Arts/Culture

10 Reasons to Visit Portugal

Anyone who has been to Portugal and experienced the marvel of the abundant nature, or the warmth and vibrance of the culture, will contest to the greatness of this country. Whether you’re a thrill-seeking daredevil, someone out to experience the tranquility of nature, or a social-butterfly out to enjoy new things, you will absolutely love the unique and quality activities that Portugal has to offer. Not many countries can offer such a wide variety of possible experiences and delights, especially with such incredible quality. Below you will find a summary of some of the wonderful features of Portugal both in reference to the mainland and the islands. Each feature contains enormous depth that you will want to fully experience in the flesh but these descriptions are a great place to start you on your adventure through Portugal and Portuguese culture!

10. History

Portugal has a rich and interesting history in many ways. Portugal was technically considered a country in 1143 after an array of power struggles and invasions until finally joining what is now known as the European Union in 1968. This move is largely responsible for the Portugal we can visit today. Particularly interesting features of Portuguese history are preserved in unique museums–  such as those of whale hunting; one of the country’s greatest sources of income for a time, and the beautiful religious artworks and churches that were frequented especially in times of great political struggle. On the geological side, the islands of Portugal were formed by volcanic activity dating back millions of years, giving it a unique and brilliant quality of exposing the ancient.

Bom Jesus do Monte Monastery, Braga, Portugal.

9. Caves/Geology

Although rocks are not necessarily exciting to most people at face value, it is pretty difficult not to appreciate the absolutely stunning formations and richness of the volcanic caves, ancient mountain-sides and brilliant sands of Portugal. You don’t have to be a geologist to enjoy the intricacy of the caves formed by lava and home to many different life forms. You’re bound to learn something new about the history of millions of years packed into the ripples of the rock and contour of the terrain from the Portuguese tours and guides that will peak your fascination in ways you may not have thought possible. If you do happen to be a lover of rock and volcanoes Portugal is an absolute must visit!

coastline of Cascais, The gates of hell, Portugal.

8. Serenity

The enormous power of the elements has given way to spaces of great peacefulness throughout many regions of Portugal. The freshness of the air, tranquility of the wildlife, and abundance of nature creates a widespread ambience of peace. Despite the marvels and unique highlights that Portugal has to offer, it is surprisingly quiet and neglected by tourists, especially in the most wondrous of areas! This allows Portugal to remain very cultured and unadorned lending to a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere both on land and at sea. This can certainly work to your benefit if you like the feeling of being immersed in another world without the business and intrusion of too many prompts. You can just relax and enjoy!

Breakfast in Lisbon Portugal

7. People/Culture

Highlighting the most interesting and lovable features of Portugal would be incomplete without giving credence to those who inhabit it. The Portuguese population gives rise to a number of cultural festivals that are immensely attended by fervent citizens who love to take part in the events that retell their history, express their roots, and come together as a community. The Portuguese are lively, warm, and adventurous. The folklore is vibrant and there is often traditional music played, home-made items for sharing, and elegant artwork – the signature of Portuguese art is beautiful blue paintings on white tile. The religious disposition among the people have inspired beautiful structures, art, and sentiments while also infusing the locals with bold personalities that can be very entertaining and fun!

6. Sea Excursions

Portugal offers water excursions like nowhere else. You will never forget the experience of absolute tranquility while watching the elegance of wild dolphins swim by in perfect serenity in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Nor will you be able to contain your excitement during the thrill of diving off of some of the most amazing peaks of land into the clear blue waters that are so powerful that they crash along the coastline in waves that reach colossal peaks. You can conquer your fear of scuba diving, or even gain the rare opportunity of catching sight of a whale. Simply swimming on the beaches of Portugal will give you a taste of what it means to experience the best of the best!

Portugal boat tours

5. The Hot Springs

Especially prominent on the archipelago islands off of the mainland, Portugal offers a vast amount of natural springs that you can view and explore. The hot springs consist of various areas in which water sprouts out of the earth and forms pools of different temperatures and sizes. In some of these areas you are able to bathe in the naturally heated pools, often rich with minerals used for facials or other health treatments. Some locations have been turned into public areas where you can have a spa day outside in these wild hot tubs and pools. In other areas the water is so hot that you must marvel from afar or enjoy some of the cuisine cooked by these amazing features of the Portuguese earth.

Furnas fumaroles, hot water spring in Sao Miguel, Azores

 4. Cuisine

There is no place in the world where seafood is more adored and masterfully prepared than on the coasts of Portugal. From fresh fish to octopus, you will not only find it all, but you’ll taste the sea like never before. Portuguese cuisine is fresh, authentic, and full of flavors that have been perfected over generations. The treat for your taste buds doesn’t stop at the delicacies of the sea but continues into vegetable dishes and fantastic desserts. The Portuguese will change your impression of potatoes forever in the best of ways and introduce you to the absolute wonders of passionfruit. Specialty desserts also include queijadas, a decadent pastry that you will have to experience yourself to understand!

Venus clams in tomato sauce

3.  Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal and the second-oldest capital city of Europe (after Athens!). The city is absolutely gorgeous with scenic vistas from every angle, saturated with rich history found everywhere from the roads to the marvellous architecture. The many treasures of Lisbon will captivate the historian and artist alike with a vintage feel and the charm of having survived many struggles. On the other hand, Lisbon is also home to some of the world’s most contemporary fashions, art, and entertainment! With Lisbon you get the best of both worlds (old and new) with the bonus of being in one of the least expensive capital cities in Europe – it’s geographical location also makes it an excellent base for further travel.

Lisbon Skyline Portugal

 2. The Landscape

The landscape of Portugal will amaze even those who maintain the highest appreciation for the wonders of nature. The contours of the earth construct gorgeous scenery constituted by mountains of velvet green and rippling countryside. The volcanic islands display unique profiles of land and beautiful natural formations such as waterfalls and caves. From many places, especially on the islands, everywhere you turn gives you a post-card like view. Immerse yourself in it all through hiking and traversing the lands or simply enjoy the beautiful view. Either way, if you enjoy being surrounded by large-scale natural beauty, you will love the experience of being in Portugal!

The lakes of Sete Cidades, Azores, Portugal

1. The Beaches

It cannot be contested that the beaches of Portugal are among the most incredible in the world and are among the country’s greatest highlights. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors with each one miraculously more beautiful than the next. Some are tame and exquisite, offering pure white sands and calm clear blue waters; others have a greater intensity, covered in black sands with specks of emerald green. The waters are always amazing whether it’s peacefully caressing the shore or crashing into the coast. You can experience moments of euphoria by jumping into or being forcefully swallowed by the waves before surfacing amidst the gorgeous lands surrounding you! Whatever your preference, you will surely fall in love with the beaches of Portugal.

Portuguese villa, Carvoeiro beach

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