What can I bring home from Portugal?

What can I bring home from Portugal?

Buying the right gifts or souvenirs for friends and family from abroad can be a difficult task because many items can be found almost everywhere. When you visit Portugal however, you will have no problem finding an authentic “Made in Portugal” souvenirs to take home, be it a food item or a bottle of wine or a traditional hand-painted tile.

Below is a list of souvenirs you can bring home from Portugal.

Cork accessories. Portugal is the world's leading producer and exporter of cork, and it's one of the largest industries in the country. More than a third of Portugal is forested by cork oak trees, and the harvested cork is put to amazing uses all over the world in everything from wine to flooring to space travel. When you're shopping in Portugal, you'll find beautiful cork jewelry, purses, wallets, hats, shoes, wine stoppers, and even ties. The material is extremely light and flexible, and most shops around the country sell a variety of natural and dyed cork products. Certain items such as bags and shoes can be pricey and run anywhere from 50 to 150 EUR, but they're among the most authentic Portuguese souvenirs you can buy during your visit.

Olive oil. Portugal prides itself on being a worldwide leader in olive oil production. Its six olive growing regions and seven famous olive varieties result in rich and diverse olive oil flavors. From bitter to sweet and from mild to intense, high quality yet inexpensive olive oil can be enjoyed throughout the country.

Port wine. Portugal is the birthplace and single producer of port wine – the fortified wine is made exclusively in the Douro Valley in the north of the country. Port lodges stretch along the Douro River – about 60 miles downstream of the Douro Valley – in the town of Villa Nova de Gaia. Here, the wine is transported and left to mature for anywhere from 10 to 40 years, and you can spend an entire day touring the lodges and learn about the fascinating history of port. Some of the most informative lodges to visit are Taylorâ€s, Croft, and Fonseca, where you can sample many styles of wine that range from very sweet to relatively dry, and learn about how it's made.

Footwear. If you have extra room in your suitcase, head to downtown Lisbon or Porto – the country's shopping meccas – and treat yourself to a pair of Portuguese shoes. Portugal dominates the world's luxury shoe market – ranking second after Italy – and you can reap the benefits from the country's booming shoemaking and leather goods industries. From women's leather boots to men's dress shoes and sneakers for everyone; you can buy some of the world's best-quality footwear, all lovingly crafted from genuine Portuguese materials.

Ceramic tiles. Patterned tiles (called azulejos) have a long history in Portugal, and are the perfect souvenir for antique and art enthusiasts. These painted and glazed tiles have been made in Portugal for more than five centuries, and they're a huge part of what differentiates the architecture from other countries. Thousands of buildings are covered with them, including most churches, monasteries, castles, and other historical sites. Visitors can browse through Azulejo shops in Portugal that sell new and antique tiles, the oldest of which date back centuries. Solar in Lisbon is said to be one of the best places to find them at a reasonable price.

Portuguese liquors & brandies. Portugal's Mediterranean climate and geography are ideal for long harvesting seasons and a wide range of year-round crops. As a result, many wonderful liqueurs are made in Portugal using local ingredients like almonds, cherries, chestnuts, figs, honey, citrus fruits, and pears. They're sweet and delicious, and relatively inexpensive. Make sure to try Ginjinha – it's a sweet liquor made from the cherry-like ginja berry, and it's commonly enjoyed in Lisbon, Obidos and Alcobaca. Medrohno is also a treat – this brandy is made from a red berry that grows on trees (known as Arbutus Unedo). It has a sweet and slightly herby flavor, but don't overdo it – this stuff packs a punch.

Packs of Pastéis de Belém. If you are a sweet tooth or a pastry lover, going back home with a few packs of the uniquely made Pastéis de Belém is another perfect Portugal souvenir to share with your family and friends. To buy the best Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon you should go to the original Pastéis de Belém factory and restaurant in the Belém neighbourhood.

Embroidery. Traditional Portuguese embroidery like handmade tablecloths, blouses, scarves and much more, have been a feature of Portuguese culture and history for many years especially in Madeira. These handmade clothes are beautifully crafted, inexpensive and quite unique to Portugal and therefore they would make great Portugal souvenirs to take home with you. A Vida Portuguesa in Lisbon and Porto is a good place to buy these beautiful handmade linens. You can also get something nice at Paris em Lisboa.

Pottery. Pottery has existed in Portugal for many centuries and over the years they have mastered this craft. Buying earthenware in Portugal also makes for fantastic Portugal souvenirs as there is an extensive collection of wonderful pottery and ceramic work all over the country. And it is something you can use at home. To buy decently priced and quality pottery souvenirs in Lisbon you should go to Fábrica Sant’Anna.

Barcelos rooster. The Barcelos Rooster (“O Galo de Barcelos”) is one of the most common souvenirs in Portugal and it’s found in almost any gift or souvenir shop in Portugal. It is usually vividly coloured and mostly comes in ceramic form depicting the rooster or as prints on shirts and towels. You can also find fridge magnets and bottle openers.

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