One of the oldest countries in Europe, Portugal is located on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. It’s well known for its wine, most notably port, as well as beaches, history, and culinary influences.
When visiting Portugal, there are a number of must-see attractions.
One popular attraction is the National Tile Museum in Lisbon, but just wandering through the cities, you will catch many of these beautiful tiles set among the architecture, including Fronteira Palace.
If you are a beach lover, the town of Lagos in the southern Algarve region has some of the most impressive beaches including the Praia Dona Ana. The Ponta da Piedade cliffs are stunning as well but best explored by boat.
If palaces are more your thing, make your way to Sintra and visit the Palácio da Pena. High on top of a hill, sits this colourful 19th century Romanticism style of architecture. Admire the elaborate stone carvings, breathtaking views and opulent décor.
My other Top 5 Must See places in Portugal:
1. Livraria Bertrand: The oldest bookstore in the world
2. Drowned Village of Vilarinho da Furna: the dam levels drop, revealing a submerged city
3. Tidal Pools of Leça da Palmeira: swimming pools designed by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira
4. Chalet de tia Mercês: Sip violet tea at this tea shop in Furnas
5. Caves Ferreira (Vila Nova de Gaia): one of the oldest port cellars in Portugal
Traveling here on your own is quite easy, but there are tours available to book as well. For something a bit more special, consider a river cruise along the Douro. Ready for adventure? Check out this itinerary with AmaWaterways: Flavours of Portugal & Spain.
Portuguese menu and virtual tour.
If visiting Portugal in person is not possible at the moment, see below for a Portuguese menu and virtual tours so you can experience Portugal from the comforts of your home.
These selected recipes will bring authentic flavours to your kitchen. So, grab your groceries, pour yourself a glass of wine (recommendations below) and get ready for a fun evening!
Appetizer: Peixinhos da Horta
Known as the “Little Fish from the Garden”, these fried green beans were the inspiration to the Japanese tempura dish.
These were delicious! The batter was so light and crispy. I can see why this is a favourite appetizer in Portugal and something we will be making more often now too.
Wine Recommendation: Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde 2017 which I purchased at Everything Wine. This wine has a light and delicate flavour. It’s pale lemon in colour with fresh aromas of pear and green apple.
Main: Piri Piri Chicken
This authentic Portuguese recipe requires patience and respect. Take the time to read how Nelson Carvalhiero’s grandmother prepared this dish each Sunday.
Sides: Broccoli Rabe with Presunto and Batatas a Murro
Delicious and flavourful, these sides pair well with the chicken. The Batatas a Murro (Punched Potatoes) are smashed, then baked crispy with caramelized onions and cheese. The Broccoli Rabe adds colour and freshness to the plate.
Get the batatas a murro recipe HERE.
Wine Recommendation: The Quina da Aveleda Vinho Verde will pair nicely with this dish as well, but if you prefer a red, you can try Quinta da Covao Dao Vinho Tinto, purchased at Everything Wine as well. It’s a bolder red, higher in tannins with a delicious full toasted oak flavour complimented by dark juicy fruits.
Dessert: Pastéis de Nata
These Portuguese custard tarts are the most famous Portuguese dessert and this recipe is as close to authentic as you can get. Get the recipe HERE.
Dark, bold coffee is my favourite accompaniment to this sweet dessert, however if you would like to try something a bit different, I would recommend Niepoort Tawny Port from the Douro region. It has a dark spicy body with notes of tobacco, sandlewood and licorice.
Time to relax and watch the wonders of Portugal.
There are many videos available on YouTube but I hope you like the ones I chose for you. Don’t forget to pour yourself another glass of wine.
1. Intro to Portugal
2. Palácio da Pena
3. Algarve Region
4. Finally, if you are still craving some Portuguese food, check out this video:
Other Ideas to further immerse yourself in Portuguese culture:
Play this while you are cooking dinner: A Portuguesa É a Mais Linda
Portuguese words and phrases
Com licença: Excuse me
Por favor: Please
Perdão: Forgive me/pardon me
Hope you have enjoyed your home tour and tastes of Portugal. Here are a few more photos. Share your experiences and photos in the comments! Felicidades!