Portugal is the westernmost state in continental Europe. It is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in its southwestern part. The country has 1214 kilometers of land border with Spain in the north, washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the east and south. Portugal also owns the Madeira archipelago in the Atlantic and the Azores, located in the western part of the Strait of Gibraltar. See Portugal abbreviations.
The total area of the country is about 92 thousand square kilometers. As for the administrative division, there are currently 18 districts, 308 municipalities, 4261 communities in Portugal.
The capital of the state is Lisbon.
Major cities: Porto, Amadora, Setubal, Braga, Funchal, Coimbra.
The country is stretched in the direction of the meridian for 550 kilometers from the lower reaches of the Minho River to the confluence of the Guadiana in the Gulf of Cadiz of the Atlantic Ocean.
The area of the state is located on a vast low-lying area of the Iberian Peninsula with a predominantly flat and hilly terrain. From the northeast, the lowlands are framed by the mountains of Northern Mezeta with access to the ocean. The coastline of Portugal forms many bays, in particular, the famous Lisbon harbor. The beaches are mostly sandy.
According to the landscape, Portugal can be divided into northern and southern parts with a border along the Tagus river valley. Northern Portugal is hilly and mountainous, southern Portugal is low and flat. The legendary cork oak grows in the southern part.
The highest mountain range in the country (up to 1990 m) – Serra da Estrela is the western tip of the Cordillera Mountains. In the south is the Serra de Monishke mountain range, which continues the Spanish mountains of the Sierra Morena. The peaks of the ridge are Foya (902 m) and Mount Pikota (774 m).
Portugal has a dense river network. The largest rivers are the Douro (or Duero), the Guadiana and the Tagus. The rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean.
The state has protected areas: National Park called Peneda Geres in the north of the country, Serra da Estrela Natural Park, Malcata, Serra di Montesinho, Serra di Sintra, San Mamedi, Serra di Arabida, dunes Aveiro and others.
According to 800zipcodes, Portugal has a Mediterranean climate with oceanic influences. In the north of the country, especially in mountainous areas, the climate is more humid and cold, in winter there is snow in the mountains. In the south, the climate is characterized by less rainfall, hot and sunny summers.
The average summer temperature in the country can reach +25…+27 0 С with a lot of sunny days. The hot weather is moderated by the westerly wind.
In winter, the average temperature borders on +8…+11 0 С.
Cuisine of Portugal
Portuguese cuisine is different from most European cuisines. For a long time, this country was somewhat isolated from other world powers. Since the original recipes of Portugal were created by fishermen and peasants, the cuisine was hearty, dense, focused on ordinary people and devoid of special frills.
At the heart of any Portuguese dishes are three main components: meat, fish and vegetables with a clear priority of fish. The monotony of products is compensated by a huge choice of ways to cook them; professional Portuguese cooks can cook one cod in 300 different ways. Many regions of the country have their own specialties.
So, in the city of Aveiro, the main pride is a special kind of fish soup called “Captain Vidal’s Weeping Fish”, which is cooked from still living fish with the addition of oil, potatoes, onions and peppers, and then crushed to a puree state. In Porto, the so-called. “Beef giblets from Porto”, which are prepared from cow’s innards with the addition of vegetables. And the Belem district of Lisbon is famous for its bakery, where delicious cakes are made. The recipe for a delicacy is known only to the chef of the bakery, and almost all of Europe come to buy cakes.
As a side dish in Portugal, boiled vegetable mixtures of carrots, cauliflower and green beans are most often served flavored with oil. Rice is often used.
The Portuguese are accustomed to eating various soups almost every day. The most popular are “kataplana”, cooked from several varieties of fish and seafood, and various types of “green” soups made from fresh vegetables. The most famous vegetable soup is considered to be a thick “caldo verde” with potatoes and cabbage.
In the role of appetizers (in Portuguese “entrada”) are usually olives and olives, as well as varieties of delicious local cheeses, represented, for example, by goat cheese “queijo da serra” and similar to parmesan “queijo da ilha”. Butter and fish pates are also frequent.
The Portuguese are fond of masterfully prepared fish dishes. Charcoal -grilled sardines garnished with potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and turnip sprouts, seasoned with vinegar and olive oil, are irresistible. The Portuguese are proud of the national dish “bakalyau”, which is cod stewed in a special way with a side dish of Turkish peas.
It is worth trying “robola” (fried wolf perch), “lapas” from fried clams, crab croquettes. A true delicacy is swordfish cooked in Madeira in one of dozens of ways (not recommended for pregnant women), as well as monkfish dishes ( “tamboril” ).
Meat dishes are prepared much less frequently than fish dishes, but they are also very tasty. It is worth trying beef and pork schnitzels and cutlets ( “befe” and “fevrash” ), roast lamb “borrego” and fried chicken “francu”. They perfectly cook baked suckling pigs and kids, horse meat dishes, sausages, lamb shoulder blades with almonds, beef kebab and much more.
Both fish and meat delicacies acquire their own special taste due to a variety of seasonings and spices, which include herbs, garlic, onions, honey, rosemary, and various spices. Madeira cuisine makes extensive use of fruit.
Portugal is also famous for its variety of desserts served in numerous coffee houses and pastry shops. A popular delicacy is rice with the addition of milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla or cinnamon. Almonds, marzipans, figs, coconut are present in almost every Portuguese sweet. Sweet tooth can enjoy almond balls, almond nougat, macaroons with sour cream, as well as a variety of cakes.
One of the most popular non-alcoholic drinks in Portugal is espresso coffee, referred to here as “cafezinho”.
A special choice is provided in the field of alcoholic beverages. The country produces dainty reds, whites and champagne-like green wines in huge quantities. Do not forget about the world-famous wines of the Madeira Island: Sercial, Verdelho, Boual, as well as the elite Blendy, Likosh, Miles, etc. High-quality wines from other wine regions of the country: Bairrada, Colares, Viño Verde, etc.
The undoubted hallmark of Portugal is port wine, white and dessert red. The grapes for this drink are grown by law in the Douro Valley, and the bottles are sent to the storage facilities of Vila Nova de Gaia. Aged Tawny port takes on a yellow-brown hue.
It is worth trying a drink representing Portugal ‘s “almond cuisine” – Almendo Amarga liqueur. The most famous type of beer is called “Coral”, and vodka is called “Aguaridiente de metronou” (prepared from the fruits of the strawberry tree).
To eat deliciously, in Portugal, it is not necessary to rush to expensive and luxurious restaurants. Even in small cafes, the food is of high quality and soundly. An interesting feature of local restaurants is the TV constantly turned on at high volume, do not be surprised at this.