Portugal

Learn a little about Portugal - it's history and geography, and some fun facts - and enjoy our flag colouring page and printables.

Rock formations off the Algarve coast, Portugal
Rock formations off the Algarve coast, Portugal

Geography of Portugal

  • Portugal is on the west of the Iberian Peninsula between Spain in the east and north, with the Atlantic coastline to the west and south.
  • Port is a fortified wine produced in the Duoro Valley. Named after the city of Oporto, this drink was made by merchants who wanted to stop wine from going sour before it reached England.
  • Lisbon, the capital city, was one of Europe's most magnificent cities until it was destroyed by a great earthquake in 1755.
  • The 17 km long Vasco da Gama cable bridge in Lisbon was the longest bridge in Europe when it was opened in 1998.
  • Cape St Vincent, in the far south west, was called 'the end of the world’. It was once the last land known to the Romans.
  • Prince Henry the Navigator built a sailing school to teach navigation nearby, at Sagres. He began the age of exploration although he never sailed himself. He lived in Lagos, which is also where the first slave market in Europe was built, in 1444.
  • Portugal is a world leader in renewable energy with over 50% of the nation’s needs produced by solar panels, wind farms, hydroelectricity and wave energy.

History of Portugal

  • The Portuguese nation state dates from 1135 CE, 350 years ahead of rival Spain.
  • Under Roman rule for 600 years, Portugal was then invaded by Vandals, Visigoths and Moors, the latter becoming firmly established, particularly in the south. It wasn't until the late 13th Century that the Moors were expelled and Portugal was once again a Christian country.
  • Portugal's empire grew when Vasco de Gama sailed to India in 1498. Brazil was next, in 1500. Magellan was the first man to sail around the world in 1519.
  • In October 1910 Portugal was declared a Republic but it was a turbulent time, with 45 changes of government in the next 16 years! In 1926 a coup brought in a new prime minister, Salazar, who "ruled" the country for 36 as an authoritarian, repressive dictator. He died in 1968 and his successor was overthrown in a bloodless military coup in 1974 ("the Carnation Revolution").

Fun Facts:

  • Azulejos are painted ceramic tiles which were introduced by the Moors. Portugal was the leading producer and the blue and white tiles decorated many buildings and can still be seen today.
  • Football is the national sport. Benefica of Lisbon, the most famous club, won the European Cup twice when Eusebio was the star player. They are called the Eagles and before every home match a sea eagle flies over the pitch.
  • Fado songs tell the life of poor sailors and their families who were left behind. In Lisbon many tourists enjoy this soulful music.
  • Portugal produces half the world's cork, which is used in wine bottles. Cork comes from the bark of oak trees, but the trees must grow for 25 years before they can be harvested.
  • The Algarve tourist region in the south, famous for beaches and golf resorts, was called ‘Al-Gharb Al-Andalus' which means the 'West of Andalucia’ by the Islamic Moors who ruled southern Portugal from the 8th to 12th century CE.
  • Bacalhau or salt cod is the national dish of Portugal. It dates from the discovery of Newfoundland in 1497 and there are so many recipes that you can cook a different dish every day of the year!
  • Christiano Ronaldo is one of the world's leading footballers and a hero throughout Portugal.

Vineyards in the Douro Valley, Portugal
Vineyards in the Douro Valley, Portugal


About the Portuguese Flag

Portugal Flag

The Portuguese flag is green and red, with the red colour making up the biggest section of the flag. The Portuguese coat of arms appears where the two colours meet. The central red shield contains yellow castles and smaller blue shields, and represents victories against the Moors. The smaller blue shields symbolise the five Moorish kings defeated by Alfonso I, the first King of Portugal, and the seven yellow castles represent Moorish fortresses lost in battle.


Our Portugal Resources

Portugal Booklet

Portugal Booklet

Print and fold these fun little origami booklets featuring the Portuguese flag. We have two versions, lined and unlined, for you to choose from. Click the links below for printable versions.

Portugal Bookmarks

Portugal Bookmarks

Four fun printable sets of Portuguese flag bookmarks to print, with variations to colour in and space to add messages. Click the links below for printable versions.

Portugal Fact Worksheet

Portugal Fact Worksheet

Fact-finding is always more fun when you have a worksheet like this to encourage it! Can the kids find Portugal on the map, too?

Portuguese Flag Colouring Page

Portugal Flag Colouring Page

For a sporting event or to celebrate and learn about Portugal at any time, here is our Portugal Colouring Flag page.

Portugal Flag Jigsaw

Portugal Flag Jigsaw

A fun printable jigsaw to cut up and enjoy putting back together again - it's a great way to learn the Portuguese flag. You'll need our jigsaw instructions found here.

Portugal Flag Printable

Portugal Flag Printable

We have five different sizes of Portuguese flag that you can print out and use in your projects here. The largest is the perfect size for a banner. The smallest are just about right for mini bunting or cupcakes!

Portugal Location Worksheet

Portugal Location Worksheet

Where, on this simplified map of Europe, is Portugal? Choose from two levels of worksheet – one with the country names marked, and one without.

Portugal Notebooking Page

Portugal Notebooking Page

Here are our Portugal flag notebooking pages, useful for studying the country or perhaps for writing projects. Choose from two designs (click the links below for printable versions).

Portugal On Map Of Europe

Portugal On Map Of Europe

Portugal's long coastline and sunshine weather makes sense when you see its position on this outline map of Europe. Use this printable map with our location worksheets perhaps, or before a trip to Portugal.

Portugal Worksheet

Portugal Worksheet

If you are learning about Portugal, this Portugal worksheet may be a good place to start! It includes some location work too.

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