Portugal is a country where the good things in life are a rule of life. In spite of its Mediterranean airs, this old kingdom considered for its conquests and its explorers does not present any access on Mare Nostrum. Leave to the meeting the Atlantic in all its size. The violence of its winds works the landscapes of the ground, the generosity of its fauna nourishes its men whereas the rate of his flow levels the nautical sporting-men and of balneal stays. Let go by the Bohemian one at the time one weekend to Lisbon, to familiarize itself with the buildings in Oporto, or to take the sun on the beaches of Algarve, a travel to Portugal can be all that at the same time.
If Portugal is part, as well as Spain, of the Iberian peninsula, it does not have of it less its own cultural identity. Here, between small villages, sandy beaches gilded and castles, all breathes happiness to live and heat. One is quickly allured by the exceptional heritage this country which knew many invasions (Celtic, Roman, Visigoths, or Moors), growing rich by these many cultures. Located at the extreme south-west of the continent of Europe, and west of the Iberian peninsula, Portugal shares its border in the east with Spain.
Portugal is one of the oldest countries of all Europe, when one walks there, one immediately notices the many archaeological sites and other monuments of time which constantly point out the strong identity of Portugal to us. But if the cities, with the image of Lisbon or Oporto, abound in monuments and other charming lanes, the country also has an exceptional nature with the diversified landscapes: olive groves with the vines, via granitic cliffs, not an area of Portugal does not resemble another. Impossible to limit itself to a small area when one decides to leave to the conquest the country, it is all Portugal as a whole that it is necessary to learn how to like. But do not mislead you there, if the country has aspects of Mediterranean territory, it does not remain about it less entirely not turned towards the Atlantic and its power. Here, it is the ocean which dominates!
If one must retain only one thing of the Portuguese culture, it is well the classical music of the country, celebrates it fado. Full with melancholy, this melody rocked the generations of Portuguese, animating all the streets of the country. This song of the saudade was imported Brazil, before rooting in the lanes of Lisbon, to become a true Portuguese creation.
Portugal is also famous for its crafts, and more particularly for the art of the azulejos. These decorative earthenware squares are a tradition come from the Moors, who taught the techniques with the Portuguese of them. Still today manufactured, they embellish villas and lanes in all the country. Always alive, this art is also present in the subway of the capital, Lisbon, and it is not rare to see stations decorated with mural frescos.
The simple and delicious Portuguese traditional gastronomy is very appreciated travellers, and mixes various elements which make its characteristic. Fond of delicacies of fishes, in particular of cod, the Portuguese also appreciate the pork, that they eat with all sauces. As regards desserts, how to pass beside the famous pastéis of nata, spécialitées typical of Lisbon. The Portuguese meals are often accompanied by wine, but it is Oporto which gains all the votes in Portugal and in the rest of the world.
As in much of country of the south of Europe, religious enthusiasm is with the honor in Portugal. Dominating, Catholicism gathers 95% of the Portuguese, and its Church is particularly respected in the country. Portugal is indeed the land of welcome of the one of the principal holy places of the world. The pilgrimage of Fatima, in Estrémadure, attracts each year of tens of thousands of people come from the whole world.