Half of Portugal's border is maritime, and the rest more closed than opened. Maritime border where many landed and from where we left so many. Prehistoric settlements of people who came by sea and brought news and the first exchanges of arts and products. Long before we were a country, we were ports. And even the name we later had was also a port Portus Cale.
Portugal history is inextricably linked to the sea, due to our history and customs linked to the sea. It is impossible to think about Portugal and not think about its maritime history.
Portuguese culture, gastronomy, people would not be the same without the influence brought by the sailors from the lands of distant seas. The sea brought the flavor of spices to us Portuguese, but also the sad look of a people used to saying goodbye to their loved ones in the port.
In Portugal we can almost say that there is a beach for each visitor and a port in each corner with a lighthouse to guide us on the way.
The Portuguese were present in the seas around the world. Fishermen in the northern seas, conquerors of islands and lands below and beyond the sea and traders with people from all over the world.
The key figure in the epic of the Portuguese discoveries was the Infante Dom Henrique, the Navigator. Son of King D.João I, the saga of conquests began with the taking of Ceuta in 1415, in order to be able to control the trade routes of North Africa.
Madeira, Azores, the West African coast, the route to Oriente, Brazil. The discoveries continued, as well as the opening of trade routes and the establishment of colonies.
Today, many corners of Portuguese geography remember these men, who for their valorous deeds left the law of death freeing. Ports, cities, monuments, pay homage to the seafarers of Portugal's history and the prosperity they brought to their homeland.
The sea and Portugal have long had their destinations intertwined, like two lovers who have known each other for a long time. A story made with challenges, but with many achievements.