Going Places Educational Travel Blog - 7 Reasons to Visit Portugal
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April 24, 2014

7 Reasons to Visit Portugal

1. Learn (or try to learn) Portuguese in its native land! It’s the 6th most spoken language in the world.  Not only the official language of Portugal itself, Portuguese is also the official language of Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde and a few other places.  Over 250 million people speak Portuguese worldwide.

2. The capital city of Lisbon. The western-most city in Europe, and the only European capital located on the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon boasts over a half-million inhabitants.  Lisbon is a trendy mix of new and old.  The ancient part of the city is rich in culture, architecture and art; while the newer section is a thriving business and financial mecca.  Don’t miss the ever-present mosaic tiles that line nearly every street and building.

3. No trip to Portugal is complete without a visit to Fatima. Even the non-religious will be in awe of this holy place where three shepherd children witnessed the visitation of an angel on three separate occasions, and where the “Miracle of the Sun” took place and was witnessed by an astonishing crowd of over 50,000 people.  One of the children became a nun and passed away at the age of 97 just a few years ago, in 2005.  The church is petitioning to have her canonized.  Nearly a century later, people still make pilgrimages to Fatima for the purposes of healing and spirituality.

4. Flan, flan, and more flan. This dessert staple is the Portuguese classic custard adored the world over.  It’s easy to make from just water, sugar, eggs, milk, a lemon rind, vanilla extract and some cinnamon sticks, and is the cap-off of most meals served in Portuguese restaurants. Yum!

5. The Atlantic Coast of Portugal is breathtakingly beautiful, and reminiscent of the Atlantic Coast of the United States, particularly Maine and Cape Cod.  From the steep, orange rock formations at Albufiera, to the deep blue rocky coast of Lagos, to beautiful Sintra so reminiscent of the Provincelands of Cape Cod, and the more-touristy Troia Beach, Portugal is a can’t-miss beach destination.  Who knew?

6. It’s where other Europeans prefer to spend their vacations! According to recent statistics over 12 million tourists visit Portugal each year.  

7. Porto! Where port wine got its name, and was invented, Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city.  Located in northern Portugal, Porto, also known as Oporto, like Lisbon, is a mix of new and old.  Its main attraction is the Porto Cathedral and of course the many port-producing wineries.  Baroque architecture here is widely represented, and the city boasts a booming economic scene that all but rivals its big sister, Lisboa.  Located on the breathtaking Douro River, an excellent railway system brings Lisbon and Oporto together in just a quick three-hour train ride.

Category: Travel Inspiration


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