What to do in Portugal

Adesua Emmanuel 15 December

Have a Taste of the Portuguese Port Wine

 

Now, we are not telling you to get drunk, but the wine in Port Portuguese wines is something you do not want to miss. The unique and exceptional port-style wines have been in existence for centuries since the time of the Portuguese pirates and thus have a close connection with the history of Portugal. Being one of Portugal's most famous exports, port-style fortified wines are produced all over the country majorly in the regions of Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo, and Douro Superior.

 

The wine is produced with over a hundred varieties of grape and spirits, it is typically a sweet red wine that comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties. You can also visit the solar da vinho da Porto tasting room to taste various varieties of indigenous wine.

 

Visit old Baroque Palaces

 

If you are not into wines and alcohol, here is something you will be into. A visit to old Baroque Palaces should be another thing that tops your to-d0 list as you travel to Portugal. Located in just a few minutes' drive from the capital city of Lisbon, is the Mosteiro Palacio Nacional which is one of such old and intricate structures. The palace has rooms numbering over 1000 each of which is delicately decorated and designed with ornaments in an ancient art style.

 

As you visit this amazing country, ensure you visit one or two of these ancient palaces, take pictures with your friends and experience the beauty and sophistication of the ancient Portuguese people that once lived in these lands yourself.

 

Listen and Dance to some Folk Songs  

 

Songs and music as we all know from an integral part of any culture and civilization. As humans, the beauty and significance of traditional songs can never be overemphasized.

 

Indigenous Portuguese people also have different beautiful folk songs that are used for different purposes ranging from storytelling, funerals, celebrations, and more. Some of the most popular of this folk music include the Solem Lisbon style, the upbeat Coimbra style, and many more.

 

For a small fee, you can enjoy this indigenous music and immerse yourself in the history, culture, and tradition of these wonderful people.

 

Try the Sopa da Pedra (Stone Soup)  

 

The stone soup is a soup made of stones! Just kidding, the Portuguese stone soup is not made from stone, at least not literarily. The stone soup is an ancient soup that has been in existence for around a thousand years. It originated in Portugal’s Ribatejo region. The soup gets its name from the kidney beans, which are referred to as “stones” by the Portuguese.  

 

As you move around the city, Stone soup is one of the indigenous meals you must try. Visit any indigenous restaurant and treat yourself to a hearty meal of stone soup and I can assure you that it will leave you asking for more.

 

Check out the Chapel of Bones

 

Located in the city of Evora, the chapel of bones is a small part of the Royal Church of Saint Francis. Constructed in the 1500s by monks, the chapel is decorated with real human skulls gotten from nearby cemeteries that were taking up too much land. The skulls remind visitors of their mortality and prompt them to live their best lives while they still have the time and that soon, they too will be like those skulls.  

 

Curious tourists that have visited this chapel have had a chance to reflect on their lives and also form a kind of connection with history in this fascinating chapel. If you are looking for a break from all the hustle and bustle in the city, this is a perfect place to visit.

 

Visit the Drowned Village of Vilarinho da Furna

 

This 2000-year-old village is another unique place you do not want to miss. After it got submerged in 1972 due to an unfortunate dam collapse, the ancient village is a unique tourist site in Portugal. Though the doors and windows of this once prosperous village can still be seen, most of the village is still perfectly preserved underwater. The building structures and street arrangement can still be observed.  

 

There is also a museum nearby that contains important archeological materials that were extracted from the village, so if you want to know more after seeing the village itself, you can take a small walk to this museum and take a closer look at these objects.

 

Watch whales in the Azores Islands  

 

Away from all the history and stories, a visit to the Azores island gives you a break and lets you enjoy some nature. The Azores islands allow you to get close to the whales that live in these waters. These whales are comfortable around humans so you do not have to worry about disturbing them in their natural habitat. They might even come closer to give you a show!

 

Apart from the whales, for a small fee, you can try diving and swim in the water along with trained guides. The scenery also makes these islands perfect for pictures.