The Portuguese Republic is located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. Portugal is the oldest state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest European nation-states, its territory having been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal established itself as the first global empire, becoming one of the world’s major economic, political and military powers. During this period, today referred to as the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King John II, with such notable voyages as Bartolomeu Dias’ sailing beyond the Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to India, and the European discovery of Brazil. Portugal monopolized the spice trade during this time, and the empire expanded in its power and influence.
A trip in Portugal will take us through this fascinating western part of the Iberian Peninsula, comming across history, culture, sights, tastes, and smells, which are so unique to this part of the world.