While Spain and Portugal share the Iberian Peninsula, they’ve always been separate countries, save for a bit of dynastic overlap a couple of times many years ago. Portugal is the older of the two and very much its own country with its own distinct language and culture. Whether you want to hike in the mountains or loll about on the beaches—or ride horseback or visit palaces and museums or eat and drink your way through every market and tapas bar—you’re sure to have a great time and make wonderful memories.
Portugal: Did You Know?
About 60% of the world’s cork comes from cork oaks that thrive in Portugal. While wine producers have long relied on these trees for bottling their vintages, purses, hats, belts and jewelry are all made from Portuguese cork.
The Portuguese capital of Lisbon is the second oldest continuously-inhabited city in Europe, with only Athens being its senior.
Lisbon’s Mediterranean appearance is deceiving! The capital of Portugal is actually nestled at the confluence of the Tagus River and the Atlantic Ocean. Its more modern look developed after a massive earthquake in 1755 destroyed most of the city’s medieval buildings.
The country boasts a dazzling array of azulejo art, colorful tile in infinite patterns and colors—a legacy of Moorish occupation that ran from about 700 AD to the mid-13th century. It’s not reserved for trim or decoration—you’ll find entire buildings covered in intricately designed tile. Blue and white tile representations of historic events are scattered about the city.