The semitropical Portuguese island of Madeira lies in the Atlantic Ocean, 750 milessouthwest of Lisbon. This paradise‘s climate is always warm in winter, but never too hot in summer, and with usual abundance of sun.
In the foothills of the Centro de Portugal Region lies an ancient secret. The town of Belmonte there was the center of community life for “crypto” Jews a people who, for centuries, practiced their religion in secret after it had been banned by the Inquisition. Judaism was abolished in 1496 in Belmonte and other Portuguese towns, but the Jewish people kept their rituals and faith alive in secret for centuries. As generations died away, the origins of these rituals were lost to memory.
The discovery of a 400,000-year-old half skull in Portugal has offered tantalizing hints about a possible ancestor of the Neanderthals. The discovery, unearthed at the Aroeira cave site, marks the oldest human cranium fossil ever found in Portugal, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Portugal has gone to the dogs… Well, actually almost a dozen dog breeds hail from Portugal. Some, like the Portuguese Podengo and the Cão de Água are becoming very well known in the US, and others like the Barbado da Terceira are still undiscovered. Others are emerging on the dog show scene. Here is your guide to the Dogs of Portugal!
On the coast, you have some amazing places, washed by the Atlantic Ocean – Nazare, with its beaches, colorful fish boats, and high cliffs is delightful any day of the year, but is also offers the biggest wave\s and the most intense surfing. Up the coast you have beach resorts like Figueira da Foz and Mira. And the city of Aveiro, with is canals and bright boats is a must visit, as is its sandy coastline-with saltpans and some of the freshest fish anywhere.
As for meat, local favorites include the Serrabulho, which begins its cooking process as boiled pig's blood before blending it with rice. There is also the crackling pork (Rojões) and leg of pork à Clara Penha.