You think you know Portugal – but bet that the country can still surprise you? Here are 15 exciting and fun facts about Portugal!
The Portuguese are incredibly relaxed
We don’t know whether it’s the sea and surfing, the fantastic cuisine or the pleasant temperatures – but whenever you’re in Portugal, you always have the feeling that the locals are a little more relaxed and nicer than anywhere else. And also very hospitable!
Portugal is home to the longest bridge in Europe
The Vasco de Gama Bridge is over 17 kilometers long and connects Lisbon with the Portuguese cities south of the Tagus, the Expo site and the airport. Look forward to a spectacular approach to Portugal’s fascinating capital!
Portugal can also do “tapas” (but: watch out!)
You shouldn’t call these tasty snacks tapas, because they are petiscos: not just snacks with a drink, but small versions of normal dishes. The Portuguese love to share and spend hours nibbling away in large, cheerful groups!
Portugal has almost 3000 kilometers of coastline
And on these you will find plenty of fine sandy beaches and spectacular cliffs! Besides the spectacular coastline and beautiful beaches, surfing is a major attraction along the Portuguese coast and you’ll see surfboards strapped on top of cars everywhere.
Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe
Portugal has been independent since 1143 – and is even over 4 centuries older than Rome! Incidentally, the name comes from Portus Cale, which means warm or beautiful harbor. Very fitting, isn’t it?
Portugal surprises with incredible diversity.
Portugal can only do beaches?
Not at all: You’ll find so many hidden places here that you definitely didn’t have on your radar. How about a visit to the fairy tale towns of Viana do Castelo and a donkey hike in the Serra de Monchique in the Algarve hinterland or a swim under a waterfall in the Peneda Gerês National Park?
Portugal includes beautiful islands
Portugal doesn’t just have surprises in store on the mainland. Did you know that Portugal also includes the flower island of Madeira and the less touristy Azores? Here you’ll feel like you’re in Hawaii surrounded by breathtaking nature – and you don’t even have to change continents.
Portugal has its own Neuschwanstein
The castle of Sintra looks like something straight out of a fairy tale and is often referred to as the Portuguese Neuschwanstein. Recommend: Don’t just plan a day trip, but spend the night in this sweet town and enjoy an early morning or evening visit when the tourist crowds have not yet arrived or have already left.
Portugal has ‘THE’ monster wave
In Nazaré, north of Lisbon, a unique natural spectacle awaits you from November to February: surfers from all over the world come here to conquer the “monster waves”. And they are aptly named: in 2020, Sebastian Steudtner set a new world record here by riding a wave over 21 meters high!
Portugal is the land of tiles
If you marvel at Portugal’s cities, you will always notice beautiful tiles. In fact, Portugal has devoted itself to the art of tile painting like no other country, and the results are impressive! Look forward to artistic azulejos on houses, in the metro or on park benches that not only look beautiful, but also tell stories.
Portugal is one of the most peaceful countries in the world
Portugal regularly ranks in the top 5 of the Global Peace Index, making it one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world. And what makes us particularly happy is that the country is also at the top of the Gay Travel Index, making it a fantastic travel destination for queer people.
Portugal has a destiny of its own
… namely in the form of fado: the typical Portuguese musical style is named after the Latin word “fatum”, fate. It is highly recommend that you indulge in the melancholy sounds on your trip to Portugal.
The Portuguese invented port wine
The delicious fortified wine is produced in the Douro Valley in the north of Portugal and can be enjoyed throughout the country. There are also 14 wine regions and 300 grape varieties. We highly recommend doing a local wine or port tasting!
Portugal is considered the California of Europe
Fantastic weather, dream beaches, friendly people – Portugal has the reputation of being the European California. Many think so: Portugal has beautiful beaches, it’s cheaper and you can surf or relax at least as well here! And the seafood is to die for….
Portugal wants to generate 80 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2026
Hardly any other topic is currently occupying humanity more than energy generation – and rightly so, because the course for the future is being set now! Portugal is showing how it can be done: The majority of energy here is already generated from wind, water and sun.