Portugal has been around since 868 and it is the most westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe. The fact that its coast is border by the Atlantic Ocean and by Spain (northern and eastern coats), it has since early times been a gateway to and from Europe. Besides the Portuguese mainland, its territory extends to the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira. Portugal has much to oﬀer from forests (rain and dry), wild beaches, snowy mountains, rivers, dams to amazing ancient and cosmopolitan cities. It’s not such a small country after all.
Kleya has prepared a short list of what is hot in Portugal and what it has to oﬀer, to all those who wish to visit and those who decide to make it their home.
In 2017 alone, Portugal hosted over 12 million foreigners; it has, without a doubt, become a very popular country and here’s why:
The Friendliest people in the world, according to Forbes.
Local Portuguese are very warm and welcoming towards foreigners; they make themselves available, try to speak the same language and they might, even, invite you to grab something to eat or drink upon meeting you; these are some of the reasons why Forbes nominated Portugal as the friendliest country in the world in 2018. Check out some of these numbers:
Weather forecast: Sunny.
- Friendly attitude towards expats: 94%
- Ease of making local friends: 58%
- Expats likely to stay forever: 47%
Lisbon receives an average of 2799 hours of sun per year, roughly 300 days of sunshine; it is the third sunniest city in Europe. Both winter and summer seasons are mild.
You get your money’s worth
In 2017, Portugal was ranked the cheapest holiday destination, so you can get the quality you desire and your money can really go the extra mile.
You can eat delicious traditional Portuguese meals for under 10€. Portions are often so massive that you could share a meal and at that cost. On average a beer costs 1€ and a late-night Ice Cream run can cost 5€.
Portuguese hostels are cheaper than others, they are family friendly and are equipped to help you feel at home. This year’s HOSCAR Awards placed 5 Portuguese medium-sized hostels on the top 10 best medium-sized hostels of the world list, three of which hold the top 5 spots. You can stay in these hostels for as little as 16€ per night.
Today, almost every airline oﬀers a direct ﬂight to Portugal, which not only makes your trip less stressful but also more aﬀordable.
Beaches and Surf
Whether you’re searching for the perfect wave or for a calm beach to relax, Portugal has it all. Portuguese beaches are becoming more famous with time, from the biggest wave ever surfed (23.9 meters) to the pristine and wild beaches considered to be the most beautiful in the world, Portugal will deﬁnitely surprise you.
Wine and Dine
Portugal is known for many amazing things, especially for its rich delicacies and wine.
Pasteis de belém they are traditional custard tards, the original ones are from Pastéis de Belém and their secret recipe is one of Lisbon’s best kept secrets and is estimated to be more than 200 years old. Most, if not all, Portuguese pastries and traditional sweets were created inside the walls of the convents and monasteries produced by the nouns that resided there.
For the love of cod: almost every Portuguese traditional dish consists of cod and it is to die for, whether you prefer boiled, grilled, fried, baked or even roasted: the Portuguese have ﬁgured out a way to cook cod that way! The most well-known cod dishes are bacalhau com natas, pasteis de bacalhau and bacalhau à Brás.
Port Wine for example is the country’s most common wine, it comes from the Douro region and its unique process includes stopping the fermentation process in order to rise the alcohol levels by adding a locally produced moonshine, but what makes this wine special and unique that it can only be found in the Sour region is the soil and position of the valleys. Most of the original distilleries are still up and running nowadays and are open to the public for visits and wine tasting.
Portugal has much to oﬀer for those who are thinking of settling down here, however moving is like starting over. If your new destination is in another country or city, it’s not just a simple move, it’s an adventure. Whether it be a new home for you or your business, the naked walls long for ornaments, pictures, awards and memories of which you will make. The light of a new location enters through the curtain less window and projects new paths, waiting to be discovered and lived. Find out what your next favourite restaurant will be, what your daily routine will be like, get to know your neighbours, grow your business and your family. Whether you are retiring, studying or even opening a new business, enjoy leisure activities that will give you the peace of mind that you need to devote yourself to what you want to achieve. This is an opportunity to discover new things and to rediscover yourself, a new experience ﬁlled with new routines, tastes and hobbies. Portugal has a little something to oﬀer everyone. Portugal has, throughout its continental territory and islands, the most wonderful landscapes that will receive you with open arms. A unique country that oﬀers you a cosmopolitan culture in modern cities of great cultural heritage, beaches that are mistaken for paradises or bucolic places away from the commotion of the great urban centres.
Discover what makes you live, a new beginning in Portugal
WINE AND GASTRONOMY
Portuguese food as told by Chef José Avillez
There are many reasons as to why people fall in love with Portugal, but for many that reason is the food. You can discover a fusion of ﬂavours due to the inﬂuence of Portuguese maritime discoveries and colonial-era ties on its Mediterranean foundation, but most importantly, you will taste delicious and nourishing food. Moreover, there is a growing number of acclaimed chefs and new Michelin stars capturing international attention. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Chef José Avillez that runs the 2 Michelin Star restaurant Belcanto that guided us to the best of the Portuguese cuisine.
We asked Chef José Avillez, in his opinion what the best Portuguese gastronomy is and what plates we should taste at Belcanto to have an unforgettable Portuguese experience:
Portuguese cuisine is incredibly rich and varied. We have a Mediterranean diet. However, because of all the travels our navigators did during the Age of Discovery, our cuisine was enriched and inﬂuenced by ingredients and techniques from diﬀerent continents. Besides that, Portugal has a wide variety of landforms, climatic conditions, and soils: we have a long coast line, Northern Portugal is mountainous, the Central coastal region consists of dunes and pine forests, Southern Portugal (namely in Alentejo) is an area of plains… so each region has diﬀerent products (olive oil, cheese, smoked sausages, ham, meat, fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs…) and a diﬀerent cuisine. That’s why the Portuguese cuisine is such a treasure. But what I really love is our ﬁsh and shellﬁsh. The ﬂavours and the textures are amazing. I do believe we have the best ﬁsh and shellﬁsh in the world. At Belcanto we serve Portuguese cuisine with a contemporary inspiration and an emphasis on top quality ingredients and on the accuracy of preparation. I would suggest you try the “Dip in the sea”: sea bass (cooked in a vacuum sealed bag at 54 ºC), seaweed, codium, bivalves (mussels, cockles, and razor clams) and sea water (mussel’s water)
TO FIND OUT HOW PORTUGAL MIGHT JUST BE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR.