Portugal might be a small country, about the size of Maine, but it offers a big variety of food, artistic practices, music, and traditional crafts among many other things. We’ve put together a list of experiences that are bucket-list essentials of a trip to Portugal and that you won't be able to get anywhere else.
An old Portuguese saying tells us that past waters do not turn the watermill. So often guests to Portugal don’t realize that Portugal is a nation defined by its rivers. From names, to culture to region, the waters that flow through Portugal define the nation.
So many people plan their trip to Portugal as Lisbon to the Algarve. Now these are great places to be, but would you plan a trip from, say, Genoa to Rome without stopping in Tuscany? Well, there is this part of Portugal that is unique, romantic and a destination all its own in between. Meet the Alentejo where there are no big cities with tall skyscrapers, large avenues, and luxurious shops - instead, the Alentejo is composed of smaller towns with low, whitewashed houses and narrow streets, where the traditional handcraft and cuisine are the attraction.
Unless you consider it truly essential to visit some Portuguese beaches in the following weeks, coming to Portugal - as an American citizen - is only possible if there is actual essential reason for now. Individuals wanting to travel for tourism will still have to wait a while to see if the current rules (see the legislation) ease for Americans coming to Portugal. If you hold a Portuguese passport, you can travel now.
If you ever plan to motor south — in Portugal-travelmy way, take the highway that is best Get your kicks on Route EN2.
If you’re looking for a place where tranquility abounds, the Alentejo is the place. This is a constant feeling you get when you find yourself surrounded by the endless Alentejo landscapes, its slower pace of life, and its wide and endless plains. It’s a land of simplicity where nature takes the leading role and the past lives on. Cork is part of the natural wonder that people from the Alentejo have upheld for centuries - it is harvested from a specific layer of bark, on the cork oak tree.
In Portugal, there’s an open-air gallery, all around the country. And if you happen to have visited Portugal, you’ve probably stepped on this kind of art. But don’t worry, you’re supposed to: We’re talking about the Calçada Portuguesa - or Portuguese traditional mosaic sidewalks - which is the way of paving with original designs and shapes made out of basalt and limestone. The work is done by hand by the calceteiros - the professional sidewalk crafters who chip and chisel away at black and white stones and fit them by hand.
What do you need to know before moving, besides that there are beautiful beaches, good weather, and amazing food? It’s important to get some inside background on this country’s lifestyle before wanting to move. So we’ve prepared this sort-of-guide for you. Read on!
There’s a saying in Portugal about there being a different recipe of codfish for each day of the year. Is that actually true? Maybe, but it sure says a lot about the Portuguese love of codfish. And, by that, we mean salted cod, bacalhau. To explain the story behind how codfish became the “faithful friend” of this nation’s tables, it will open this Summer The Interpretive Center of the History of Cod, in Terreiro do Paço (Torreão Nascente) - in Lisbon.
“We call it Alentejo” is the title of a new short video introduction to Portugal’s Alentejo, mixing breathtaking scenes and accolades won over recent months.