Portugal: Bookmark these sights for a literary tour to remember
If you gaze across the clay rooftops of Lisbon, taking in the rattling trams and funiculars that weave through the streets below, you’ll see a country on its way up. From the capital city to the distant archipelagos of Madeira and Azores, more and more people are visiting Europe’s most southwesterly nation.
“2019 was our best year ever, we had 27 million guests, we have increased our revenue by 60 per in just three years,” says Luís Araújo, President of Portugal Tourism and President of European Travel Commission (ETC).
Now, as we head cautiously towards a post-pandemic world, Portugal is shifting its focus.
“These two years were difficult, they brought some challenges. We tried to refocus and decided to do two things; focus on the sustainability of the sector but also contribute to a different approach in terms of tourism,” continues Araújo.
“That’s why we launched the campaign for a better planet, a better tourism.”
While there will always be port and pastéis de nata, with such rich history and heritage, scratch the surface and there is so much more to discover on the Iberian Peninsula.
Literary tourism in Portugal
Wandering through the flame-coloured streets of Lisbon at sunset, past the ornate Basílica da Estrela, it’s not hard to understand why Portuguese writers like Fernando Pessoa and José Saramago were inspired by the country.
And with Portugal recently named the best all-round country to work remotely from by travel search engine Kayak, it’s clear that modern literary types tend to agree.
Portugal is overflowing with literary history, as Araújo is eager to highlight: “We have more than 40 houses and museums dedicated to Portuguese writers. We have book fairs, literary events, and libraries. We even have the The Livraria Lello, the bookshop that inspired J K Rowling in Porto.”