9 Fascinating Things You Never Knew About Portugal

9 Fascinating Things You Never Knew About Portugal

Portugal truly is an enchanting place. Just ask anyone who has opted to plan “relocation to Portugal”. They will tell you it’s a place filled with beauty, charm, and history. 

Unfortunately, many people know little about the country. 

So, in this article, we want to share 9 fascinating things about Portugal that might just change your opinion of the country.

1. Portugal is the oldest country in Europe

Portugal is widely considered to be the oldest country in Europe, with roots dating back at least 2500 years to the ancient Roman Empire. 

Much of Portugal’s history is defined by its strategic location along the Tagus River and its role as an important trading hub connecting Europe to Africa and Asia. 

2. The oldest bookstore in the world is in Portugal

The oldest bookstore in the world is in Portugal, located in the city of Lisbon. The Livraria Bertrand is a family-owned chain of bookstores that have been in business since 1732. 

Since April 2010, this shop has held the Guinness World Record for “oldest bookstore still in activity”.

3. The Portuguese language is an official language in 8 different nations

The Portuguese language is an official language in 8 different nations: Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, São Tomé e Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, and East Timor. 

It is also a co-official language in Macau and Equatorial Guinea. And today there are more than 200 million speakers of Portuguese worldwide. If you decide on relocation to Portugal, you could end up being among them too! 

The Portuguese language has roots in Latin and evolved from Galician-Portuguese, spoken in what is now Galicia (northwestern Spain) and northern Portugal. It spread to other areas of the world through the maritime expansion of Portugal during the 15th and 16th centuries.

4. It is the first country in the world to decriminalize all drugs

In 2001, Portugal became the first country in the world to decriminalize all drugs. This means that possession and use of any drug is not a criminal offense. 

Instead, it is treated as a public health issue. The government provides free treatment and counseling services to those who need it, and there are no penalties for drug use or possession.

Critics argue that decriminalization will lead to more drug use and addiction. However, evidence from Portugal shows that this is not the case. Drug use has actually declined since decriminalization was implemented.

5. Portugal is one of the best surfing spots in the world

Portugal is one of the best surfing spots in the world. With its long coastline, rugged coastlines, and warm waters, Portugal is a surfer’s paradise. There are many great surf spots in Portugal, but the most popular spot is Praia do Norte, Nazaré.

Praia do Norte is one of the most famous surf spots in Portugal, and surfers from all over the world come to Praia do Norte to ride massive waves.

6. Portugal is one of the best countries to retire to

With its beautiful coastline, warm Mediterranean climate, and rich culture and history, Portugal is widely considered one of the best places in the world to retire. 

Portugal boasts a vibrant economy, wonderful quality of life, with plenty of sunshine, clean air and water, and a wide range of recreational activities available, as well as a low cost of living, allowing retirees to enjoy a wealth of amenities while still saving money.

7. It is a leader in Europe for green energy

In recent years, Portugal has emerged as one of the leading countries in Europe for green energy. This is largely due to the country’s extensive investment in renewable energy sources like wind and solar. 

Thanks to its favorable natural conditions, Portugal can generate a significant amount of power through these renewable resources, allowing it to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels

8. Portugal is among the world’s top cork producers

Portugal is one of the world’s top cork producers, supplying over 50% of the world’s cork. Corks are harvested from the bark of Cork Oak trees, which are native to Portugal. 

9. It’s home to Europe’s second-longest bridge

Portugal is home to the second-longest bridge in Europe. The Vasco da Gama bridge spans over 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) and was built in 1998. It’s named after the Portuguese explorer, the first European to reach India by sea.

Are you considering relocation to Portugal?

Now you know some interesting tidbits about the country, but seeing it with your own eyes makes all the difference. Consider traveling to Portugal, and soon your relocation to Portugal dreams might just become your reality!