From its dynamic cities to stunning beaches and breathtaking landscapes, Portugal is an incredible country with a long history. Whether you’re interested in discovering some of Europe’s best spots for adventure or simply seeking out picturesque villages and quaint towns, this beautiful country has something for everyone. Here are eight amazing facts about Portugal that might make you want to start planning a trip there sooner rather than later.
Oldest Nation in Europe
Portugal’s rich history dates back to the 12th century when it was established as an independent kingdom. It is one of the oldest nations in Europe and significantly influenced the world during its Golden Age of exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1139, the country was unified by Alfonso Henriques and became an independent kingdom in 1143. Since then, Portugal has become one of the most influential nations in Europe. This is reflected in its stunning architecture, vast cultural heritage, and modern economy, propelling it into the 21st century.
Various Civilizations Have Left Their Mark on Portugal
The nation has been greatly influenced by different empires, leaving a legacy of cultural fusion. The Romans greatly impacted the country’s language, architecture, religion, and customs.
The Moors introduced their culture through Andalusia in the 8th century and left behind several landmarks, including the remains of an ancient castle in Lisbon. The Visigoths also had a strong presence in Portugal, and remnants of their rule can still be found throughout the country.
There is a Golden Visa Program
Portugal offers one of the most famous investor visa programs in Europe. This is known as the Golden Visa Program, allowing people outside the EU to invest in Portuguese properties and obtain residence permits. It’s an attractive option for emigrating or investing in real estate abroad.
The Golden Visa Program has several requirements and regulations to follow, so it’s worth researching before making any decisions. Nevertheless, it’s an option to consider if you want to move to Portugal. As you consider citizenship by investment, follow the correct procedure and enjoy the benefits of being a Portuguese citizen. Check the requirements and regulations before you apply. This ensures that you take the proper steps to obtain a residence permit.
Home to Some Magnificent Beaches
Portugal’s coastline is dotted with some of the most incredible European beaches. From the picture-perfect, golden sands of Algarve and Comporta to Praia da Marinha and Salema beach on the rugged Atlantic coast. With its long hot summers, Portugal is the perfect destination for a beach holiday.
The beach also offers a wide range of marine activities, from surfing and sailing to diving and fishing. Whether looking for an active adventure or a peaceful retreat, Portugal has something for everyone. This means your stay in Portugal can be even more enjoyable with the addition of beach activities, like paragliding, kayaking, and windsurfing.
If you love to eat, then Portugal should be on your list of must-visit destinations. The country’s diverse food culture is a mix of flavors from its various empires and civilizations. From seafood dishes to cheese and ham, Portugal has something for everyone.
Portugal is also known for its delicious wines, with Porto being the most famous wine region in the country. Every region has its specialties, so you can enjoy different types of food depending on where you are in the country. The street food options in Portugal are also worth exploring. From tasty pastries to barbecued sardines, there’s something for everyone.
Haven For Art Lovers
Portugal is home to some of the best art museums and galleries in Europe, making it an ideal place for art enthusiasts. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon is one of the most renowned museums in the country, while the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto is an absolute must-visit.
In addition to these two major art galleries, Portugal has a wealth of smaller galleries throughout the country featuring works from both local and international artists. From modern art to traditional crafts, Portugal has something for everyone.
Portugal’s artwork exhibitions, magnificent libraries, and vibrant cultural events make it an ideal destination for art lovers. Besides, the Portuguese are renowned for their love of music and dance so you can expect plenty of live performances throughout your stay in Portugal.
The country’s landscape consists of lush green forests, picturesque vineyards, craggy mountains, and sweeping coastlines. The Peneda-Gerês National Park is a stunning landscape located in the north of Portugal and offers a wide range of activities such as hiking, cycling, and wildlife watching.
The Douro Valley is another popular destination for nature lovers, with its rolling hills, terraced vineyards, and winding rivers. There are plenty of seaside towns along the Portuguese coast for those looking for some beach action. From sunbathing and snorkeling to surfing and kitesurfing, there’s something for everyone in Portugal.
If you love road trips, then Portugal is a great destination. There are plenty of scenic routes to take, and the roads are in good condition. It’s also worth exploring the small villages and towns away from the major cities, as they often have a lot of unique attractions to offer.
Home to the World’s Most Expensive Castle
The country is home to an impressive collection of castles, but none quite as impressive as the Moorish Castle of São Jorge in Lisbon. It is believed to be the most expensive castle ever built and boasts a rich history, breathtaking views, and an exquisite interior.
The Moors built this UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 11th century, and it has been vastly renovated. The castle still stands tall and is a must-visit for anyone visiting Lisbon. Remember that the castle is only open during certain times of the year, so plan and check when it’s open before you visit.
If you love the history of kingdoms and empires and the evolution of architecture and design, then Portugal should be at the top of your list. The documentation of this country is quite extensive, and a journey through its past will undoubtedly leave you feeling inspired.
Portugal is a fascinating country with plenty to explore. From its stunning natural landscapes and vibrant art galleries to its golden visa program and grand castles, there’s something for everyone in this fantastic destination. If you’re looking for cultural immersion, outdoor activities, or real estate investment opportunities, Portugal has it all. Start planning your trip today and experience the best of Portugal for yourself.