Are you looking to visit Portugal anytime soon? We recently did, by hiring a campervan from the chaps over at Siesta Campers. That’s right the NOTO crew piled in one of the fancy rental surfing motorhomes you can pick at https://www.siestacampers.com/campervans/ and discovered more about the country than we were expecting.
While Portugal is famous for being one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, it is quite underrated compared to other top destinations in the continent. As such, many people know far much less about Portugal than other leading tourist destinations in the region. If you are one of these people, the following fun and interesting facts about Portugal can help you learn more about this beautiful country.
1. Portugal’s name
One of the most interesting facts about Portugal has to do with its name. The country’s name is derived from “Portus Cale” a Latin phrase that means Port of Cale, which was the name given to the city of Porto by the Romans. The interesting fact about the name is that no one is sure as to what exactly Cale means – there have been several conflicting theories.
And oh, by the way, Portugal’s official name is not Portugal. It is called the Portuguese Republic.
2. The capital
Everyone knows that Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal. However, what most people do not realize is that Lisbon has never been officially declared or confirmed to be the country’s capital. Instead, it became the de facto capital of the Portuguese kingdom in 1255 after Alfonso III moved the emperor’s court to the city.
3. Former military prowess
During the ancient civilizations, and even later during the “Age of Discovery” in Europe, Portugal was a world power, a status that they ascended to thanks to its military prowess. During the ancient civilization era, the Romans were unable to conquer Portugal for 200 years. The military prowess of Portuguese was also evident during the colonial era, where the country captured several colonies and built several military forts around the world that have been since turned into museums.
4. Cork production
Another fact about Portugal that you probably didn’t know was the fact the country is the largest producer of cork in the world. Over 70% of all the corks in the world comes from Portugal. The county also has the largest cork forest in the world – which explains the high production.
5. Surfing destination
Portugal has some of the best-surfing destinations in the world. The large coastline, the mild climate, and the wild Atlantic waves make the country one of the best places to learn or enjoy surfing. In fact, some of Portugal’s destinations are on the bucket list of several tourists from all over the world due to their ideal surfing conditions.
6. The sun that sets in the sea
Portugal’s beaches are known for their breathtaking beauty. However, it is not until sundown that you can realize just how much beautiful the beaches are. Most of the country’s beaches face west, which is where the sun sets. Therefore, when visiting Portugal, you can expect to be treated to beautiful scenes at most of the beaches every evening when the sun is setting. The most amazing thing about the sunset is that the sun appears to set in the sea.
7. Campervan road trips
We discoverd that a great many tourists who visit Portugal prefer to explore the country by using campervans. The reasons for this are many, but the main one is the fact that the country has an endless list of attraction sights and activities to engage in, which are spread all over the country.
Hiring a campervan is thus one of the best and most fun of exploring and discovering Portugal. As a result, there are several campervan companies in Portugal, from where you can hire a luxury van for your road trip. Have a look around to pick one that suits you.
From the above facts, you can tell that Portugal is a beautiful country and an amazing vacation destination.
However, if you are looking to have a great time in this beautiful getaway, it is advisable that you learn more about it, including places to visit, what to do, how to get about, and more.