For good or bad reasons everybody is talking about Portugal as one of the best countries to travel in 2017. Despite being the Eurovision host in 2018 Portugal is a country with captivating cities, historical architecture, good weather, living nightlife, beautiful coast line with stunning beaches, wonderfull food, good wine, and so many other things. Just to get an idea, even the Pope Francisco stopped by and visited Fátima. So, the game is on.
I am portuguese and I love my country so I will show you 12 reasons that will make you fall in love with Portugal:
Fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, homemade jams or fresh bread everyday are some of the things that we can find at the market regularly. But you can also try Cozido à Portuguesa cooked in the ground nearby an hot-spring in Açores.
Porto Wine, red wine, crisp vinho verde (young wine), Moscatel, Ginjinha (cherry liquor), Licor Beirão, Licor de Amêndoa Amarga (liquor made from bitter almond), Madeira Wine. There is always something to celebrate in Portugal.
The southwestern coast of Portugal (Atlantic Ocean) might be the best-kept secret regions in the whole country or maybe Europe. We have a gorgeous coastline full of cliffs and untouched and crystalline beaches. The best part of it is if you want to reach some of these outstanding places you actually need to walk for a bit. But it’s worth the walk and it’s good for your health. If you just want to relax and sun bathing then you always have the south coast with the Mediterran sea and that crazy warm water, or you can always go a bit further and enjoy the beautiful Madeira island.
Mountains, cliffs, valleys, rivers, vineyards, ocean, sea, forests. This is Portugal.
Geology and geografy
We have the best spot in Europe and we get to have the biggest ZEE but what I love the most are the stones and the caves. In the middle of the country there are a few caves full of stalactites and stalagmites and they are damn beautiful. There is also the Natural Park of Peneda Gêres where you can find waterfalls, river beaches, mountains, trails and so many beautiful places little explored. Then you have all the west coast, with beautiful cliffs with crazy shapes. I love it!!! And of course there is Açores and Madeira, where you can find lava caves and some other precious things.
People and culture
We have a easygoing lifestyle and that reflects on our way of connecting with people. We do value inovation but we do respect our culture and the people. And we are way more liberal than it looks like. But for sure you will have neighbours asking about your day or the owner of the coffee will already knows what you will order on your second time there. We are warm and welcoming people and we try not to loose our authenticity. For example, there will be clothes hanging on the windows of the colourful houses and we never ask for a take-away coffee. Simple as that. We must drink it at the place and talk with everybody.
Portugal is rich in History and you can see it mostly in the architecture of the buildings. We have marks from Romans, Moors, Celts, Visigoths and Christians.
Fado, jazz, metal, R&B, indie, rock, experimental, Pop, classical. We have everything and we are good at it. And we have lots of gigs going on all over the year and some of the best summer festivals in the world.
The serenity that you get when you’re watching a sunset at the beach or at a balcony is something that there will never be in the world enough money to pay that. We can live with no money, we can complain about almost everything, but when we just sit down at the coffee after work for a glass of wine or a beer on a beautiful day of sun with some friends, our problems seems to disappear. (of course they don’t but at least we have fun for a bit)
Madeira and Açores
Madeira, the place you want to be on New Years Eve (with some poncha, bolo do caco or espetadas em pau de louro). Açores, the place where you have more cows that people. But then you have also in both of the islands some of the most beautiful nature landscapes you can find in Europe.
The capital city will always keep you busy. Is a romantic city where you can walk and explore without fears. You will find always something new and you will pay attention to the detail. And from the traditional cafe to the most fancy restaurant with Michelin stars, you have plenty of choice for your menu.
Porto is a fascinating city, with a unique landscape and where you can find the wonderful Porto Wine or some traditional dishes like Francesinha. But the biggest atraction is the Douro Valley, where the wine has been produced for centuries and which area is considered UNESCO World Heritage Site.