Cork

Discover fascinating facts about the bark of Portugal’s national tree See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine June 2017   Every 9 years Cork is the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber), called sobreiro in Portuguese. The cork oak is the only tree whose bark can be harvested without killing it. Every […]

Bacalhau

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s dried and salted cod See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine May 2017 Picture by Shatabisha   Not from Portugal One of the most famous Portuguese dishes isn’t actually from Portugal. Cod is caught near Norway, Iceland and Newfoundland. The Portuguese first discovered it off the Newfoundland coast, […]

Ginja

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s traditional sweet cherry liquor. See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine April 2017 Picture by Rosino Morello cherries, alcohol & loads of sugar Those are basically the three things you need for ginja. Infuse the sour ginja berries (fruits of the Prunus cerasus austere) in aguardente, add plenty of […]

Vasco da Gama

Discover fascinating facts about one of Portugal’s best known explorers See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine March 2017   Sailor family The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was born in the 1460s (some say it was 1460, others claim it was 1469, Enjoy the Algarve isn’t sure) to a noble family in Sines. […]

Tram 28

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s best known yellow trolley See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine February 2017 Picture by Daniel Ascencao   Horsecar history Lisbon’s tramway network has been in operation from 1873, when the carriages were still pulled by horses. The first electric tramway in Portugal’s capital commenced operations in 1901. In 1959, […]

Sardines

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s best known fish See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine January 2017 Picture by Liselot Sijm   Where have all the fish gone? In the 1980s and ‘90s, it wasn’t uncommon for Portuguese fishing boats to haul in 200,000 tons of sardines a year. In 2005, the catch had […]

Vinho verde

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s best known mildly fizzy wine See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine December 2016 Picture by Feliciano Guimarães   It isn’t green Although ‘vinho verde’ literally translates as ‘green wine’, ‘young wine’ would be a more accurate translation – it’s meant to be drunk soon after bottling (ideally within a […]

Calçada portuguesa

Discover fascinating facts about the Portuguese pavement See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine November 2016 Picture by Andreas Manessinger   Street mosaic Many pedestrian areas in Portugal consist of calçada portuguesa, a traditional style pavement. Small flat pieces of different stones, usually a combination of white limestone and dark basalt, are arranged […]

Gecko

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s cutest lizard See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine October 2016   Moon lizard Worldwide, about 1,500 species of geckos exist. In Portugal, the most common one is the Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus), also known as Moorish Gecko or Moon Lizard.   This type of gecko lives in dozens […]

Medronho

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s traditional fruit brandy See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine September 2016   Strawberry tree Aguardente de medronhos, aka Medronho, is made from the fruit of the medronho tree, the Arbutus Unedo. Although this translates as ‘strawberry tree’, the fruits aren’t strawberries, but look more like small lychees. The […]

Corridinho

Discover fascinating facts about the Algarve’s traditional dance See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine August 2016   Folklore Portugal’s rich folklore includes many traditional dances; in fact, each region has its own. Vira is danced in the Minho region, fandango in the Ribatejo region and chamarita on the Azores. In the Algarve, it’s the […]

Cão de água

Discover fascinating facts about the Portuguese water dog See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine July 2016   Dog of water Cão de água literally translates as ‘dog of water’. This breed got its name from working alongside the fishermen. With their webbed feet, the dogs are great swimmers and can herd fish into the nets, […]

Cristiano Ronaldo

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s best-known football player See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine June 2016   Ronaldo? The name ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ sounds familiar, but wasn’t he Brazilian? No, that’s Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, also known as ‘Ronaldinho’, and also a famous footballer. Or Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, a retired Brazilian famous football […]

Miranda donkey

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s only officially recognised donkey breed. See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine May 2016   Terra de Miranda The Miranda donkey, or burro de Miranda, is born with a black coat, which will later in life turn brown. They have white markings around their eyes and muzzle, longer hair and […]

Piri piri sauce

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s most spicy sauce See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine April 2016   Crushed chillies Originally from Portugal, piri piri sauce (sometimes called peri peri) is also popular in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa. The basic ingredients of this molho picante (spicy sauce) are crushed chillies, lemon juice and oil. […]

Alfarroba

Discover fascinating facts about the fruit of one of the most famous Algarve trees See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine March 2016   No need to water Weirdly shaped, the carob bean, alfarroba in Portuguese, hangs from the tree like a pea. It’s also sometimes called a pod. Inside, you’ll find many small beans as well […]

Common chameleon

Discover fascinating facts about the colour-changing reptile found in south of Portugal See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine February 2016   Earth lions Yes, most chameleon-type animals are found in Africa and Madagascar. But the common chameleon, aka Mediterranean chameleon (in case you’re interested, its scientific name is Chamaeleo chamaeleon) has been introduced […]

Port

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s most famous fortified wine See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine January 2016   Douro Valley Port is a fortified wine, which means a distilled grape spirit, brandy, is added to the wine during the production process. This stops the fermentation and boosts the alcohol content. It’s produced in the […]

Cataplana

Discover fascinating facts about one of the symbols of the Algarve’s cuisine See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine December 2015   Food or pan? Confusion alert: the word cataplana is both used for the pan and for the dish inside it. The cooking device is traditionally made from copper. It consists of two clam […]

Fado

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s best-known folk music See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine November 2015   History: Although Fado can be traced back to the 1820s, its origin isn’t clear. Some say it’s Arabic, some say it comes from Brazil, and others think Portuguese sailors started it. A popular Portuguese saying describes […]

Bandeira de Portugal

Discover fascinating facts about the national flag of the Portuguese republic See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine October 2015 History: The design of the Portuguese flag as we know it was officially adopted on June 30 of 1911, less than a year after the downfall of the constitutional monarchy. The new field colours […]

Licor Beirão

Discover fascinating facts about Portugal’s best-known sweet herbal liquor See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine September 2015 Medicine: Originally, Licor Beirão was produced as a medicine. In the 19th century, a pharmacy in Lousã (in the district of Coimbra) claimed it was the antidote against stomach aches. Some decades later, when alcoholic beverages […]

Rooster of Barcelos

Discover fascinating facts about this colourful cockerel. See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine August 2015 Legend: The story goes that in medieval times in the city of Barcelos, a Galician pilgrim was accused of robbery. He claimed to be innocent, but nobody believed him. As he was about to be hung for his […]

Azulejos

Discover fascinating facts about these square tin-glazed painted ceramic tiles. See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine July 2015 History: Originally, azulejos came from Egypt. In 1503 the tiles were introduced into Portugal, (King Manuel I used them for his palace in Sintra), where they soon became part of the culture. In the 17th […]