Portugal is a fabulous holiday destination which attracts everyone from families to couples. With many cheap deals on flights and hotels it’s clear to see why it’s such a favourite. On top of that, Portugal is home to wonderful sandy beaches, a fantastic climate and great sights to see. Apart from all of that, there are many hidden gems that Portugal has to offer. So, we’ve compiled a list of five things that you didn’t know about Portugal.
Largest producer of cork in the world
Yep, Portugal is the largest producer of cork in the entire world. In fact, Portugal has the largest cork forest too. All things cork, Portugal is big on. It creates so many jobs in the country and it produces approximately around 70% of the cork in the world. It is said that the southern region of the Algarve produces the best cork. Many huge brands use Portuguese cork, ranging from Moet Chandon, Airbus and NASA.
Biggest waves in the world
Calling all surfers! Portugal is home to some of the biggest waves that the world has seen. Specifically, off the coast of Nazare at North Beach. Due to its huge breaking waves and fantastic conditions, there’s no wonder why so many surfers flock to North Beach. Waves have reached up to 100 feet here, entering the Guinness World Book of Records. The 100ft wave came about in 2015 and was surfed by Garrett McNamara.
The first bookstore in the world
Portugal has the first bookstore in the world, which opened back in 1732. The book shop is called Bertrand Bookstore and its located in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. It’s still open to this day and continues to do business. The original store had a few changes done to it due to an earthquake which hit in 1755. However, the store has been situated on Rua Garrett ever since that day. Portugal takes books seriously, as another store called Lello Bookstore based in the northern city of Porto was voted third in a ‘most beautiful bookstore in the world’ competition.
Port wine comes from Portugal
Are you a lover of port wine? Perhaps a Portugal holiday should be on the cards. It is typically exclusive to the northern provinces of Portugal. Port wine is often thought to be a dessert wine due to its sweet taste, although there are dry and semi dry varieties. In Porto, port wine tasting is a fun activity and it gives you the chance to try different port varieties, what more could you ask for?
Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries
Many may think that Portuguese is barely spoken around the world but there are over 236 million Portuguese speakers worldwide, spanning over four continents. Countries which have Portuguese as their official language include: Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe. Portuguese can also be heard in Goa, Macao and East Timor which were former Portuguese colonies.