Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. Its ocean side location influences many aspects of its culture – salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes, the Algarve’s beaches are a major tourist destination and much of the nation’s architecture dates to the 1500s-1800s, when Portugal had a maritime empire. Medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities and golden beaches: Portugal offers it all: history, great food and idyllic scenery!
Its capital and largest city is Lisbon, with a population of 552,700:
Lisbon is recognized as global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism. Lisbon offers all the delights you’d expect of Portugal’s star attractions: Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums are all part of the colorful cityscape but the real delights of discovery lie in wandering the narrow lanes of Lisbon’s lovely backstreets.
Portuguese cuisine has many Mediterranean influences and is famous for its freshly baked bread, olives, cheese, red wine or crisp vinho verde, chargrilled fish, cataplana (seafood stew) and smoked meats – the Portuguese are said to have perfected the art of cooking simple, delicious meals.
A variety of spices used to perfect their dishes include piri piri (small, fiery chilli peppers), black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla and saffron. Olive oil is one of the bases of Portuguese cuisine both for cooking and flavoring meals. Garlic is widely used, as are herbs such as coriander and parsley. Portugal is also famous for its numerous wine regions and the production of port wines.