Curiosities about Portugal
12th oldest country
Portugal stands as the 12th oldest country in the world when considering its historical foundation. This esteemed position is derived from the reference date of 1143, which signifies the establishment of Portugal as a sovereign nation-state. In the chronology of nations, Portugal follows esteemed countries including Ethiopia, Japan, Iran, China, Armenia, San Marino, Serbia, France, Denmark, Austria, and Hungary.
The oldest bookstore in the world is in Portugal:
Situated at Rua Garrett, No. 73, in the vibrant neighborhood of Chiado in Lisbon, the world's oldest bookstore holds a distinct allure for writers, revolutionaries, and conspirators alike. Established in 1732, this historic establishment has played witness to a multitude of momentous events that have shaped the history of Portugal. Its enduring legacy persists, as it remains a cherished destination for esteemed writers, counting prominent literary figures such as Eça de Queiroz, Antero de Quental, and Alexandre Herculano among its frequented clientele.
Biggest wave surfed in the world was in Portugal:
It was in November 2011 that Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara put Nazaré in the spotlight by entering the Guinness Book of World Records for surfing the biggest wave ever: 23.8 meters, at Praia do Norte (Nazaré).
Since that day, Nazaré has never been the same. While visitors used to come to see the local women wearing seven skirts as per the local tradition, now it's the giant waves that are the main attraction. Surfers from all over the world have been coming to Nazaré to test their physical and mental abilities by facing the massive waves that form every winter at Praia do Norte.
In 2017, Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa broke Garrett McNamara's previous record by surfing the biggest wave ever recorded at 24.38 meters. More recently, in October 2020, German surfer Sebastian Steudtner raised the bar by riding a wave measuring 26.21 meters.
The cause of these giant waves is the so-called Nazaré Canyon, a tectonic submarine gorge located offshore near Nazaré.
In the Madeira and Azores archipelagos, you can also find good waves for surfing.
Guincho is the national "mecca" for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The wind and waves provide a spectacle for those watching and enjoyment for those in the water. Kitesurfing is the fastest-growing discipline, especially in Carcavelos, Costa da Caparica, or further north in the areas of Aveiro or Viana do Castelo.
Ready to get your wetsuit wet?