Convent, and Padrão dos Descobrimentos. In Lisbonis where you will also see the Vasco da Gama bridge, named after the most important Portuguese discoverer. With a length of 17185 meters, the Vasco da Gama bridge is also Europe’s longest bridge.
The Tower of Belém is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Portugal is home to 16 other world heritage sites.
There are towns in Lisbon that are near the ocean so locals and tourists can enjoy fresh seafood throughout the city.
Fado which means “destiny” or “fate” is Portugal’s form of music that is known for its melancholic and expressive characteristics. Fado music is sung by a male or female and is accompanied by a Fado guitar, which is also known as a Portuguese guitar. Fado music is also sometimes accompanied by one or two guitars, violas, and viola baixo. These instruments are usually a 10 to 12-string guitar, a 6-string guitar (viola), and a small 8-string brass viola.
The popular Fado music can be heard in pubs, cafés, and restaurants. Its lyrics often talk about life in the sea or the life of the poor, which is why they are sung in such a melancholic way.
If you happen to go to a café, pub, or restaurant during your trip, you might catch a live and authentic Fado performance done by locals.
Most tourists go to Portugal for its wonderful beaches and you will see a lot of people go during the summer. Portugal sits along the coastline so you can expect beautiful beaches with golden sands.
One of the beautiful beaches in Portugal is Praia da Marinha. It is actually dubbed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
With Portugal being home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, there is no shortage of water sports for you to try. Portugal is famous for its surfing spots, sea-kayaking, and diving, as well as whale and dolphin-watching experiences.
Located in the Faro district of Portugal is Algarve. The Algarve region is known for its sandy beaches with the warmest temperatures and picturesque towns for your viewing pleasure.
This is where you will also see Praia da Marinha, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Aside from Marinha beach, Algarve is also known for Arrifana beach, one of the beaches that surfers go to. The wonderful climate in Algarve makes it a perfect holiday destination in Portugal.
You can relax at the beaches or have the night of your life with the Algarve’s buzzing nightlife. You can also take a relaxing walk at the Praça Marquês de Pommel, which is the main plaza of Vila Real, a municipality in the Algarve region.
While we are on the topic of beaches, we can’t talk about Portugal without mentioning its surfing spots. Portugal beaches offer great surfing experiences for beginners to advanced surfers. For absolute beginners, there are beaches where you can learn how to surf and check that off of your bucket list. Find out about the best beach towns in Portugal.
Portugal is not just known for random surfing spots. Nazaré, Portugal is known as the town where you can see some of the biggest surfable waves in the world. This makes it very popular for tourists and elite surfers all over the world.
The waves off of Praia do Norte (North Beach) can go as big as 80 feet (24 meters).
A visit to Portugal is not complete if you have not tried their famous Portuguese wines.
Port wine is produced in the most famous Portuguese wine region, which is Douro Valley, located in Northern Portugal. Port wine is a rich and sweet fortified wine that goes great with cheese, nuts, and meat. It is also considered a dessert wine because of its sweetness.
You can also find some of the best Portuguese wines in the regions of Vinho Verde, Dão, Madeira, Algarve, and Alentejo.
Portugal is considered the largest cork producer in the world as it produces about 50% of the world’s cork supply. Portugal has cork forests that are roughly 1.6 million acres, which is about 30% of the world’s cork trees.
With that many natural cork resources, cork is not only found in wines as stoppers. There are a lot of cork products in Portugal such as cork tiles, clothing, accessories, furniture, and even cork bags.
Portugal is the 1st among the top three cork producers in the world along with Spain and France.
Seafood is a staple in both residential and commercial kitchens all over Portugal. Being a country that is situated along the Atlantic coastline, you can expect fresh seafood everywhere in Portugal.
Bacalhau, or dried and salted cod, is Portugal’s national dish. There are many Bacalhau recipes and dishes and you will most likely find different variations of it in different restaurants.
You will find Portugal’s history with cod will date back to the 14th century when Portuguese sailors have a salting process to preserve cod. It was also dried out in the open air during the sailors’ maritime exploration.
Portugal has many colorful buildings and historical landmarks. You will find that these colorful buildings are covered in traditional Portuguese tiles.
Azulejo is a tin-glazed hand-painted ceramic tile that can be found in the exteriors and interiors of Portugal buildings and homes. These tiles are very distinctive as they are painted with wonderful patterns to give the buildings a lot of character.
Azulejos are normally blue in color but, you will find them usually combined with yellow and white.
The weather in Portugal is one of the reasons why it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. You can go to Portugal, not just in the summer months but, at any time of the year.
While it does rain in Portugal during the winter season, though not all the time and it certainly rains year-round, you can expect plenty of sunshine throughout the year. It does rain Portugal has an average temperature of 21 degrees celsius with summer having the hottest temperature. During spring and autumn, the temperature becomes warm.
Most tourists visit Portugal during the summer season. But, a lot of people visit during spring and autumn while some prefer to visit in winter months to avoid the crowd.
Because of Portugal’s climate, it is worth a visit at any time of the year.
Pastel De Nata
Even if you have tasted an egg tart, Portuguese egg custard tarts are a must-try when you are in Portugal.
Pastel de Nata, also known as Pastél de Belem, is a famous Portuguese dessert. It is a creamy custard tart sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon on top.
Pastel de Nata is best eaten when warm and is usually paired with espresso. You can find Pastel de Nata at about every local café in Portugal and they are usually enjoyed by locals freshly baked in the mornings. But, you can still eat Pastel de Nata at any time of the day.
One of the destinations known in Portugal is the Azores region.
The Azores is where tourists go to watch whales, swim with dolphins, and go diving with manta rays. There are nine volcanic islands in the Azores and some of the volcanoes are active while some are dormant.
The last volcanic eruption in the Azores happened from September 1957 to October 1958. This volcano is called the Capelinhos Volcano and it is located in the western cape of Faial Island.
The Azores is also known for its highest mountain, Mount Pico. In fact, This is the highest mountain in all of Portugal. If you have a love for hiking, do not pass up the opportunity to experience Mount Pico and the spectacular views that it has to offer once you reach the summit.
Aside from hiking and water sports, the Azores is also known for its ancient lava tubes. You can walk inside an ancient lava tube where you will see layers of hardened magma that were caused by volcanic eruptions throughout the years.
There are many islands in the Azores region and you will not regret visiting a few of them if you visit Portugal.
When you think of Portugal sports, you’d probably first think of football. But, Portugal is not only known for its football scene. It is also known for its golfing destinations.
The Algarve region is one of the known golfing hotspots with more than 40 golf courses. Some of these golf courses are even world-famous champion layouts. Golf is considered a “365-day sport in Portugal and golf players go to Portugal for its interesting golf courses.
Many of these golf courses offer amazing views. Portugal’s climate also plays a huge part in it being one of the famous golf hotspots in the world. The warm and pleasant climate makes it a great golf destination.
Portugal was also awarded the World’s Best Golf Destination in 2018 at the World Golf Awards.
Now, we really can’t be talking about Portugal and not include its football scene. Notable Portuguese footballers include Eusébio, Luís Figo, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo is probably the most known footballer from Portugal. There is a museum dedicated to Cristiano Ronaldo which is located in Funchal, Madeira.
Portugal is a great destination known for its beaches, food, historic landmarks, colorful buildings, and wine. If you wish to visit Portugal in the future, we hope this article gives you an idea of what to include in your itinerary.
You can be sure that your bellies will be filled with good food and wine, your ears filled with good music, and your eyes will be filled with amazing sceneries during your travels.