Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe with a rich history. The one who came to Portugal for the first time will see much more than he expected. The answer is that no literature can reliably describe a country where the contrasts of tradition and culture coexist, created over the course of 15 centuries not only by local residents, but also by travelers and merchants from India, Japan, and Africa. Portugal is located on the edge of Europe. The country occupies the southwestern limb of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the island of Madeira and the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. The country was named after the Roman settlement of Portus Cale, which was once located at the mouth of the Douro River.
Portugal is a very colorful country. Bizarre cliffs hanging over the ocean, picturesque parks, dormant alleys of old cities, purple vineyards, ancient castles and palaces, golden beaches of the Algarve coast – the spirit of the Middle Ages still hovers over all this. On the territory of a small area of Portugal, a huge number of monuments of the richest historical heritage are carefully stored. Four centuries of the Moorish yoke greatly affected the face of Portugal, giving it a unique and surprising originality. The climate in Portugal is subtropical, Mediterranean, with some features of the oceanic. Summer is hot, but in coastal areas the heat is largely mitigated by the fresh sea breeze, which blows almost constantly.
By the nature of the landscape, Portugal can be quite clearly divided into two parts – northern and southern. In the northern regions, more mountains and numerous rivers cross the country. The south is famous for its abundance of golden beaches, low hilly plateaus with olive plantations and groves of cork oak and almond. The fact that Portugal is the edge of the continent has its own charm. In it, as in any province (and Portugal is often called the province of Europe), it rests much better than in the centers of civilization. Moreover, the benefits of civilization created here do not violate the leisurely rhythm of life.
Climbing deep into any town, as if you find yourself in the Middle Ages with numerous artisan shops. The Portuguese retained the inherent modesty of the villagers, friendliness, cordiality and hospitality. Moreover, they know how to be hospitable without intrusiveness and hospitable without cronyism. On the Portuguese streets you will not be grabbed by the hands to sell something unnecessary or to call into a restaurant. But if you make the choice yourself, you will get excellent service. Staff at airports, hotels or banks are fluent in English. But not only them: many Portuguese speak English – many years of friendly relations with the UK are affecting.
Once the mistress of half the world, Portugal has long attracted the attention of the European aristocracy. Here, in the westernmost point of Europe, the spirit of aristocracy is still floating. When rest by the sea came into fashion at the beginning of the 20th century, the local Riviera was a serious competitor to Gangnam, San Sebastian, Wiesbaden and San Remo. In 1926, the famous Casino do Estoril gambling establishment opened in the latter, finally securing the status of the most chic European resort on the coast near Lisbon. The Second World War only contributed to the growth of Portugal in the higher spheres, as the most western neutral country, it then became a haven for many royal families. Refugee aristocrats built many villas and residences on the Riviera, which to this day serve their descendants and successors and adorn the landscape. Lisbon – the “pearl” of Portuguese cities, fascinates with its churches, castles, palaces, medieval streets and museums.
When daytime noise fades and young people hide behind the walls of nightclubs and clubs and discos, and old people gather in their favorite zucchini behind a glass of porto, when fadush singers take the first guitar chords and begin to sing about love and hate, about paradise and hellfire, when the black cockerel , a symbol of peace and prosperity, opens its wings, guarding the peace of its Lusitania – then all the differences are erased. Portuguese cuisine is simple and hearty dishes of meat, fish and vegetables. The art of cooking is handed down here from generation to generation. Portuguese wines are famous all over the world for their exquisite taste. The country produces a huge amount of red, white and green, champagne-like wines. But the real calling card of Portugal is port wine.