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Portugal interesting facts – 10 fun facts you didn’t know about!

Portugal was our biggest travel surprise in 2016. Not only this country is extremely beautiful but it also has an amazing atmosphere and friendly people. With almost 1,000 kilometres (586 mi) of coastline, it’s one of the best tourist destinations in Europe. In this post we have gathered the most amazing Portugal interesting facts. They are funny,  informative and sometimes very surprising.

The facts are mainly connected with the history, culture and geography of this country. They are are useful not only for the travellers visiting Portugal but also for everyone who is interested in getting to know new things about the world.

coimbra-city

Portugal interesting facts #1

The westernmost point of Europe is located in Portugal

Portugal is the last country in Europe. It’s bordering with America through the Atlantic Ocean.

The westernmost point of the continent is located at the Azores island and it’s called Monchique Islet. The most extreme western point of continental Europe is called Cabo da Roca and is situated very close to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.

We have been to Cabo da Roca during our trip to Portugal. This place is heartbreakingly beautiful! The fresh air, sounds of waves and unspoilt nature are almost too good to be true. It’s definitely the top place we have seen in this country.

Cabo da Roca Portugal interesting facts – 10 fun facts you didn’t know about!

Portugal interesting facts #2

Portugal was one of the world’s most powerful countries in the past

Even though the territory of generic Portugal is rather small, it was the hegemon of the Age of Exploration and one of the largest empires in history. Portuguese conquered the new lands throughout the ages, killing many innocent people and expanding their influence all around the world.

Portuguese is native to more than 200 million people in the world. It’s an official language in 10 countries & independent territories, including Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, East Timor, Macau and of course Portugal. It’s also the 6th most spoken language in the world.

coimbra

Portugal interesting facts #3

The country was named after Porto

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal, located few hours driving from Lisbon. It’s one of the greatest tourist destinations in the country, with beautiful architecture and historic centre that has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What’s interesting this city has two official names: Porto and Oporto.

porto

Portugal interesting facts #4

Portugal has the same borders for almost thousand years

It’s quite an impressive accomplishment, considering the fact that two world wars took place mainly in Europe. Other countries in Western Europe like Germany or Slovenia had a very rough history and their borders changed very often., It’s different with Portugal- the country was established in 12th century and it was expanding ever since that time.

The original borders of Portugal stayed the same, it has only lost the conquered territories.

ocean-portugal

Portugal interesting facts #5

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe

The earliest inhabitants settled on present-day Lisbon more than 3,000 years ago! That makes the capital of Portugal older than London or Rome.

Lisbon is the biggest city and one of the best places to visit in the country. It’s located at the Atlantic Ocean and invites visitors from all over the world to explore its beauty.

lisbon

Portugal interesting facts #6

Portugal holds many world records

The longest bridge in the world is located in Lisbon. It’s 17 kilometres (10,5 miles) long and it’s called was named after Vasco da Gama.

One of the oldest continuously operating universities in Europe is located in Coimbra. It was established in 13th century and it’s still one of the best schools in the country.

Portugal is the biggest cork producer in the world.

The other interesting records that belongs to Portugal are the shortest and the longest reigning monarchs. Luís Filipe was a king of the country for 20 minutes and Alfonso I Henrique of Portugal was a king for more than 73 years.

Portugal holds the record for the biggest wave ever surfed. As surfer from Garrett McNamara rode a 23.77m (78 ft) – high wave.

Last but not least- the biggest omelette was made in Portugal! It was enormous with the weight of 6.466 tonnes (14,225 lbs. 6 oz.).

Portugal interesting facts #7

Portugal has the best (arguably) wine in the world

Port wine is the best that we have ever been drinking. It was created by mixing the wine with brandy, so it has an unique taste that can’t be compared to anything else.

Port is sweet, strong and full of flavours.

port-wine

Portugal interesting facts #8

Portugal is a groundbreaking country

Even though conquering foreign lands and destroying their cultures are terrible, Portugal has always been the precursor of the good change. It was the first European country that abolish the slavery. It was in the group of the countries that adopted euro currency in 1999.

Portugal was one of the top 10 countries that allowed the same-sex marriage in Europe. It’s also a world leader in renewable energy: 70% of its energy came from wind, solar and hydro powers by 2014.

sintra

Portugal interesting facts #9

It’s always warm in Portugal

Even in the winter, the Portugal is sunny and warm. It’s one of the hottest countries in Europe with an average temperature of ~14 °C (57.2). The lowest temperature ever recorded in Portugal is −16.0 °C (3.2 °F).

Because of the wonderful weather, one of the Portuguese islands, Madeira is called, the island of eternal spring.

palm-trees-lisbon

Portugal interesting facts #10

The most popular religion in Portugal is Catholicism

Over 80% of Portuguese declare to be Catholics. Less than 20% of them are actually professing their faith by attending the masses and taking the sacraments.

What’s interesting, one of the most important places for Catholics is located in Portugal. Fatima is a small town, famous from the apparition of Virgin Mary to the three children. They claimed to be given the visions of the future and the hell.

Fatima attracts believers from all over the world. They are praying to Our Lady of Fátima and asking for her help.

fatima-sanctuary

Did you know these facts about Portugal? Do you know any other interesting informations about this country? Share your thoughts in comment!

26 COMMENTS

  1. So interesting with all the changes in countries and rulers over time that Portugal has had the same boarders for so many years. I have had this conversation with my fiance from UK, I’m from US and never even considered that Portugal was the mort western part of Europe, We were always taught in school that the UK and Iceland were part of the European Continent, separate yet part. I get it now and would never consider that thought process anymore but you would be amazed at how many people in America consider UK part of Europe.

    • Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of continental Europe. Islands (Iceland, UK etc.) count as Europe as well. What’s interesting, the westernmost point of Europe, including islands, also belongs to Portugal! It’s located in the Azores.

  2. Such a fascinating country. Did you know that it is thought Vasco da Gama was the first westerner to land in Australia? Most people think the British discovered Australia but there is a lot if evidence to suggest the Portuguese arrived on the western coast first. I’ve only been to Lisbon but look forward to discovering more of beautiful Portugal soon

  3. Portugal is one of my favorite destinations and I would recommend it to everyone choosing a European destination. Lisbon and Porto are unbeatable cities in all respects. Your post just reminded me of all the wonderful sights.

  4. Some of them I knew but things like it has the best wine, popular religion was new to me. I have good memories of my Portugal visit and now improved my knowledge too. 🙂

  5. I would love to visit Portugal one day soon and explore all this beautiful spots of the country. Cabo da Roca looks fantastic, and the same Porto. I would love to visit a winery and learn more about the Port wine.

  6. Interesting facts – some I knew and some I did not. 🙂 Especially the facts on records that Portugal holds. Quite fascinating indeed. And yes, Portuguese wine does beat some of the popular wines in a lot of ways. I personally love them.

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