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Top 3, in Portugal

Top 3, in Portugal

Our virtual trip from today lands use somewhere close to us and our Latin roots, more exactly in Portugal (officially Portuguese Republic), the country lying along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe.

While it was once one of the poorest countries in Western Europe, the end of the dictatorship and the advent of democracy in 1974, as well as its entry into the European Union in 1986, indicated a substantial rise in prosperity. It may now be one of the best value destinations in the Continent.

The population of Portugal is of 10 million inhabitants, the same as that of Greece actually, which is equivalent to 0.13% of the total world population. Ethnic Portuguese account for 95% of the population, while the remaining 5% are composed of minority groups of Brazilians, Han Chinese, and people from Portugal’s former colonies in Africa and Asia.

Speaking of population, let’s see what are the main cities by population in Portugal:

  • Lisbon – 517,802 people
  • Porto – 249,633 people
  • Amadora – 178,858 people

Being a relatively small country, it’s easier to get around and see more areas than to the neighboring Spain in the same amount of time. The temperate climate makes it a year-round holiday destination, where travelers can see Roman and Moorish ruins, among other tourist attractions in Portugal. With that in mind, the top attractions are:

  • Oceanário de Lisboa (The Lisbon Oceanarium is one of the few aquariums in the world to house a sunfish, because of their unique and demanding requirements for care)
  • Pena National Palace (Created by King Ferdinand II, it is an impressive example of 19th century Romanticism, not only in Portugal but also the world)
  • Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Vasco da Gama, discovered the sea route to India in 1498 and to honor his achievement, King Manuel I commissioned a monument that became a lasting symbol of the country’s astonishing era of conquest and expansion)

And since we’ve talked about the ocean, you can’t go to Portugal without bathing in the great Atlantic Ocean, which happens to be much colder than the seas we’ve tried so far. Portugal is famed for its beautiful beaches, and along the 1,794 km of coastline are found some of Europe’s finest beaches. The top 3 are:

  • Praia do Creiro (Sesimbra)
  • Praia do Almograve (Alentejo Coastline)
  • Praia do Guincho (Cascais)

After a few good hours (or even days) of beach and good weather, it would be ideal not only to catch the sun’s rays, but also to visit other natural beauties. With that in mind, here are the 3 most beautiful national and nature parks in Portugal:

  • Sintra-Cascais Natural Park (the park is primarily known for its unbelievable historical sites)
  • Peneda-Geres National Park (established to protect and preserve this unique range of landscapes)
  • Arrabida Natural Park (with lovely sandy beaches, beautiful rocky cliffs lining the shore and low-lying mountains covered in lush vegetation stretching inland)

Although most people don’t know a lot about Portugal, there are at many things that almost everybody thinks of when they think about it. It’s impossible not to think of football when you think of Portugal. Most of Portugal’s most famous celebrities are footballers:

  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Luís Figo
  • Eusébio

Portugal is also famous for the production of Port Wine produced in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. While several other countries manufacture port-style wine – South Africa, for example – only port wine made in Porto can be considered Port. On this occasion we will present the most expensive wines in the country:

  • W & J Graham’s ‘Ne Oublie’ Tawny Port (€ 7,235)
  • S. Terrantez, Madeira (€5,654)
  • Taylor Fladgate Limited Edtions 1863 Single Harvest Port (€3,230)

If we mentioned prices, we should also talk about the country’s economy. The economy of Portugal is ranked 42nd in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2017–2018. The Portuguese currency is the euro (€) and the country has been a part of the Eurozone since its inception. The country’s GDP has decreased at $236.408 billion, while the GDP per capita is $23,031.

The most recent exports are led by:

  • Cars ($4.33B)
  • Vehicle Parts ($3.56B)
  • Refined Petroleum ($2.87B

While the most recent imports of Portugal are led by:

  • Crude Petroleum ($5.75B)
  • Cars ($5.47B)
  • Vehicle Parts ($2.92B)

That’s about the less interesting parts, because the last category presented today in our Top 3 is related to Portuguese cuisine. Known for its wealth of seafood, spices and olive oil, Portuguese cuisine relies heavily on the Atlantic Ocean and the produce grown throughout the country. The most famous dishes are:

  • Caldo Verde – an iconic traditional Portuguese soup, green in color and made with a particular dark green cabbage that is not widely available beyond Portugal’s borders. Substitutes include collard greens or kale.
  • Bacalhau or Portuguese cod fish – there are over 365 ways of preparing bacalhau – one for each day of the year.
  • Sardines – Portuguese sardines are primarily consumed fresh with 12 pounds of sardines eaten per person every year.

Have you had Portuguese food? What was your favorite Portuguese dishes? Leave your comments below. Let your voices be heard! If you love to express your opinions, we can give more power to your voice. The more we are, the more powerful! Join one of our panels!

 

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