Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Portugal

1. Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe with its borders pretty much unchanged since 1297. Portugal also had one of the longest running empires (from the capture of Ceuta in 1415 to the handover of Macau in 1999) and one of the largest, stretching from Brazil to China. The alliance between England and Portugal, ratified by the Treaty of Windsor in 1386 is the oldest alliance in the world still in force.

2. Portuguese is one of the most spoken languages in the world. It’s spoken by the 10 million inhabitants of Portugal….and also by 230 million others all around the world. In fact, Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries and is the 6th most used language online.

3. Portugal accounts for about 50% of the worlds cork production. And the best cork in the world is from the Algarve. Portuguese cork is used by leading brands such as Moet Chandon and Rolls Royce, by Airbus and NASA. And in 2018, Portuguese cork will be present in the spacecraft used by the European Space Agency in its mission to mars.

4. The only place in Europe that you can interact with dolphins, swimming in the pool with these fabulous creatures is in Portugal – at Zoomarine park in the Algarve. The Dolphin Interaction programme gets you up close and personal with the dolphins. The marine park has a strong educational theme while also being a fabulous family day out.

5. The largest artificial underwater park in the world is in Portugal – or rather in the ocean just off the Algarve coast. The Ocean Revival Underwater Park has four decommissioned Portuguese navy ships nestling on the seabed, home to an ever evolving eco-system and major attraction for divers from all around the world.

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