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The beauty of the Portuguese countryside

5 reasons that will make you want to visit the interior of our country

The charms of Portugal extend far beyond what its capital, Lisbon, offers or the comfort and softness of our beaches. The other part, the one that is unknown to most of our visitors, concentrates in itself a beauty so singular and pure, that it ravishes us and makes us fall in love in seconds. The landscapes are painted in a varied shades of green and the pure waters of the rivers emit wonderful music to our soul. The interior offers the best medicine for those who need to disconnect from the agitation and noise of big cities. It is also the perfect destination to learn more about Portugal, its history and traditions and test, in a very unique way, your own senses.

At a time when we were forced to "slow down", to rethink our whole way of life and to privilege everything that gives us a feeling of pure freedom, to think of a destination that brings all this together makes us smile and want to pack our bags now. In this context, Different Portugal has thought of this text as a way of provoking that same smile and of awakening your interest in visiting a part of Portugal that is not yet in great demand by the masses. A part of our country that is also defined by a certain mysticism, perhaps because much of it is still in its purest state and because nature overlaps with the human hand. A part that also tells our secular history and where traditions are still in practice. In the next lines we give you 5 reasons that will make you want to travel to the interior of Portugal now.

1. Demassified tourist offer

Portugal is a country known to be a great destination for many things: good for family travel, good for the beach, good for lovers of good food and good wines, good for history lovers, good for a safe holiday, good, good, good. No wonder Portugal was elected for the third time in a row by the World Travel Awards as the best tourist destination in the world. In fact, Portugal has millions of visitors every year because it is a country at the top of travellers' preferences.

Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve are the most wanted cities and for that reason they become destinations where the concentration of people in the main tourist points is higher, which can end up compromising the visitor's whole experience. For this same reason, visiting the countryside, exploring places off the beaten path but that deserve a visit as any other Portuguese city, becomes not only an excellent idea for those who want to travel to Portugal today, but also a unique travel experience that recharge batteries. But attention: the fact that they are places less visited by tourists does not make them less special; on the contrary: the fact that they are not yet oriented to the masses is what makes them the ideal destination for those looking for a journey full of nature and peace, with an offer of unique products and experiences.  

2. More nature and beauty in its purest state

When we talk about destinations within Portugal, we are talking about places that breathe nature. Places with breathtaking landscapes, inspiring sounds and pure perfumes that are able to renew our soul in seconds.

A walk through the hills and mountains, the feeling of the vegetation texture and the possibility to drink water directly from the springs while we are surprised by the splendor displayed by the surrounding nature is something that we will never forget. This is undoubtedly a journey of sensations and emotions.

A journey that must be made with time to rediscover ourselves and be inspired for the future. A journey that is worth all the incredible discoveries we make; all the memories we carry and all the dreams we fulfill and feed.

3. Safe destinations

Portugal is considered the safest country in the European Union and the safest third country globally. This means that in terms of crime, Portugal is one of the countries with the lowest figures, which gives a certain guarantee of security for those who want to travel to our country.

Furthermore, and in the Covid-19 context, Turismo de Portugal (the body that regulates the tourism sector in our country) has created the "Clean and Safe" seal to distinguish tourist activities, which ensure compliance with hygiene and cleanliness requirements for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 disease and other possible infections. To date, we can say that the vast majority of tourist animation companies, travel agencies and tourism enterprises have this seal, which increases the level of protection we can offer against this virus. In addition, the inland region has low population levels, meaning that there are also almost derisory numbers of infected people.

4. To know more about our history and our traditions

Portugal is a country with a long history and very old and strong traditions. Part of our history, the one that is best known, is told by the numerous monuments left behind. However, there are emblematic places of our history that are equally important and that are able to tell us moments of our past. This is where some of the villages founded by the Romans, the medieval castles and walls, the churches and temples with centuries of life live. In addition, the interior still offers us the good reception of its people and the very own practices that characterize their own traditions. From music to gastronomy, a trip to some parts of the interior of our country is one of the most enriching experiences you can have. The offer capable of telling us about the past is a lot, so just choose what you want to visit in your next itinerary.

5. Unrivalled flavors await you

Last but not least, we will talk about gastronomy, the flavours that will make you delight and have the will to embark on the discovery of the Portuguese countryside. There are many good typical Portuguese dishes but those that preserve their true essence live in parts of our country where the original recipe is still strictly followed and the ingredients of the area are privileged. We are talking, of course, about villages and towns, which still pick up what the land gives and uses the ancient know how to take advantage of the uniqueness and richness of these same flavours. Below you have mere examples of what you can expect:

- Lamb roasted in a wood-fired oven

The goat is a light and tender colored meat resulting from the feeding of this animal being almost exclusively from mother's milk. Its succulence is conferred by the preparation in wine, garlic, paprika, lard, olive oil, bay leaf and salt at least 24 hours in advance. The rest of the secret of this dish is in the baking dish itself, which must be made of clay, and in the wood oven, where it must be baked at an ideal temperature so that it is well toasted.

- "Posta Mirandesa"

The mirandesa steak is known for its tall but surprisingly tender meat, a good piece of grilled beef with a pinch of salt. This is an example of how the quality of this dish is guaranteed by the meat itself, which has to be certified, from the Miranda do Douro breed of cattle.

- "Chanfana"

"Chanfana" is a dish that results from pastoral practice because it is made with the old goat and useless for the herd. The essence of this dish is in the preparation of the meat itself which is made the day before. Here the meat is dipped in red wine and garlic and on the day of cooking it is put in a specific container called "caçoila" and taken to the wood oven, where it is cooked for a few hours in "aguardente" (brandy), a typical Portuguese drink.

- "Maranho"

"Maranho" is a fresh sausage made with goat and sheep meat, sausage, garlic, rice and mint flavoured. These sausages are closed with needle and thread and cooked in a pan with water.

- "Tigelada"

This Portuguese candy is made only with milk, eggs and sugar and is whipped by hand. Well whipped so that it can have the right texture, after being baked in the wood oven in proper containers, the "caçoilos".

If there is still any doubt, let yourself be convinced by all that remains to be discovered, which is still missing in this text which, believe me, is much more. Leave to discover a different and unique Portugal, in the company of those who truly know this country.

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