PORTUGAL, THE PORTUGUESE AND THEIR CULTURE

PORTUGAL

Portugal is a Southern European country located to the West of the Iberian Peninsula. The country, a member of the European Union, spreads over 92 358km². It has a population of around 10 200 000 people and the national language is Portuguese.

Created in the 12thcentury, the kingdom of Portugal became one of the most important European countries with a major role in the great discoveries of the 15thand 16thcenturies.

The beginning of the 20thcentury was marked by the end of the Portuguese monarchy (1910) followed by the start of the Salazar authoritarian regime in 1926 which ended in 1974 due to the “Carnation” revolution which established democracy in the country.

Since then, the country has experienced an important economic development with a wealthy economy at the end of the 20thcentury. Despite that improvement, it went through a period of recession from 2011 with a political, social and economic crisis.

Illustration Vivre au Portugal - Le Portugal

Since November 2015

The new government sets up has not followed the austerity policy recommended by Brussels (head-quarters of Union European Institutions) and implemented over the previous years. Unemployment has decreased a lot along with the deficit; the minimum wage has increased and some socio-economic policies have been launched, especially: more purchasing power, increase of retirement pensions and family allowances, reinforcement of the labour law, and the lowering of taxes for the more modest workers. These important policies have contributed to the growth of the Portuguese GDP which increases by more than 2% per year, placing Portugal among the countries in the Euro zone with the largest annual growth.

Illustration de l'article sur "les portugais" rubrique Vivre au Portugal

THE PORTUGUESE

It is impossible to resume the Portuguese and their culture in just a few words but we are going to try to define the important features.

The Portuguese are reputed as brave and courageous, especially at the time of the great discoveries between the 15thand 16thcenturies during all the explorations across the oceans. Their knowledge of the sea allowed them (and other European countries) to create a bridge between the old continent and the other “worlds” such as Africa, Asia and America.

The rich Portuguese history has influenced the Portuguese who are warm, hard-working and welcoming people. Family is an essential principle for the majority of Portuguese who love spending time and celebrating together. During these occasions, hearty traditional meals prepared by the elders are often shared in a warm environment: the Portuguese are a Latin people, they are expressive and speak loudly 😀

Religion plays an important role in the life of the Portuguese: 95% of them are Catholics. This strong religious interest is present in their daily life from urban architecture to social life with religious festivals celebrated in many towns and villages.

PORTUGUESE GASTRONOMY

The Portuguese enjoy life and love sharing. Their generosity is felt through their hearty meals. The dishes are cooked with sea food and fish.

They also cook meals with meat, sometimes mixed with ocean food, such as the famous “Carne de Porco a alentejana” made with pork meat, clams and fried potatoes.

Portugal is also a wine country essentially known for its Porto wine. Cheese and cold meats also have pride of place in the popular and traditional gastronomy as well as pastries, such as the well-known “Pastel de Nata”, a kind of custard pastry that is typically Portuguese.

The Portuguese economy, with its large fabric of small and medium-sized companies, has an influence on this way of cooking with products of quality made by passionate farmers and craftsmen at very affordable prices.

Illustration gastronomie terre et mer rubrique Vivre au Portugal
Illustration Fado Musique Portugal

PORTUGUESE MUSIC

Fado is THE traditional Portuguese music. It is accompanied by plucked instruments, with themes of love, nostalgia, exile, sadness, hope. It often transcribes a state of mind and an untranslatable feeling, “Saudade”.

This feeling which can be assimilated to melancholy or nostalgia echoes something lost or inaccessible in the heart of many Portuguese. This people of explorers, hard workers or immigrants has always had to fight in its long history to face a destiny that is sometimes hard. Fado is inspired by these feelings, leading to a touching music enabling to remember the past while always moving forwards.

WEATHER

The Portuguese weather is globally temperate and appreciated by tourists and sunbathing fans. The influence of the Atlantic Ocean brings comfort and humidity to the coast. Inland, there are sometimes major differences in temperatures with hot summers and cold winters.

The south of Portugal benefits from warmer winters and warmer sea water, which is practical for bathing. This region is particularly appreciated by seaside tourists. Thus, Portugal is one of the most visited European countries with almost 30 million tourists welcomed in 2018.

représentation de Cascais illustration partie "Le Climat" rubrique Vivre au Portugal

SPORT

The national sport in Portugal is football. The country has many famous stars of the round ball, old and young, such as: Eusebio, Luis Figo, Pedro Miguel Pauleta, José Mourinho and of course Cristiano Ronaldo. The national selection won, in 2016, and for the first time in its history, the European football cup, and became the pride of its country.

Other Portuguese people have succeeded in other disciplines like Athletics, Canoe Kayak, Cycling and many others.

The country is also known and recognised for its surf spots and its wonderful golf courses with sea view which attract aficionados from the whole world.

Un parcours de golf au Portugal illustration de la part "Le sport" rubrique Vivre au Portugal
Euro 2016 victoire Portugal illustration article "Le Sport" rubrique Vivre au Portugal
illustration article "Le sport", surf, rubrique Vivre au Portugal

PORTUGAL AND ITS REGIONS

Portugal, formerly a country of conquistadors, and newly elected as the most pleasant country to live in by the expats (https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/classement-le-portugal-pays-le-plus-accueillant-du-monde-selon-les-expats), has qualities which seduce: its culture, its history, but also its gastronomy, not forgetting the friendliness of its population, its lush beaches, its weather and of course the tax benefits offered to those who choose to come and live there.

NORTH

The North of Portugal is well known for its Douro Valley, its big cities like Porto, Braga or Bragança, its natural parks and its mountainous landscapes. This region is full of history and unexpected treasures.

CENTRE

The Centre of Portugal abounds with a preserved history and has a lot of villages combining traditional and modern architectures, mountainous landscapes, glacial lakes and large fine sand beaches.

LISBON

The region of Lisbon hosts the capital of the country and will enable you to discover historical monuments and hillside villages surrounded by the Tagus river and the Atlantic Ocean. Outside of the capital, other towns have a rich culture and beautiful beaches.

ALENTEJO

The Alentejo region is the biggest in Portugal with 31 000 km² of which 170 km of coast, combining beautiful landscapes, mountains and coastline. To discover and rediscover without moderation.

SOUTH

The South of Portugal, called the Algarve, combines different kinds of landscapes: historical towns, wild and fine sand beaches, seaside resorts and activities of all kinds. This region is the perfect combination to transform your days into perpetual holidays.

+33 6 66 28 76 87

CONTACT US

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

LINKEDIN