Deeply attached to its history and traditions, Portugal unveils itself in a completely fascinating facet. Proud of their identity, the Portuguese display the image of people who like to party. During your trip to Portugal, experience a unique atmosphere combining animations, discoveries and enchantment.
The cultural richness of Portugal is revealed also through the finesse of its architecture and its art. Your stay in this country deeply marked by history will be gratified by the visit to museums and art galleries.
When visiting the country, take a trip to the capital where you will discover the tower of Belém. The city of Sintra, with its many palaces and castles of Romantic, Gothic or Renaissance architecture, also deserves special attention.
Still in this area of aesthetics, Portugal excels notably with its famous Azulejos. This art of architectural decoration in earthenware tiles or in ceramics indeed makes the splendour of the country. The facades of several monuments of scale in Portugal are adorned with this ceramic of a brilliant blue.
When you travel to Portugal, you feel a particularly warm atmosphere as soon as you arrive. Music is an integral part of the life of the Portuguese, and it is noticed without much difficulty. The districts of the Alfama and Bairro Alto in Lisbon owe their notoriety thanks to the fado, traditional Portuguese music.
To create friendliness in this festive atmosphere, the Portuguese also like to meet around football. Football is often said to have become a kind of religion for the Portuguese. You will discover the fast-paced Portuguese in a bar or a café, sharing their joy for life in front of a football match. It will also be an excellent opportunity to mingle with this overflowing population.
But the Portuguese culture also shines through its many religious monuments. Drawing its legacy from the Catholic religion, Portugal has a rich religious heritage, following the example of the gigantic Cathedral of Coimbra and the Jeronimos Monastery. Due to its incredible beauty, the Batalha Monastery is also well worth a visit.
The culture and traditions of Portugal are also revealed through its gastronomy. You will spend pleasant moments of tasting in traditional restaurants or in tapas bars. Here you can taste the Pasteis de Belém or the famous pastel de nata.
Although the night of San Juan is a celebration celebrated in several countries, under the watchful eye of the Douro River the city of Oporto lives it in a very special way. June 23 is the date on which the capital of Northern Portugal accompanies the light of the moon with that of the bonfires on which the locals jump, and blows paper balloons with a flame inside. São João is one of the most important and well-known celebrations in the country and this is demonstrated by the crowds who decide to go out to the streets to celebrate it, join a festival and taste grilled sardines accompanied by a good wine from the land.
The so-called martelinhons are the protagonists of a custom as funny as curious. These hammers of toys that emit sounds are used to hit the head of friends, family or any stranger they meet along the way. And the final touch is really spectacular: fireworks that create a unique image to end this special night and welcome the summer solstice.
Near the Lusitanian capital we find the city of Torres Vedras that presumes to house what is, for many, the most Portuguese carnival in the country. This celebration respects the traditions and the past of this joyful party that nobody wants to miss. This show is changing, since each year a different theme is assigned around which will turn to the smallest detail of the great event.
The satirical character of this party is, perhaps, its most characteristic aspect. And there are many floats that, following an organised parade, exhibit caricatures of characters known as politicians and football players in order to entertain the crowds. The giants and big heads also take centre stage in the carnival, as do the so-called Matrafonas, men dressed as women who, in a comical way, express their opinion about the female gender in everyday situations.
A multitude of colours and people in disguise, and a large handful of smiles flood the streets of this city that, at the beginning of March, decides to celebrate the joy of life in this special way.
It is the popular song that is responsible for creating part of the identity of Portugal. Fado is the expression of a people, the representation of the history of the country and the experiences of life. With two centuries of antiquity, this combination of music and poetry has gone from being represented in the streets and cafeterias, to being declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Usually, it is only one person who, through the voice and accompanied by a Portuguese guitar, transmits the nostalgia, frustration and melancholy that characterises this musical genre. Portugal is Fado and this is how its people feel, who hum this music that awakens so many feelings.