So, why the hype around Portugal? This question is frequently posed to me, and it's not difficult to answer, especially for those who love Portugal as much as I do, along with many others who have relocated here or regularly vacation in this beautiful country.
Let's start with the Portuguese people themselves. The Portuguese are known for their relaxed nature and the attitude of "live and let live." Visitors are warmly welcomed and supported as much as they desire. Portugal has always been a country of both immigrants and emigrants, as many Portuguese venture abroad to earn a living. Nevertheless, most eventually return, as they miss their homeland, the cuisine, the way of life, and the pleasant climate here.
Many individualists, bohemians, creative minds, and tech enthusiasts also feel quite at home in Portugal. This could be attributed to the fact that Portuguese people are often more tolerant and laid-back than other nationalities.
In the high mountains of Serra da Estrela, you can ski in the morning, listen to students singing in Coimbra (the Portuguese Heidelberg) in the afternoon, and then head to Nazaré for surfing or enjoy an evening surfing session under floodlights in Carcavelos.
The weather is summery almost year-round, at least from March to October, with the sun shining most of the time, ensuring high Vitamin D levels. I believe that the favorable weather in Portugal positively affects people's psyche, making them a bit more cheerful and less stressed.
Living in Portugal is also significantly cheaper, especially when it comes to services and food. Dining out is affordable, and you can enjoy delicious meals without breaking the bank. Time is less constrained here. It doesn't matter what time it is; shops are open seven days a week, closing only on two or three holidays per year.
The coastline of Portugal is breathtaking, attracting sun worshippers, surfers, and water sports enthusiasts from all over the world. The golden sandy beaches of the Algarve, the wild coasts of Alentejo, and the secluded coves of the Azores and Madeira offer something for every taste.
Portugal's rich history and culture are equally impressive. Historic cities such as Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, and Évora bear witness to bygone eras, boasting a wealth of architectural masterpieces and cultural treasures.
Beyond all these aspects, it is the warmth and hospitality of the Portuguese that truly make the country special. Visitors are embraced with open arms, and the Portuguese take pride in sharing their culture with people from around the globe.
All in all, Portugal is a unique package, combining people, nature, and culture. It fascinates with its delightful blend of tradition and modernity, leaving visitors both impressed and humbled. Portugal's beauty lies in its simplicity and authenticity. These reasons make Portugal a destination that captivates and enchants people from all corners of the world, rightly earning its place as one of Europe's most dazzling and sought-after destinations.
Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen who made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at Lusófona in Lisbon - CEO of Casaiberia in Lisbon and Algarve.