THE CHARM OF PORTUGAL
Explore Europe's cultural perceptions through the splendour of Portugal
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Karla Caloca, Catarina Carvalho, Marc Schadegg, Vitor Pinto,
25 July 2019
Golden beaches and tiny, villages with interesting historical past - welcome to Portugal.
The European country has so much charm locked around the street corners that we couldn't put all of it into words. It is no doubt that there is a lot to do in the land where the sun shines bright. You can watch dolphins in their natural habitat in Sado, Estuary or for the sports junkies, you can go kayaking in Rio Guadiana. Portugal has sites, listed by UNESCO on their World Heritage Site. Wonder around the corridors of some of the coolest cities, such as Tomar, Batalha, Belém and Alcobaça to uncover the rich Portuguese culture that awaits you to learn all its stories.
A lot of nations with different cultural and religious beliefs have left an impact over the country. This has shaped the present and is a milestone of its past. Celts, Moors, Visigoths and Christians have all helped shape Portugal's perceptions and the population's demographic look. The locals are known for their love of fun.
Lots of annual festivals are organised and gather together people from across the globe to celebrate together. Portuguese know how to dance and are not afraid to show it. The music festivals have a way to make you feel so alive. The country has a ' freedom' kind of vibe. The bars in Lagos, Porto and Coimbra are open until late. Start from the restaurants the way locals sometimes do. Enjoy some freshly baked bread and olives, accompanied by a palette of cheese, olive oil, herbs and a good glass of wine. For the lovers of the seafood try the scrimps and the fish caught from the Mediterranean. Skip desert and go dancing instead. Portugal knows how to keep its people entertained. You will not be disappointed because there are so many ways to explore the country and have fun.
We strongly recommend going for long walks, they are a good way to fill your soul with happiness. From Douro Valley you have a view overlooking the vineyards. It is the ideal place to stay alone with your thoughts and watch the sun set over the grape fields. An interesting stop along your journey should be Beiras. This little explored province is less visited by tourists and still has a kind of untouched charm. It is located a bit further in the land coming from the Atlantic and it is as if it has been designed to stay hidden. Surfers go there to catch some waves under the embrace of high mountains and stone villages surrounding the area.